Focus for Survival is a photography initiative in aid of conservation.
You can be a part of Focus for Survival by entering our competition which is open to everyone. The submission phase is 1 February – 30 June annually. Selection runs July-August and the exhibitions September – November.
This year’s competition is now closed. You can see the results here>>>
How does it work?
Focus for Survival is a celebration of Mother Nature through photography. Our free-to-enter Focus for Survival photographic competition offers the chance for a wide audience to be inspired by your image of the natural world.
By sharing the story of your image you’ll be helping to raise awareness about the importance of the natural world.
The competition is an opportunity for the photographer to raise their profile and support frontline conservation projects. In 2022 we had images featured in The Daily Telegraph and Travel Africa Magazine. In 2021 two of our finalists, Sam Wallace and Celia Kujala, had their images exhibited in the Blue Zone of COP26 in Glasgow.
Image at top: Ajeet Panesar. Image on left: Antonio Coelho. Images at bottom: Cedric Peneau; Patrick Mueller; David Ellis. All Focus for Survival finalists from 2022.
FOCUS FOR SURVIVAL 2022 COMPETITION IN BRIEF
Your image should feature the natural world and have some relevance to the central theme of nature conservation (please see Q&A ‘Can my photo be of anything?’ for further details);
Anyone can enter;
It is free to enter;
The closing date is 30 June;
12 finalists are selected from all submissions – these will be announced on 31 August. 2023 results published here>>
-all the finalists are eligible for our annual People’s Choice Award, an award voted for by the public during October;
-finalists’images will be displayed in an online gallery on our website;
-Each of the 12 finalists’ images will be included in our 2024 calendar – these will be sold in aid of our Project Fund.
Three of the finalists’ images will be short-listed by our panel led by award-winning writers/photographers James Lowen and Nori Jemil for the Bradt Guides’ Focus for Survival Photographer of the Year Award announced in November.
– the short-list will be announced 2 October with the three images profiled in the Bradt Guides’ exclusive members’ newsletter (2 October).
– the short-listed images will be printed and displayed at our exhibitions – exhibition images will be included in our fundraising auction with all proceeds to our Project Fund
To find out more, please see the Q&A below. Thank you.
Focus for Survival is a celebration of Mother Nature through photography. By celebrating nature we can help to protect it.
In the last six years we have showcased a small selection of images generously donated by our patrons, adventurers, explorers, conservationists, celebrity supporters and professional photographers. These include Will Burrard Lucas, Doug Allen, Daryl Balfour, James Suter, Robin Moore, Peter Ian Chadwick, Paul Goldstein, Margot Raggett, BBC cameraman Gordon Buchanan, travel writer/presenter Simon Reeve and explorers Levison Wood and Kingsley Holgate.
In addition we run a free-to-enter photographic competition to showcase images captured all around the world. This competition is open to everyone and is a way to support conservation in action.
Your entry must be an original photograph taken by you featuring some aspect of the the natural world.
Your image should have some relevance to the topic of nature conservation (the preservation, protection, or restoration of the natural environment and/or wildlife).
The image must be taken by you in the wild.
The image can be taken anywhere geographically in the world and feature any aspect of nature, for example, plant, animal, mountain, forest, ocean etc but it must be taken by you in a wild environment. We do not accept images taken of animals in captivity. Although some of these animals are important conservation ambassadors, with an important story, the selection panel felt it was unfair to compare an image taken in the wild with an image taken in a captive environment.
Images should be landscape orientation as the 12 finalists images will feature in a calendar – please do not submit images cropped to a square for Instagram.
To be eligible, you must complete the submission form.
Please be specific – tell us exactly what you have photographed (the species/the ecosystem), where it was taken, when it was taken and the relevance the image has to conservation. For example, the species or ecosystem pictured might be at threat (explain why), or perhaps it is at the centre of new research. Your image may represent a conservation success story on a local, national or international level or a conservation crisis, for example, climate change or deforestation. Tell us what and why – help to raise awareness.
Any image not fulfilling the criteria laid out above will unfortunately be discounted from selection.
You may find the following three examples of previous entries helpful when completing your form:
Dragon’s Blood Tree, Socotra, Yemen
” The island’s unique and iconic Dragon’s Blood Tree had already been classed as vulnerable. However, in 2018 the IUCN placed Yemen’s Socotra archipelago on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Climate change (which appears to result in an increasing number of cyclones), drought, invasive alien species and uncontrolled human development are the main threats to this seemingly remote island, and its flora and fauna.”
Hot Panic, Vanua Levu, Fiji
“This blue sea star is extremely sensitive to local changes in water temperature, oxygen levels and acidity, all of which are key indicators of the health of its wider marine habitat. Sadly, in recent years this stretch of Fijian coastline on the island of Vanua Levu has been heavily affected by rising sea temperatures, growing levels of chemical run off from agriculture and increasingly violent storm damage caused by el nino. The effects are plain to see as more shallow coral environments succumb as this one has.”
Reef Colours, Raja Ampat, Indonesia
“A lionfish followed by a procession of small fish. Raja Ampat, or the Four Kings, consists of around 1500 islands and cays off the north-west tip of Indonesian Papua where the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean meet. Studies suggest that some specific coral species here may be more resistant to climate change and coral bleaching.”
By contributing you will be showing your support for conservation of our natural world. Entering a photo into the competition helps to raise awareness about the natural world. Sales of the calendar help to raise much needed funds for our projects.
Finalists enjoy heightened profile, being shared both online and at exhibition venues.
In 2022 Patrick Mueller’s chameleon was featured in Travel Africa magazine and the Saturday edition of the Daily Telegraph.
Anyone can enter – professional, amateur, hobby or student. You can live anywhere in the world.
**Please note: if you are under the age of 16 you must email a consent note from a parent/guardian/teacher giving permission to enter with the subject: “Focus for Survival Under 16 consent – Your name” – please send this to [email protected]**
The submission phase runs from February to June.
Simply follow the ‘Enter Here‘ link.
The form is very quick and easy to complete and simply requires you to fill in all the fields on the form.
When you have completed the form you will be asked to attach your image as a jpeg file – please provide an image under 5MB in size – we will contact the 12 finalists if we require a larger file for printing/exhibiting.
The title of your file must include YOUR NAME
The competition is free-to-enter.
A maximum of three photos per photographer.
You will need to complete a submission form for each image.
We are accepting submissions until 2359 GMT on 30 June.
The 12 finalists receive a logo they can display as they wish.
The finalists’ images will be screen displayed during our exhibition tour, and they will also be profiled via our online channels. They will help to support our Projects through the sale of a 2024 charity calendar with all proceeds going to our Project Fund. The photographers will be invited to the Private View.
In addition they:
- have the opportunity to win the People’s Choice award voted for by the public. The winner receives an engraved trophy.
The three short-listed images selected by our expert panel from the 12 finalists will have their image printed, framed and exhibited for our UK exhibition tour. They will also be profiled in online by Bradt Guides. Exhibition images will be auctioned online in aid of our projects. In addition they:
- have the opportunity to win the Bradt Guides’ Focus for Survival Photographer of the Year award. The winner receives an engraved trophy and a winner’s logo which they can display as they wish. The short-listed photographers will be invited to the Private View event in November in London.
There are two stages.
After the submission deadline, all entries will be checked for eligibility and 12 finalists announced on the Explorers Against Extinction website on 31 August. These 12 images go forward to our People’s Choice vote which opens in October. The People’s Choice winner is announced in November at our Private View event in London.
From the finalists our panel will short-list three images. These will be announced 2 October.
Our selection panel is led by Bradt Guides’ writers/photographers James Lowen and Nori Jemil.
James Lowen is an award-winning writer focusing on the nexus between wildlife, travel and conservation. Two of his 13 books, both published by Bradt Travel Guides, have won Travel Guidebook of the Year prizes, namely A Summer of British Wildlife: 100 Great Days out with British Wildlife and 52 European Wildlife Weekends: a Year of Short Breaks for Nature Lovers. James’s new book is Much Ado About Mothing, a travel narrative that views Britain through the filter of its rare and remarkable moths. As a photographer, James has hundreds of wildlife images.
Nori Jemil is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and videographer, and author of the forthcoming The Travel Photographer’s Way (Bradt Guides, October). A member of the British Guild of Travel Writers, she was recognised as their Photographer of the Year in 2017 and won Wanderlust magazine’s Travel Photo of the Year in 2011. She is widely published and her photos have been exhibited in London, Milan and Madrid. Nori also teaches film and photography.
The selection panel also features guests judges and trustees. Together they assess:
- Overall impact of the image taking into account composition, style, creativity, presentation, interest and use of light and colour
- Technical quality
- The story
There are two awards:
Bradt Guides’ Focus for Survival People’s Choice Award
This award is chosen by the public, through an online vote open in September and early October. All 12 finalists’ images are eligible.
Bradt Guides’ Focus for Survival Photographer of the Year Award
This award is chosen by our panel from a short-list of three.
Results are announced at our Private View event in London and shortly afterwards online.
If you are a finlalist we reserve the right to print your image in our charity calendar as laid out in these guidelines, and/or for exhibiton purposes or press and promotion associated directly with the campaign. We will take all reasonable measures to ensure the photographer is correctly credited by name.
For all entries we reserve the right to use the photos in association with the campaign digitally. In all cases the photographer retains all rights beyond these competition requirements.
Read full terms and conditions here:T&Cs 2023