At the height of summer many of us are dreaming of cool ocean breezes, swimming in lakes, and playing in rivers. Our ocean and inland waters provide endless opportunities for recreation, and also endless opportunities to appreciate the beauty – and vulnerability – of the resource that sustains our planet.
We know that photography has the power to connect people to a story far more effectively than words alone. And the act of taking a picture captures a moment in time, creates a memory, that can then be shared with friends, family, and – in the age of social media – with the world. For the many people that don’t live near a coastline photos may be the only way they ever see the ocean, so we need to find ways to both collect and disseminate incredible images that can tell the stories of the ocean – stories of its power and beauty, its vital role in mankind’s survival and also stories of the challenges it faces.
Photography competitions can play an important role in this global storytelling effort. “Out of the Blue” is one such competition currently underway that will showcase the value and importance of our blue planet. This competition is directed to citizens of Commonwealth countries, whose leaders will meet later this year to discuss issues of critical global importance, including the future of the ‘Blue Economy’ – an economy that depends on a healthy ocean. An incredible area of our ocean is within the jurisdiction of Commonwealth countries and more than half of those countries are islands. It’s important to engage the citizens of these critical areas and to capture imagery from around the Commonwealth’s watery environment to celebrate its beauty, highlight its importance and alert global leaders to its vulnerability. By doing so, people of the Commonwealth can directly encourage global leaders to take positive action and adopt more of the solutions that we know are at hand to protect and use natural resources in a sustainable way.
If you’re from one of these countries, please share your great photos on the Out of the Blue website. With this week’s announcement of cash prizes for winning images there is even more reason to participate. For the rest of us, we can follow along and “like” and share the photos that inspire us. Enjoy the summer, capture some memories, and share them with a world to inspire protection.