About the project

“The Most Beautiful Country” photo contest — is a large-scale project of the Russian Geographical Society that unites the best photographers in Russia.

The Russian Geographical Society has at all times been trying to tell about the nature, history and culture of our country. To do this, the best writers, artists, journalists and, of course, photographers have been involved. Our archive contains unique photographs of famous researchers Dmitry Ermakov, Nikolai Miklukho-Maclay, Gombozhab Tsybikov and others.

By the way, few people know that the publication of the first photographs of Tibet brought the worldwide fame to National Geographic magazine. These pictures were taken by members of the Russian Geographical Society Gombozhab Tsybikov and Ovshe Norzunov.

In the ranks of the Society, there have always been many famous photographers – Vladimir Shneiderov and Vasily Peskov to name a few. Therefore, we simply had to launch our own photo contest, open to everyone. Its ideas, structure and categories are based on the colossal experience that the Russian Geographical Society has accumulated in over 170 years of studying Russia.

The first photo contest was held in 2015. 25 thousand photographers from all over the world, who uploaded about 200 thousand images to the project's website participated in it. The oldest participant in the first photo contest was 98 years old, and the youngest was — only 4 years old.

Over the six years of the competition's existence, participants have sent over 510 thousand photographs to it.

The project received a lot of publicity and became an annual event, with the exhibitions of works by its finalists and winners successfully held all over the world.

In 2018, 54 exhibitions of "The Most Beautiful Country" were held in Russia and 26 — abroad. And in 2019 the number of the exhibitions exceeded 100! The best photographs could be admired at international airports and Russian cultural centers, on Moscow boulevards and the main streets of our country. The 2020 pandemic has altered our plans, but we have started to conduct exhibitions in an online format.

Any person can become a participant in our competition, regardless of place of residence, citizenship and age. The only condition — is that the photographs must be taken in Russia. You can shoot with ultra-expensive equipment or ordinary smartphones — each shot has a chance of winning.

The photographs sent to the competition are evaluated by the Expert Commission, in which reputable photographers and heads of the country's largest photo services are involved.

The democratic nature of the competition also presupposes a special approach to the formation of the Jury. Together with renowned photographers, the finalists' works are evaluated by the people from other fields of art — art–filmmakers, actors, art critics – who have their own view of the artistic value of photographs.

Taking their places on the Jury of the 2021 competition once more are the President of the Russian Geographical Society Sergei Shoigu; director of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts Marina Loshak; photographer Sergey Gorshkov, this year recognized as the world's best wildlife photographer by the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award. We will announce the full list of the Jury members shortly.

Since 2018, within the framework of “The Most Beautiful Country” we have been holding a separate competition for young photographers under 16 — “The Most Beautiful Country through the Eyes of Children”. There are four categories in the children's competition: «Landscape», «Animal World», «Human World» and «Macroworld». This does not prevent children, if they wish, to submit their pictures to the main competition — if they feel the strength and desire to challenge adults.

The winners of the photo competition receive a cash prize of 250 thousand rubles, the winners “The Most Beautiful Country through the Eyes of Children” become the owners of professional cameras.

 

Rediscover Russia together with the Russian Geographical Society!