The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
'Everything Is Interconnected': Photo of Radiant Spider Web Wins EcoWatch Contest
EcoWatch is excited to announced the winner of our first-ever Gratitude Photo Contest. Participants sent us their best shots of what in nature they were most thankful for this Thanksgiving.
Our three amazing judges—Greenpoint Innovations founder Stephen Donofrio, marine scientist Gaelin Rosenwaks and documentary photographer Marc Bryan-Brown—picked their favorites from more than 70 photo entries of breathtaking landscapes, incredible wildlife and majestic waterways.
And the winner is … Dakota Altman of Lincoln, Nebraska who photographed a spider and its intricate, wheel-shaped web during a morning hike to a saline wetland located just a few miles from his home.
"The morning light hit a patch of grass suddenly revealing a landscape dotted with silvery orbs of spider silk," he told us about the shot. "Upon seeing this I knew that my subject was going to be a spider and its web. I found it important to get down low and compose the photo as if the viewer was there kneeling among the grass."
Altman works as an assistant and biologist for the Photo Ark, a project of long-time National Geographic contributor Joel Sartore.
"My love for invertebrates has always drawn me to photograph them," Altman said. "Spiders, in particular, get a bad rap so shining a beautiful light upon them will hopefully change people's preconceived notions. This change I would like to extend to the importance of saline wetlands, marshes and prairies where most of my work is being done."
Rosenwaks said that the photo really stood out to her from the other entries.
"I felt the winning image captured the scope of what an ecosystem is; the intricacy of a complex environment where everything is interconnected," she said.
Similarly, Donofrio said the photo was "unique in how it was able to visualize a landscape and a micro ecosystem at the same time."
Altman, who received a $250 Patagonia eGift Card for winning the contest, said he hopes that the photo will inspire others, especially younger generations, to look more closely and view their surroundings in greater detail.
"You don't have to visit distant continents or remote jungles to find something extraordinary," he said.
Runners-up of the Gratitude Photo Contest include Dorothy Cullen's "Don't Worry, Bee Happy"—a stunning close-up of a bee.
During the judging period, Donofrio said he was "drawn to how this bee seems to be so powerful and big, despite its actual size."
"Don't Worry, Bee Happy"Dorothy Cullen
Another participant, Balazs Dibuz, contributed "Stillness," a serene image of Slocan Lake in British Columbia, Canada. It was among many striking landscape photo entries we received.
"The tranquility and peacefulness in this beautiful landscape is breathtaking," Bryan-Brown said. "The muted layers of tones as the image recedes into the mists add to a sense of blissful isolation. As I look at this image I want nothing more than to be standing on that beach."
"Stillness" Balazs Dibuz
The judges were impressed by the high quality of the entries.
"All of the images evoked a strong sense of emotion which is appropriate because of the theme of gratitude," Rosenwaks said. "It was clear that every image meant a lot to the photographer. I was honored to be one of the judges."
Donofrio added, "It was wonderful to see the range of submissions that truly show how gloriously diverse of a natural world we have around us, all evoking an understanding of how we as a human race give thanks and value to the places in which we live."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Earth Day 2019 just passed, but planning has already begun for Earth Day 2020, and it's going to be a big deal.
Is your closet filled with clothes you don't wear (and probably don't like anymore)? Are you buying cheap and trendy clothing you only wear once or twice? What's up with all the excess? Shifting to a more Earth-conscious wardrobe can help simplify your life, as well as curb fast fashion's toll on people and the planet.
By Alina Petre, MS, RD (CA)
Veganism refers to a way of living that attempts to minimize animal exploitation and cruelty. For this reason, vegans aim to exclude all foods containing meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy and honey from their diet (1).
'Finally!': Court Orders EPA to Stop Stalling Potential Ban on Pesticide Tied to Brain Damage in Kids
By Jessica Corbett
In a ruling welcomed by public health advocates, a federal court on Friday ordered the Trump administration to stop stalling a potential ban on a pesticide linked to brain damage in children, giving regulators until mid-July to make a final decision.
At EcoWatch, our team knows that changing personal habits and taking actions that contribute to a better planet is an ongoing journey. Earth Day, happening on April 22, is a great reminder for all of us to learn more about the environmental costs of our behaviors like food waste or fast fashion.
To offer readers some inspiration this Earth Day, our team rounded up their top picks for films to watch. So, sit back and take in one of these documentary films this Earth Day. Maybe it will spark a small change you can make in your own life.