Heart of the ecosystem

CompanyDoest Photography
PhotographerJasper Doest
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

In Svalbard reindeer must withstand up to nine months of snow cover and limited food availability. In wintertime the reindeer carcasses make up an important part of the arctic foxes' diet. The climate of Svalbard is changing. Summers and winters have been wetter and warmer. Rain-on-snow is an extreme situation that locks the deep-frozen arctic tundra under a sheet of ice. The ice keeps reindeer from grazing on their winter pastures. The result is that populations crash in the winter and spring after the extreme weather. In this situation, almost no reindeer carcasses will be available for foxes to eat during the following winter, mainly because the reindeer that survived the previous winter are stronger, and less reindeer are competing for the food that is available. The result is a deep reduction in the arctic fox numbers one year after the grazers die off.

About Photographer

To Jasper Doest, photography is about emotion. Whether it's a travel documentary, a conservation story or a standalone piece of art: it must be an expressive image, an image that touches its viewers. As a fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP), his photographs have received multiple awards and have appeared in numerous international journals and books, including National Geographic Magazine, GEO and Smithsonian Magazine. Jasper's images depict what is beautiful around him, around us, and with his photographs he is able to reveal how fragile this beauty is. One split second can tell his story, that single moment in which he freezes nature but brings it to life more than ever before. "Through my photography I’m able to give a voice to the ones that are often overlooked. I’m able to share my experiences with so many people. As our future is on the line, we need people to start caring about our environment on a daily basis. We need to convince them about the valuable conservation work that has been going on and we need to convince the public to choose local decision makers wisely." "Our planet needs sustainability. Photographers can give a voice to the ones who cannot speak for themselves (before it is too late). Photographers can initiate change. That is my motivation and joy. It’s within the power of photography."