Projecting nature through photography

Conscious that people do not have enough rejuvenating encounters with our natural environment, a Green Life photography competition has launched International House’s (iHouse) Environmental Wellbeing theme for 2011.

Noticing the sunlight bathe a forest canopy, illuminating the russet tones of its autumn foliage, or a mainland yabby rise out of sand and mud following the first rain in as many months – for the first time these little things, fleeting and compelling, have been captured on camera to be exhibited in the iHouse dining room over the next two weeks.

Leslie Silver’s ‘Bridge and Raindrop’ photograph, an artistic composition of rusted industrial beams, rain, light and autumnal hues, received the first place ribbon.

Judges were blown away by the American exchange student’s ability to convey harmony between nature and the built environment with four of her entered photographs swooping spots among the top ten short listed images.

“The winning photo was taken this last November, right before I came to Australia,” Leslie said.

“I just went for a little walk during the fall close to where I go to school in Portland, Oregon. I took the image as I was travelling along a hiking trail in Forest Park and it was a kind of sunny day, but still pretty cold, and there was some rain left on the bridge that was dripping.”

“I love being outdoors and having my camera with me to capture those moments. There’s just so much beauty in nature and I don’t think people always notice it,” she said.

IHouse student resident manager Alison Hemsley said the entries needed to match a ‘green life’ theme that projected the beauty and joy nature brings to people’s lives.

“This competition kicks off a range of activities and initiatives that International House will be undertaking throughout the year to ensure that we follow responsible environmental practices where possible,” Ms Hemsley said.

The competition accepted entries from all iHouse residents with 213 photographs submitted under categories ranging from rural landscapes to animals.

For more information and to view the top ten Green Life images see here.

By Melissa Coade


  • Primary Education exchange student Leslie Silver took the 1st place photograph titled ‘Bridge and Raindrop’ while on a nature trial in her hometown of Portland, Oregon

  • ‘Waterfall’ by Leslie Silver, second place

  • ‘The Yabby’ by Andrew Pearson, third place