Shutterbugs battles litterbugs for Pennsylvania Resources Council photo contest | Visual Arts | Pittsburgh

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Photo: Zoe Broyles/Pennsylvania Resource Board

2021 Gene Capaldi Lens on Litter Photo Contest winner “Rachel Carson’s Dream” by Zoe Broyles

Still life photography can offer a new perspective on the objects, architecture or infrastructure of everyday life. A contest will turn gender into environmental action by encouraging shutterers to capture litter left by litter bugs.

Pennsylvania Resource Council announced the latest version of its Gene Capaldi Lens on Litter Photo Contest, an annual event intended to engage the public in their surroundings in a meaningful way. Named after a particularly dedicated PRC volunteer, the contest strives to capture “ugly and avoidable examples of litter” and galvanize “public commitment to solutions”, according to a press release.

According to its website, the Pennsylvania Resources Council, a nonprofit environmental organization whose mission is to “prevent waste and conserve Pennsylvania’s environmental resources for every generation,” has sponsored the contest since 1984.

“Waste and landfills impact Pennsylvanians everywhere and are both an environmental and an economic issue,” said Darren Spielman, executive director of PRC. “We need to tackle the Commonwealth’s growing waste problem and start making progress towards the goals of a zero waste and circular economy where post-consumer materials are reused and recycled.”

From now until October 31, PRC invites amateur photographers from Pittsburgh and across the state to submit original images demonstrating how litter is “spoiling our Commonwealth in hopes that education and action will follow”. Entrants are eligible for cash prizes of up to $500. All photos submitted may then be used by PRC at the discretion of the non-profit organization.

The competition has two categories, one open to students and one for adults. Submitted photos will be judged on a number of criteria including originality, technique, title and strength of the anti-litter message. Entrants are also encouraged to undertake a cleanup of their photographed area for additional judging points.

Three prizes will be awarded in each category, with the first winner receiving $500, the second $250 and the third $100.

The Winners of Lens on Litter 2021 included students from Fox Chapel Area High School, Corry Alliance Academy, and Turtle Creek Elementary STEAM Academy. The adult category included winners from Pittsburgh, Wexford and Sewickley.