2022 Canopy Awards Winners Announced

 In Canopy Awards, Conservation, News, Restoration

We’re excited to be announcing the winners of the 2022 Rainforest Rescue Canopy Awards, an inaugural international rainforest photography competition, 

Australian photographer Matt Palmer’s early morning landscape image of the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park in Tasmania was selected by judges for the Canopy Grand Prize, which celebrates the image the judging panel felt best captured the spirit and ideals of the competition. 

The Canopy Awards are designed to enhance and promote the art of rainforest photography, help raise awareness about the nature and culture of rainforest habitats, and encourage their protection. Photographers from across the globe were invited to enter photographs in four categories: Habitats, Characters; Hidden Gems and Reportage. 

Judges chose a winner in each category, plus bestowed a special prize for the judge’s ‘Best of the Daintree’. To round out the suite of prizes, the organisation’s dedicated staff awarded a  ‘Rainforest Rescuer’s Favourite’ prize, while a ‘People’s Choice’ popular vote was run on the social media platform Instagram, including the public in deliberations and helping share the beauty and significance of rainforests far and wide.


Chosen from the 4 Category winners, the Canopy Grand Prize celebrates the image the judges felt best captured the spirit and ideals of the competition.


MATT PALMER, Victoria, Australia
Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, Tasmania, Australia
(Pictured above)

Matt has won a 4-night, all-inclusive stay for two people at Silky Oaks Lodge, right in the heart of the Daintree rainforest, with activities on the Daintree River with Solar Whisper and in the forest with Walkabout Cultural Adventures, plus $3000 cash from Spell.



All Category Winners have won the latest camera backpack from f-stop Gear, plus $500 cash from Will and Bear.

Habitats Winner – MATT PALMER, Victoria, Australia
Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, Tasmania, Australia

Finalists: Nicolas Rakotopare, Tim Moon, Clay Hawker, Mitchell Burns, Robin Moon

Characters Winner – LIAM LYNCH, Victoria, Australia
Tapanuli orangutan, Batang Toru forest, Sumatra, Indonesia

Finalists: Nicolas Rakotopare | Igor Mikula | Gregory Cowle | Matthew Clancy | Tibor Molnar | Robin Moon

Hidden Gems Winner – SAMANTHA WRIGHT, Western Australia
At Wanggoolba Creek, K’gari, Great Sandy National Park, Australia

Finalists: Benjamin Mitchell | Valerie Kleindienst | Matt Palmer | Peter Meyer

Reportage Winner – CALUMN HOCKEY, New South Wales, Australia
Clear-felling of Gondwanan rainforest, Southwest National Park, Tasmania, Australia

Finalists: Calumn Hockey | Liam Lynch | Gavin Window | Eva Turek-Jewkes | Eunie Kim

Best of the Wet Tropics Winner – NICOLAS RAKOTOPARE, Queensland, Australia
Southern cassowary, Moresby Range National Park, Australia

We delved into our Judges rankings and identified the highest achieving entry that had been shot inside the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area of North Queensland, where Rainforest Rescue is working hard to restore the biologically diverse regions on the planet. #TreesAreTheAnswer 

Rainforest Rescuer’s Favourite Winner – NICOLAS RAKOTOPARE, Queensland, Australia
Yellow-blotched forest-skink, Atherton Tablelands, Australia

Rainforest Rescue’s hardworking staff members have chosen their favourite entry! 

People’s Choice Vote – Winner: RAJ BOSE, Texas, USA
La Paz Waterfalls, Costa Rica

Other Photographers with high vote counts – Mitchell Burns | Nicolas Rakotopare |  Matt Cornish | Matthew Clancy | Tibor Molnar

Having received the most votes in the People’s Choice, Raj has won a prize pack valued at over $500 from Will and Bear; Patagonia; Magic of I; Naturally Driven; Wandering Folk 

Convened by Rainforest Rescue Ambassador Darren Jew (Canon Master and six-time winner of the Australian Professional Nature Photographer of the Year Award) the Canopy Awards judging panel comprised iconic Australian nature photographer Steve Parish; conservation photography and film-making team Juergen and Stella Freund; Rainforest Rescue Chair Madeleine Faught and rainforest ecologist Dr Robert Kooyman.

“We are delighted with the high calibre of submissions received,” said Darren Jew.  “The shortlist gallery takes us on a remarkable visual journey, showcasing the skills and creativity of the photographers and celebrating the magnificence and diversity of the planet’s rainforests”.

Rainforest Rescue’s CEO  Branden Barber, said: “We protect the things that we care about. The power of the lens and so much remarkable talent has combined here to celebrate rainforests, helping people to feel the importance, the power and the beauty of Nature—even if they’ve never set foot in a rainforest. It’s through increasing awareness that we increase care for the world’s rainforests and our concern for their fate. This is a very significant contribution.”

Kristin Canning, Rainforest Rescue’s Partnerships Manager, added, “Being a part of the Canopy Awards is a natural extension for Rainforest Rescue’s partners, with the collective resources of our fabulous sponsors helping to champion rainforest awareness. Their support not only made the awards possible but shows environmental commitments continue to grow as a natural part of the culture of ecologically-conscious businesses.

Seen below are the Shortlisted entries, which were all considered for major prizes by the judging panel, before being presented to the public for the People’s Choice Vote on Instagram.



Silky Oaks Lodge (4-nights all-inclusive stay for 2 people); Spell ($3000 cash); Solar Whisper (Daintree River cruise); Walkabout Cultural Adventures (Daintree cultural experience)


f-stop Gear (latest camera backpack); Will and Bear ($500 cash)


Will and Bear; Patagonia; Magic of I; Naturally Driven; Wandering Folk


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