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May 25, 2009

"Global Warming Witness - Mitsuaki Iwago Special"
The Second GWW Photo Contest

- Nature and Wildlife You Want to Protect -

Olympus Corporation (President: Tsuyoshi Kikukawa) is to stage an international amateur photo contest in conjunction with its Global Warming Witness - Mitsuaki Iwago Special (GWW) website.

The contest, giving site users themselves the opportunity to become global warming witnesses, will take as its theme "Nature and Wildlife You Want to Protect"*1. Olympus hopes that entering the contest will give more people a feel for the changes occurring in their immediate surroundings, and the priceless nature of much we take for granted. The contest this year will be run according to an open format, with all entries received*2 to be displayed on the website.

*1  For example photos of stunning rural coastal or mountain landscapes that you would like to see preserved indefinitely, images of precious natural environments close to home; or shots capturing changes in the parts of the global environment familiar to you, e.g. bleached coral reefs or sea creatures; glaciers or ice floes observed while traveling etc.
*2  Images and pseudonyms only will be published. Excludes any photos not complying with entry conditions.
The inaugural GWW photo contest held last year was a high-caliber event attracting 1540 entries (shot in 48 countries).

Global Warming Witness – Mitsuaki Iwago Special

The first in the series of expeditions took Iwago and his crew to Wager Bay in arctic Canada to witness the impact of global warming through the disappearing sea ice and polar bears in 2006. On the second expedition in 2007, they visited Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro to capture views of the melting glaciers on top of the mountain and the lives of wild animals at the foot of the mountain. Armed with experience in the Arctic and the tropics where the impact of global warming is clear, the team headed for Shiretoko in Japan. Shiretoko is a place where one can experience raw, untamed nature. On July 17th, 2005, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee added the Shiretoko region to the list of World Natural Heritage sites.

Overview of GWW Photo Contest

Name The Second GWW Photo Contest
Theme "Nature and Wildlife You Want to Protect"
Period of accepting entries Monday May 25, 2009 to Monday November 30, 2009
Eligibility Entries restricted to amateur photographers. (No requirement based on age, gender or location)
Photo requirements Either an image captured by a digital camera and stored in .jpeg format, or image data scanned from an image captured by a film camera. Entries must be original, unpublished works.
Entry*3 Entries must be submitted online. Go to Olympus' GWW Photo Contest Page (, fill out the entry form and attach your photo to the form.
One photo per entry. You may enter as many photos as you wish.
Photo update*4 All enterd photos will be updated once a month in the Website starting from the end of July,2009.
Awards and prizes*5 Mitsuaki Iwago Award (one entry): E3 digital SLR camera with ZUIKO digital ED 12-60mm F2.8-4.0 SWD interchangeable lens
There is a chance to win a special award such as compact digital camera.
Panel of Judges Head: Mitsuaki Iwago, wildlife photographer
Others: Staff members of "Global Warming Witness - Mitsuaki Iwago Special" and others
Announcement Winners will be informed directly in or around January, 2010.
*3  Detail regarding entries is available on the Website.
*4  All photos and online name which meet the contest requirement.
*5  We reserve the right to change any of the prizes to an equivalent model.

Images from Iwago's Special "Colors of Earth" --the fourth GWW special-- to be released on May 25

Over the past three years, photographer Mitsuaki Iwago has traveled to Canada, Kilimanjaro and Japan's Shiretoko region as a witness to global warming. The resulting photographs presented as a three-part GWW series have shown thousands of people the realities of global warming, and the animals living with those realities. However not all the priceless images captured by this widely-respected wildlife photographer over the past three years have yet been made available for public viewing. What sort of journey did Mitsuaki Iwago undertake on the trail of global warming? For this fourth special, images never before seen will be displayed on the site each month over a period of six months, starting on May 25 to coincide with Environment Month in June.

Biography of Mitsuaki Iwago

Mitsuaki Iwago Born in 1950 in Tokyo, Iwago was overwhelmed by the natural wonders of the Galapagos at age 19 and this experience inspired him to pursue a career in wildlife photography. Since then, his field of photographic activity has extended to every continent on the planet. His distinct use of colors and contrast is highly acclaimed by the overseas media, calling them "Iwago's Colors". His works have been featured on the cover of the National Geographic magazine twice. His Serengeti: Natural Order on the African Plain, a book of photos he took while living in Africa's Serengeti National Park, has been a long-seller and was translated into English. In recent years, he has taken many images of nature and wildlife around the world, including polar bears in arctic Canada and giant pandas and crested ibis in China using Olympus' digital SLR camera. His images warn the world of rapid changes in the environment and their impacts.
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