Canadians on Prix Pictet photography shortlist

Three Canadians have been shortlisted for the prestigious Prix Pictet, a new international photographic competition focusing on the environment and sustainability.

Three Canadians have been shortlisted for the prestigious Prix Pictet, a new international photographic competition focusing on the environment and sustainability.

Benoit Aquin, Edward Burtynsky and Robert Polidori are among the 18 named Saturday, chosen from 200 photographers from 49 countries.

All three were selected for images that chronicle the planet's devastation in different ways.  The criteria were "works that are of outstanding artistic merit that also communicate messages of urgent global significance."

Burtynsky, whose work was immortalized in the 2006 documentary Manufacturing Landscapes by Jennifer Baichwal, is known for his pieces examining the industrialization of China.

However, it's his images of the effects of the Alberta oilsands on the landscape that landed him on the list.

Montreal's Aquin was selected for his pictures of dust storms in China while Polidori's work lays witness to the destruction of the floods during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the reconstruction in the aftermath.

Supported by the Swiss bank Pictet & Clé, in partnership with The Financial Times, the $100,000 prize was created to foster debate about sustainability.

This year's focus is on water.

The nominated images will be on display at an exhibit in Paris from Oct. 29 to Nov. 8 and will be shown later at various locales around the world.

A winner will be announced on Oct. 30 and the victor will also be offered a $40,000 commission for a water-related project.