Nature inFocus Photography Awards — a competition that honours shutterbugs documenting unique natural history moments and critical conservation issues — have announced the winners for their 8th edition!
These winners were chosen by a 6-member jury, from 21,000 photo entries submitted by more than 2300 competing photographers.
“The Nature inFocus Photography Awards has grown to become a meeting place for national and international photographers,” says Rohit Varma, one of the founders of Nature inFocus.
“Every year, we see images that reveal new facets of our natural world while shining a light on pertinent global conservation issues. We are thrilled to see the growth in the number of participants and the geographical locations. It truly has become an international platform for wildlife photographers!”
Check out some mind-blowing winning photographs from a variety of categories below!
Category: Wildscape & Animals in Their Habitat
The camera trap image portrays the peaceful coexistence of leopards with humans in Mumbai’s Aarey Colony. The felids reside in the adjacent Sanjay Gandhi National Park and often visit the neighbouring areas in search of prey. Here, a lactating leopardess is seeking refuge from the rains in an abandoned house located within a village of the Warli community.
Barn Owls on window sills, inside abandoned buildings, chimneys or even in a mall! We have seen them all. The most widespread land bird species does not take its title lightly. But here, the bird seems to be seeking refuge in a rather unusual location. The camera trap image shows a Barn Owl flying into an abandoned Mumbai Police van. Well, if you are looking for a safe habitat!
The beauty of snow-clad rooftops and backyards with just a hint of fox in the midst of it all. The Red Fox sure seems in its element in the suburbs of London, exemplifying the canid’s ability to adapt to a diverse range of habitats. From mountains to forests to people’s backyards, for the Red Fox home is many things.
Category: Creative Nature Photography
At the start of the monsoon, as the first rains lash down on scorched earth, winged termites or alates emerge in huge numbers, with the singular purpose of breeding in what is known as the nuptial flight. Bright lights confuse the navigational systems of most animals, and it is common to see swarms of alates flying around street lamps. Anirban chanced upon a termite swarm near the local petrol bunk when suddenly a Black Drongo swooped in to feast on the termites. The whole thing was over in 15-20 minutes. The winged termites vanished, and so did the drongo.
The Horned Desert Viper or Saharan Horned Viper is one of the most commonly seen snakes in the North African and Middle Eastern deserts. This stunning silhouette against the city lights illustrates the signature ‘horns’ of the reptile, its most distinguishing feature. The so-called horns are a single scale present above each eye.
Category: Young Photographer
Fill in the blank. When the bats are out to feed, the hawks are out to…..? Jomtup observed the bats leaving their caves every evening in order to feed. Around the same time, the hawks would emerge to capture their prey—the bats. Being opportunistic feeders, hawks eat everything from rodents, small birds, insects to bats!
Category: Animal Portraits
A female Purple Sunbird prepares to take off from the edge of a curved coconut frond, creating the illusion that her tiny body is heavy enough to bend the leaf and use it as a launchpad to throw her into the lightness of flight.
Elephants are a common sight along the river and in the paddy fields of Sri Lanka’s north-central province. The farmers are happy to allow these gentle giants to enter their paddy fields after harvest. But they do everything possible to chase away the pachyderms during the crop season. This aerial shot of a massive tusker beautifully captures its larger shadow against the riverbank decorated with the footprints of his herd.
The Caribbean Reef Shark is an impressive and fast hunter. With the help of a long shutter speed, two underwater strobes and some speedy camera movement, the photographer created this breathtaking portrait of the dynamic apex predator. Sharks are a protected species in the Bahamian reefs, like in many other parts of the world’s oceans, yet 80-100 million sharks get killed every year. A strong market demand for shark fins is the main driver. In order for shark conservation to be a success, Magnus believes that there needs to be an understanding that living sharks hold a greater value than dead ones.
Category: Conservation Focus
The salt pans of the Little Rann of Kutch play host to a diverse range of fauna. A growing feral dog population in the region has become a significant cause for concern, as portrayed in this image of two dogs attacking an Indian Crested Porcupine. It is also a potent reminder that feral dogs are not selective and affect wildlife across species.
While it’s often difficult to decode a conflict situation, one thing is for sure—fear fuels it from both ends. On spotting a tigress resting near the paddy fields, the villagers of Borsola near Orang Tiger Reserve panicked and began pelting stones at the felid. They also set fire to dry paddy, further agitating the animal. While the tigress ran amok, so did the people trying to flee the area. One villager tried to confront the animal and was inflicted with minor injuries. The tigress eventually retreated into the forest. The image portrays the ground realities of human-tiger conflict and emphasises the need for empowering local communities to manage these situations.
Category: Animal Behaviour
If you think about it, it’s quite a conundrum for sea snakes. These marine serpents are surrounded by their prey, but in a world of coral reefs, rock crevices and quick manoeuvres, to make an actual catch requires additional skills. Sea snakes are highly venomous and let their bite do most of the work. Here, a Striped Sea Snake latches onto its catch, making for a rare documentation of the reptile in action in the open sea.
Look up images of hyenas hunting and you will most likely find scenes of a pack feeding on carcasses of animals like antelopes, wildebeest or even lions! Yep, a pack of hyenas can take on some large animals. But here, a Spotted Hyena has climbed on top of a termite hill, to make the most of what was available. What can we say? Some days you fight, and some days you termite!
Monitor Lizards will eat almost anything. Fish, insects, birds, crabs, snakes—you name it! They even scale trees to raid nests or capture squirrels. But it’s not every day that you find a giant lizard holding a Lesser-whistling Duck by its neck. Lesser-whistling Ducks are known to build nests in tree cavities and on the branches of large trees. Sometimes, even high up on a tree is just not high enough!
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