Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year from all of us at Nature India! It’s now time to add some more joy to the season by announcing the winners of the Nature India Photo Contest 2016.
After a fortnight of unprecedented activity on the Indigenus blog and our social media channels (Facebook and Twitter ), as well as endless rounds of discussions within our global Nature Research team, we are happy to announce the winners of our third photo contest.
The photographs have been judged for their novelty, creativity, quality and printability. They were also rated in part by the engagement each received from the online science-loving community.
Coming out trumps amidst some tough competition, here’s the winner of the Nature India photo contest 2016:
Ramit Dey from Trieste, Italy
with his almost poetic composition ‘From heaven to Earth’ — its impeccable lighting and scores of natural elements perfectly capturing this year’s theme ‘Nature’.
In the second position is:
Deepak Sahu from Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India with his superbly timed picture ‘Dragon love’ — a winner for its strong composition that oozes love, not just metaphorically but also with a in-your-face heart sign.
And, for the first time, we have two third prize winners:
Ravi Hegde from Bengaluru, Karnataka, India for ‘Bubbling moments’ that captures a painstaking natural process of feeding, clicked equally painstakingly.
Parth Sanyal from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India for ‘Where’s India’s agricultural graph headed?’ that weaves a grim narrative involving many facets of nature, a picture that could double up as a great illustration for an economy piece.
Congratulations to all the winners! These images will be featured in the Nature India Annual Compendium 2016 and also stand a chance of becoming cover material for one of our forthcomign publications. All winners will receive a special bag of goodies from the Nature Research team soon.
We would also like to make a special mention of Aditya Kanwal‘s surreal macro shot ‘Human flower’, which offered tough competition to the winners with some strong online support. We thank all of our participants for sending in such brilliant pictures. There will be more photo contests soon and we hope to see their beautiful images again — perhaps on top next time!
Nature India’s first photo contest was conceived in 2014. The overwhelming response that captured the resurgence of science in the world’s largest democracy with the theme ‘Science & Technology in India’ was enough for us to make the contest an annual affair.
With 50 entries in 2014, the photo contest has grown massively in size as several hundred entries pour in every year since from all corners of the world. The quality, quantity and novelty of these entries has been overwhelming. We were equally impressed with the way both amateur and professional photographers, scientists and non-scientists captured the theme ‘Nature’ with a variety of instruments — from cellphone cameras to high end DSLRs.
We will be back next year with another theme and hopefully equally stunning images. Till then, enjoy these winning images (click on them to enlarge) and the stories behind them!
Winner: Ramit Dey. Picture caption: From heaven to Earth.
“It is overwhelming to think how much we don’t know of a Universe that stretches over 13.6 billion light years. At the same time we have always pushed our knowledge, driven by curiosity and the pure will to know the unknown. As someone doing astrophysics, questioning everything that I don’t know comes naturally to me. That stirs my curiosity. But sometimes it’s just nice take a break from all the logical thinking and appreciate the pure wonders that lie in front of us. This encouraged me to explore the vast wilderness of our planet. I found love in the mystery and darkness of the night sky thus taking up night photography as a passionate hobby.
This photo was taken at the beautiful Dolomites in northern Italy and as the title suggests, is symbolic of the flow of knowledge, starting from earthly elements (such as the flowers and the mountains) to the vast unknown of the visible Milky Way core and beyond. (Or you can just appreciate the stars and the mountains and the flowers without thinking about anything else!)”
The photo was taken at Tre Cime, Italy in July 2016.
— Ramit Dey, Trieste, Italy.
Second Prize winner: Deepak Sahu. Picture caption: Dragon love.
“This image depicts a uniquely complex mode of reproduction among dragonflies. During mating, the male grasps the female at the back of the head or on the prothorax, and the female curls her abdomen under her body to pick up sperm from the male’s secondary genitalia at the front of his abdomen, forming the “heart” or “wheel” posture — such an apt symbolism for love and procreation.
It’s a pity that loss of wetlands is threatening the population of these beautiful dragonflies around the world.”
The image was shot in October 2015 near the vast wetland of Mangalajodi in Odisha.
— Deepak Sahu, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India.
Joint Third Prize winner (1): Ravi Hegde. Photo caption: Bubbling moments.
“This is one of the most memorable photographs I shot in my life. I was fortunate to capture this exciting moment while an incredible Sand Bubbler was actively engaged in feeding and making tiny sand balls. I lied down for an hour, wetting all my clothes in seawater to capture this very rare moment. The Sand Bubbler tosses the sand bubble in a fraction of a second. Bubblers sieve the micro-nutrients grains of sand and feed on them, and then repack unwanted particles in the form of tiny balls, generally 2-3mm in diameter. During low tides, the intense feeding activity of these creatures makes for beautiful intricate patterns of sand balls on the seashore.”
This photograph was taken at the Dhareshwara seashore, near Honavar, Uttara Kannada district, Karnataka, India in May, 2013.
— Ravi Hegde, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, India.
Joint Third Prize winner (2): Parth Sanyal. Photo caption: Where’s India’s agricultural graph headed?
“This is an aerial view of an agriculture field near Bundelkhand in Uttar Pradesh, India. I took the shot in November 2015. Each year with the adverse effects of climate change becoming more prominent — with droughts, floods and hailstorms — the impact on agricultural produce has been immense. Unpredictable yields have resulted in huge losses and farmer suicides in the country. In front of Nature’s unpredictability, it is anybody’s guess which way this graph is headed.”
— Parth Sanyal, Lucknow, India.