Nature India | Indigenus

Announcing winners of NI Photo Contest 2017

In keeping with our annual tradition of heralding the new year, we are happy to announce the winners of the Nature India Photo Contest 2017.

The winners of the fourth edition of this photo contest have been chosen after over a week of unprecedented activity on the Indigenus blog and our social media channels (Facebook and Twitter ), and brainstorming by a global Nature Research jury.

The photographs have been judged for their adherence to this year’s theme ‘Grand Challenges’, for their creative thinking, quality and print worthiness. They were also rated in part on the engagement they received on social media.

Taking top spot amidst some tough competition, here’s the winner of the Nature India photo contest 2017:

Deepak Bhau Kumbharfrom Maharashtra, India

for his image ‘Just one world that provides a superb analogy for the greedy consumption of the world’s limited resources by humans.

In second position is:

Ricky Patel from West Bengal, India with his hard hitting photo ‘Cleaning up my abode’ — a poignant reminder of how humans plunder the earth for their own selfish needs.

The third prize is jointly shared by:

Avinash Surendran  from Bengaluru, India for ‘Children of the Sun’ that celebrates human practicality and ingenuity in finding real solutions to challenges.


Dipankar Ghosh from Minnesota, USA for his arresting image ‘Fishy tales’ that beautifully humanises the depletion of our seas.

Congratulations to all the winners! These images will be featured in the Nature India Annual Compendium 2017 and also stand a chance of becoming cover material for one of our forthcoming publications. All winners will receive a special bag of goodies from the Nature Research team soon.

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 rather tough theme ‘Grand Challenges’ 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. We wish you a very happy new year!

Winner: Deepak Bhau Kumbhar. Picture caption: Just one world.


Deepak Bhau Kumbhar

Deepak Bhau Kumbhar

Deepak Bhau Kumbhar

“These beautiful caterpillars face severe competition from one another, trying to nibble into a single piece of leaf. That’s what is happening to mankind – we are greedily consuming the world’s limited resources. It is time we realise that soon there won’t be enough left for all of us. Though that realization has dawned among many, out of sheer habit we continue to nibble into the same leaf.

I am a science teacher at a high school, passionate about micro wildlife photography. I photograph nature’s amazing creations and show them to my students with various messages.”

— Deepak Bhau Kumbhar, Maharashtra, India.

Second Prize winner: Ricky Patel. Picture caption: Cleaning up my abode.


Ricky Patel

Ricky Patel

Ricky Patel

“Can we please use biodegradable material or adopt safer waste disposal practices, at least inside the national parks? My friends and I living in the Ranthambore National Park (Rajasthan, India), have a hard time cleaning up after careless tourists .” This Royal Bengal Tiger, with a plastic bottle in its mouth, would probably say something similar if it could speak to you. Incessant use of non-biodegradable polymers makes a mockery of our national programme of ‘Clean India’, even in highly protected zones.

— Ricky Patel, West Bengal, India

Joint third prize winner: Avinash Surendran. Picture caption: Children of the Sun.


Avinash Surendran

Avinash Surendran

Avinash Surendran

“Enough sunlight hits the earth in an hour to power it for a year. Why aren’t we using this resource enough? Even five years ago, powering homes or industries using solar power would be considered a billionaire philanthropist’s dream. However, in the last five years, the cost of solar energy has fallen by a fifth, making it cheaper than fossil fuels in many countries around the world. The story of solar energy is not just about sunlight. Its success includes sound technology, innovation and the political will to solve the grand challenge of cheap sustainable energy. It is a story of democratization of energy and leaving the planet a better place for our children. The next generation should inherit this energy from the sun – they should be the children of the sun.

This photo was taken from the terrace of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore. I am a PhD student there and contributed to the installation of a solar rooftop power plant which offsets the energy usage of the entire institute, while providing cheaper electricity than that available from the grid. This photo for me is symbolic of the opportunity we have in solving the problem of cheap sustainable energy for all.”

— Avinash Surendran, Bengaluru, India.

Joint third prize winner: Dipankar Ghosh. Picture caption: Fishy tales.


Dipankar Ghosh

Dipankar Ghosh

Dipankar Ghosh

“A dramatic increase in population and climate change are depleting global natural resources at an alarming rate. Fishermen on the Puri coast in Odisha, India depend on the ocean’s natural resource for their livelihood. But meeting daily targets of fish haul to earn a living is often a big challenge.”

— Dipankar Ghosh, Minnesota, USA.


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