After a week of open voting for favourites, and selection by a global jury of Nature Research editors and designers, we are ready to roll out the verdict of the Nature India Photo Contest 2020.
The photographs have been judged for their adherence to this year’s theme ‘pandemic’, for their creative thinking, quality and print worthiness.
The winner of the Nature India photo contest 2020 is:
for his powerful composition ‘Sampling immunity’, which has a child in the middle of the COVID-19 triangle, and symbols of the virus and the protective mother on either sides.
In Partha Paul’s words: “A health worker collects blood sample from a child in Kolkata, West Bengal as part of a sero survey to determine prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in populations. In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, these surveys were conducted to determine what part of a population had developed antibodies. This was the first day of antibody tests in Kolkata’s Belgachia slum, one of the worst affected by COVID-19. This child, seen here with her mother, came from a ‘red zone’ where the government had enforced maximum containment measures.”
The second prize goes to:
for his striking picture ‘Immersive innovation’, which makes a beautiful juxtaposition of faiths — of religion and of science.
Amitava Chandra says, “The annual Durga Puja festivities end with the immersion of the gods’ idols in river Hooghly, a tributary of the Ganges. Every year thousands of people take part in the idol immersion processions. Following COVID-19 restrictions, the festival organising committees created temporary water bodies to ‘immerse’ the clay-made idols by dissolving them with high power water jets, like in this picture taken at the Tridhara Sanmilani Puja Pandal, Kolkata on 26 October 2020. The benefits were two-fold – no processions, and no pollution of the Ganges’ waters.”
The third prize winner is:
for his imaginative picture ‘Migrant trouble’, which captures in the eyes of a child the threat of the pandemic symbolised by the ‘gun’ of the thermometer.
“Sending millions of migrant workers from across Indian cities back to their hometowns became a herculean task for the Indian government during the COVID-19 lockdown. This little girl boarded a train of migrant workers hoping to return home with her family. Unaware of the pandemic and what it means, she looks on with amazement at a healthcare worker in protective gear measuring her temperature with a thermal gun at the Howrah train station in West Bengal, India.”
Many congratulations to the winners!
The winners of the Nature India photo contest 2020 will get cash awards ($350, $250 and $200 respectively). They will receive a copy of the Nature India Annual Volume 2020 and a bag of goodies from Nature Research. One of the winning entries also stands a chance of being featured on the cover of a forthcoming print publication.
A special mention for all our other finalists (Deepak Kumbhar, Nila Nandi, Sandip Sarkar, Aishwarya Nilakhe, Sourav Karmakar, Anindya Chattopadhyay), whose pictures portrayed various aspects of the pandemic’s socio-cultural impact. These pictures will linger in our memories for a long time.