Photographers from Mumbai, Navi Mumbai win prestigious UK awardsUpdated: Oct 15, 2020, 02:02 IST
Two photographers from Navi Mumbai and Mumbai won awards at the 56th Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards held in London, in the United Kingdom (UK), on Tuesday. Environmentalist and photographer Aishwarya Sridhar and wildlife photographer Nayan Khanolkar won awards at the Wildlife Photographer Year Awards. Sridhar is the first woman from India and the youngest adult to have won this prestigious award in her category.
Held since 1964, UK’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the British Natural History Museum’s annual competition and exhibition organised with the British Broadcasting Company (BBC). It highlights the unique and beautiful relationship between photography, science and art. The awards are considered the most prestigious wildlife photography awards. This year, there were over 50,000 entries came from more than 80 countries. Of these, 100 images won.
Sridhar, who has been fighting to save Panje from environmental destruction, won the ‘Highly Commended Award’ in the behaviour-invertebrate category.
Sridhar’s photograph of fireflies against star trails, taken at Bhandara in Maharashtra, will also be part of an exhibition at the Natural History Museum and be part of a touring exhibition. “Fireflies get active during a short pre-monsoon period and that was the time I clicked this image. After trekking for an hour, I came across this tree which was lit with fireflies under the starlit sky; it felt like a magical world,” she said.
Khanolkar also won the ‘Highly Commended Award’ in the urban category for his photo of a leopard walking through a Warli tribal settlement inside Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP). This is the second time he’s won an award at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year in the past four years.
“I am thankful to the jury for this prestigious award,” Khanolkar said adding that he had been documenting leopards in and around SGNP over the past eight years. “I have attempted to capture the uniqueness of this landscape where the density of big cats in an urban environment is the highest in the world. What is peculiar about SGNP is that while leopards were always there, gazette records from the British era also documented the presence of tigers in Mumbai. But, while leopards adapted well, the tiger population could not.”
City-based naturalist and conservationist Sunjoy Monga, who received the main award in 1991 and special category awards in other years, said, “This is a well-deserved award, encouraging and inspiring for budding photographers and environmentalists.”