Yashpal Rathore won the top honour – Nature inFocus Photograph of the Year – for his stunning shot of a bat frozen in flight against the urban sprawl of Bengaluru.

'The Dark Knight' – Yashpal Rathore'The Dark Knight' – Yashpal Rathore
news Photography Awards Thursday, September 03, 2020 - 18:14

The Nature inFocus Photography Awards have always generated an impressive catalogue of imaginative and artistic images, and this year it is no different. Yashpal Rathore won the top honour – Nature inFocus Photograph of the Year – for his stunning shot of a bat frozen in flight against the urban sprawl of Bengaluru. The image won the top prize in the Wildscape & Animals In Habitat category. 

The ongoing pandemic meant that the annual Nature inFocus Festival had to be skipped this year, and instead the 5-member jury along with jury curator and Nature inFocus co-founder Kalyan Varma, presented the winning images ‘live’ on YouTube.

For the first time in the history of the competition, a Special Jury Award was awarded to a participant. Swedish photographer Magnus Lundgren became the first winner of the award, whose work won three awards on the night and made it to the final round of judging in all categories for adults.

Sitara Karthikeyan won the Young Photographer title.

'Dust To Dust' – Sitara Karthikeyan

Ganesh Chowdhury won the Animal Portraits category, Magnus Lundgren won the Animal Behaviour category, Nayan Jyoti Das won the Creative Nature Photography category, and the Conservation Issues category was won by Srikanth Mannepuri. 

'The Last Stand' – Ganesh Chowdhury

'The Hitchhiker' – Magnus Lundgren

A Mirage In The Night' – Nayan Jyoti Das

'Circle Of Death' – Srikanth Mannepuri

Submissions for this year’s awards closed on May 31 and about 14,000 images were received from more than 1600 competing photographers. The Awards receive a diverse set of images every year and the latest edition saw entries come in from Sweden, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom and from other parts of the world.

The Nature inFocus Photography Awards honours shutterbugs documenting unique natural history moments and critical conservation issues.

The photography contest accepts entries from both adults (above 17) and young photographers (17 years and under). Winners are chosen in the categories of Animal Portraits, Animal Behaviour, Conservation Issues, Creative Nature Photography, and Wildscape & Animals in Habitat. Open to those who are 17 and under, the ‘Young Photographer Award’ puts the spotlight on passionate young talent.

Category winners will be awarded a cash prize of Rs 50,000, while category runners-up will get a cash prize of Rs 25,000 and second runners-up will get Rs 10,000.

An additional cash prize of Rs 50,000 awaits the ‘Nature inFocus Photographer of the Year.’ All winners and runners-up are also entitled to a certificate and a trophy.

The winners this year were chosen by a 5-member jury comprising wildlife photographer Dhritiman Mukherjee, conservation scientist Divya Mudappa, senior journalist Prem Panicker, wildlife photographer Jayanth Sharma, and biologist and photographer Tasneem Khan. The jury curator was Nature inFocus co-founder, Kalyan Varma who is a wildlife photographer, filmmaker and naturalist.