It was on the evening of July 4th at Chancery Pavilion, Bangalore.
Nature In Focus team was announcing the winners of their photography contest. Kalyan Varma and Rohit Varma were on the stage.
There were around 25 large prints were put up outside the main hall. We were told that those were the prints of the images that had made to the finals and beyond! I was thrilled to see three of my images there!
The ceremony started and the winning images were displayed on the huge screen on stage. The winning images were indeed amazing!
There was an anxiousness in the atmosphere when the award ceremony started!
Several crossed fingers and numerous eager eyes to see who would get what. None of the invited knew for which award they were called for! That was the secret organisers had guarded so much.
When the category of Animal portraits came, I was called for the 'Special Mention' award for my image of Indian Rhino that I made in Kaziranga few years back.
Next was the turn of Wildscapes. I was called on stage as 'Winner' in the category of 'Wildscapes & Animal in its Habitat', for the image of Alpine Swifts in the backdrop of Unchalli Falls! I was excited!
Then the final moment came - to announce the 'Photographer of the Year'. All fingers crossed again. And then the name was announced - "Ashwini Kumar Bhat, for the image of Wire-tailed Swallow with the reflection of the ripples, titled - 'The Ripple Effect' ".
"Ripple Effect" - Photographer of the Year award
"The Dare Devil" - Winner, Wildscapes & Animal in its Habitat
"Golden Rhino" - Special Mention, Animal Portraits
You can find the rest of the winners in the below page of NatGeo Traveller India.
Another update is that our images of Glowing Fungi from the forests of Western Ghats have found a place in BBC Travel!
Below is the link:
Our original story about these glowing forest floors can be found here:
Hope you enjoy these.