Top 6 Indian Photographers who won prestigious international awards this year

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It is said that a photograph is equivalent to a thousand words, and there’s no denying that photographers are – in their own right – artists who capture the world through lenses. From iconic pictures that document history to bizarre photos that go viral for all their quirkiness, photographers play the triple role of reporters, historians and artists.

Recognising their contribution, there are numerous  accolades around the world. From street photography to wildlife adventures, these prestigious awards are the most coveted honours for a lensman. And 2016 has been a particularly good year for Indian photographers, who have bagged some of the most esteemed honours. From the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year award by the London Natural History Museum to the Getty Images Instagram Grant, our shutterbugs made quite a mark.

A look back at a couple of the winners:

Ronny Sen: For the first time an Indian photographer won the prestigious Getty Images Instagram Grant in 2016. The photo agency and Instagram awarded $10,000 each to Ronny Sen of India and two others – Christian Rodriguez of Uruguay and Girma Berta of Ethiopia – for using the photo-sharing app, for highlighting stories of unrepresented people around the world, including the poor, the elderly and children.

Ronny Sen from Kolkata was honoured for his project “The End”, which highlighted the struggles of people living in Jharia, a coal-rich city that has been on fire for more than 100 years.

Nayan Khanolkar: The 42-year-old Mumbai-based photographer won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition in the ‘Urban’ category defeating almost 50,000 other entrants.

The award-winning picture titled ‘The alley cat’ is a low-angle shot that depicts a leopard looking directly at the camera. The big wild cat is seen walking through the alley in between mud houses and beaming under a bulb. The photographer captured the throbbing image in the Aarey Milk Colony, Mumbai.

Ganesh H Shankar: Bengaluru-based ardent nature photographer Ganesh H Shankar also won in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, in the ‘Birds’ category. His breath-taking picture of a parakeet biting the tail of a Bengal monitor lizard that had attacked its nest mesmerised the world for its perfect timing and complexities in nature. The striking picture titled, ‘Eviction attempt’ was part of series captured in the Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan.

Varun Aditya: Another Indian photographer from Tamil Nadu secured the first position in National Geographic’s the ‘Nature Photographer of the Year Contest’ in the Animal Portraits category for a photo of a snake.

Aditya narrated his adventure journey and how he spotted the green beauty nested in its natural habitat. “A morning stroll into the blissful forest! Ceaseless drizzles dampening the woods for 12 hours a day; The serene gloom which kept me guessing if it was a night or a day. Heavy fog, chilling breeze, and the perennial silence could calm roaring sprits; And there I spotted this 20 cm beauty the Green vine snake!” he said after winning.

Anup Deodhar: Do you know there is a Comedy Wildlife Photography award? Yes, these awards started only in 2015 and celebrates the funny side of wildlife. The pictures up for the serious battle will make you laugh and melt your heart and we assure you there is hardly anything ‘beastly’ about it. Though Deodhar from Pune did not win the award, he, however, secured a position in the Highly commended category.

Prasenjeet Yadav: The nature photographer from Benguluru too made India proud by getting an honourary mention in the National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year 2016 in the Landscape category. Titled ‘Serendipitous Green Meteor’, Yadav captured the ethereal Green Meteor in time lapse over the urban landscape. “Green Meteor’s greenish colour come from a combination of the heating of oxygen around the meteor and the mix of minerals ignited as the rock enters Earth’s atmosphere,” noted the Nat Geo website. The lensman feels he was the “the luckiest photographer on the planet to have capture(d) this phenomenon.”