Winners of the 2017 Nature inFocus Photography Awards

The fourth edition of India's premier nature and wildlife photography festival brought together photographers from all over the country whose work highlights India's rich natural heritage and its critical conservation issues.

The results of the 2017 Nature inFocus Photography Awards are in, with the Photographer of the Year Biplab Hazra winning an African safari for his poignant shot of a mother and baby elephant dodging firecrackers thrown by an angry, desperate mob.

Nature inFocus was kind enough to allow us to share the winners and special mentions with you here, from six categories: Animal Portraits and Behaviour, Wildscape and Animals in Habitat, People with Nature, Conservation Issues, Creative Nature Photography, and Young Photographer Award.


Winner - Creative Nature Photography: Pratik Pradhan

Our tiny neighbour - A snail makes its way along a brightly lit city road during the Navratri festival.


Winner - Creative Nature Photography: Ramakrishnan Aiyaswamy

Time to strike - A juvenile Green Vine Snake waiting in ambush in the rainforest. 

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Runner-Up - Creative Nature Photography: Vinayak Mane

Ghostly ballerina - A young tree sways eerily with the wind on a dark and windy night at Dandeli, Karnataka. Shot with a mobile phone.


Special Mention - Creative Nature Photography: Chinmay Macwan

Eye spy - A Skittering Frog basking in the morning sun. Skittering Frogs generally keep their heads above water. This image was taken during the evening when the sunlight hit the water at such an angle creating this sparkles in the water


Winner - Animal Portraits & Behaviour: Manas Sarkar

A final stab - This green vine snake tried multiple times to swallow this kingfisher, but the bird's beak ripped through the snake's throat every time it tried to swallow it. Eventually, the snake gave up, and let go of the bird.


Runner-Up - Animal Portraits & Behaviour: Shantanu Prasad

Black as night - A night-time visitor makes an appearance one night in the spring-summer, when the Eastern Himalayas are bedecked with Rhododendron.


Winner - Young Photographer: Shamshankar Bhat

Love at first bite - Brahminy Kites exhibiting some striking behaviour. 


Runner-Up - Young Photographer: Aditi Rane

Footprints in the sand - A beetle leaves behind an almost artistic rendition of its walk. 


Special Mention - Young Photographer: Shamshankar Bhat

An all-natural diet - A Plum-headed Parakeet poses serendipitously with its food.


Winner - Conservation Issues and NiF Photographer of the Year: Biplab Hazra

Fire and fury - Human-elephant conflict is one of the biggest conservation issues in India. Sometimes the interactions between people and elephants take a violent turn, and both sides suffer casualties. North Bengal is one of the conflict hotspots for elephants in India.


Runner-Up - Conservation Issues: Shreeram MV

Conservation vs. tradition - A White-cheeked Macaque, described to science in 2015, being cooked at a tribal household in Mishmi Hills, Arunachal Pradesh. It had been hunted just a few minutes ago.


Runner-Up - Conservation Issues: Devesh Gadhavi

Circle of life - The critically endangered Great Indian Bustard lays only one egg per year, rarely two. Survival of the chick is bleak due to various threats like powerlines, pesticides, habitat loss, poaching and predation by feral dogs.

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Winner - People with Nature: Jayaprakash Bojan

Coexistence is possible - Singapore is one of the few places where the local wildlife has bounced back because of extensive restoration work. The locals here adore Smooth-coated Otters. They, in turn, are absolutely comfortable with people, and occasionally even pose for a picture on the beach before they hit the sea again.

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Runner-Up - People with Nature: Arkaprava Ghosh

A home for Spotted Owlets - Urban sprawl is one of the major factors contributing to the extensive loss and fragmentation of wildlife habitats. Shown here, the rapidly developing satellite city of New Town in Kolkata, and one of its more unusual inhabitants.


Special Mention - People with Nature: Shreeram MV

A safe haven - This Himalayan Ibex takes a casual stroll along a ridge in the Himalayas. In the background is Kibber Village, one of the highest continuously inhabited villages in the world, in Spiti Valley.


Winner - Wildscape & Animals in Habitat: Sourav Mondal

A streak of burnished red - The elusive Red Panda in its Himalayan broadleaf forest habitat, made increasingly fragile due to human interference. This was photographed at Singalila National Park.


Runner-Up - Wildscape & Animals in Habitat: Varun Thakkar

A spotted perch - A leopard in its typical habitat, the rocky terrain of Pench. This big cat was perched on one of the tall trees in Mowgli's land.


Runner-Up - Wildscape & Animals in Habitat: Santhosh Kumar

Living on the Edge - In the hilly Nilgiri forest of Tamil Nadu, a trio of elephants presented a surprising picture as they navigated the steep incline.