Nature is brimming with gorgeous flora and fauna species, and wildlife photography has lent us humans a way to witness the beauty of natural world through animal behavior and more. There are plenty of wildlife photography competitions that bring stunning views into perspective and harsh reality of the wild. Recently, the nonprofit Sanctuary Nature Foundation – which publishes wildlife and photography magazine Sanctuary Asia – presented the Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards 2020, and they are gorgeous.
Pratik Uday Pradhan won the first prize for his photograph of a crane fly on a thin twig in Matheran, a hill station near Mumbai. Photographers Sitaram Dinkar Raul and Mousam Ray shared the second prize for capturing a fruit bat framed by a ring of leaves in Maharashtra’s Badlapur and a picture of crimson sunbird in the petal of a banana flower West Bengal’s Coochbehar City, respectively. The third prize went to Priyanka Rahut Mitra for capturing a picture of a leopard preying on a giant squirrel in Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka.
Here are some of the most applauded pictures of the Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards 2020.
A female Crimson Sunbird finds itself in a spectacular bathtub in the unfurled petal of a banana flower. Droplets fly as it splashes and frolics in the collected dew.
Image: Mousam Ray
A cranefly alights on a slender twig and begins its signature undulations – its slender legs are hollow and though it has wings, it is more inclined to just drift with wind currents.
Image: Pratik Uday Pradhan
A fruit bat is momentarily framed by a ring of leaves – these nocturnal creatures control insect populations, disperse seeds, and perform jaw-dropping stunts.
Image: Sitaram Dinkar Raul
A dozing leopard springs after a giant squirrel, chasing it around the trunk of a tree – both mammals display their arboreal prowess.
Image: Priyanka Rahut Mitra
An Indian Eagle-owl unwittingly turns air carrier as it is mobbed by an audacious Black Drongo. This action portrait is a stunning and amusing analyses of two brilliantly charismatic species.
Image: Mayur Shinde
The body of an Indian rock python lies by the railway line that cuts through the Buxa Tiger Reserve; its beautifully patterned scales still gleam as flies feast on its carcass.
Image: Pushpal Goswami
Photographed in its iridescent splendor is a flower chafer beetle clinging to the tendril of plant in Bengaluru. The bug mostly feeds on the pollen and nectar of flowers.
Image: Ashok Kallagunta
Captured on a new moon night in the outskirts of Mainaguri town in West Bengal, the countryside comes alive with the neon signals of Lampyridae fireflies. The photographer captured the trails of both earthly creatures and heavenly bodies by ‘stacking’ a series of shots taken from one point into a single, ethereal image.
Image: Tarak Chakraborty
An old and a young Olive Ridley turtles shuffle into the waves during the mass nesting and mass hatching on Odisha coast.
Image: Tarak Chakraborty
This picture conjures up images of enchanted woodland creatures. The flutter of a moth’s wings as it hovers above a troop of mushrooms.
Image: Mandar Ghumare
Perched on a rock out of sight, a snow leopard seems to be calculating the risk of hunting this oblivious Himalayan ibex. The characters of predator and prey in the wild are crucial cogs in the natural machinery.
Image: Shiv Kumar
A school of silverside fish, glistening in the sunset, was captured just below the surface of water in the Maldives. The artistically balanced contrast between the darkening skies and the gleaming fish make a wonderful sight to behold.
Image: Umeed Mistry
These two Kelaart’s leaf-nosed bats were captured flying out of an ancient temple in Hampi, Karnataka. The image glorifies the incredible architecture of this underground temple, as well as the bats.
Image: Yashpal Rathore