For its fifth edition, the Nature inFocus Festival hosted its first-ever curated wildlife photography exhibition – The Wild Nation – showcasing around 100 images from across the country, curated by the top experts in their field. The Wild Nation is an attempt by NiF to throw light on the colossal beauty of India's rich wilderness and to sound out important conversations on conservation.

The exhibition is divided into five categories, based on the different habitats found around the country. Here, we look at the images curated for the Rivers and Oceans category by Tasneem Khan.

Tasneem is a biologist, educator, photographer and a sailor with a fascination for the natural world. She has spent the last decade facilitating interdisciplinary initiatives in the fields of ecology, conservation, education, science communication and art. She also co-founded ‘EARTH CoLab’.  You can follow Tasneem on Instagram.

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Umeed Mistry

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A wave breaks on the famous Radhanagar beach on Havelock Island. Water presents a boundary between two exceptionally disparate worlds and to most people on this planet, the surface of the sea is where the familiar world ends and a stranger one begins. It may seem that these two worlds are separate, non-interactive spaces, where the goings-on in one has no bearing on the other. On the contrary, nothing is further from the truth. Instead of delineation, water acts as a medium, enabling interaction and exchange between the world above and the one below. Location: Havelock, Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Nanda Kumar

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The Bigeye Trevally (Caranx sexfasciatus) is a schooling species, known to form aggregations consisting of more than 1500 fish. For the photographer, just being able to witness such wonders of nature is in itself a blessing. For him, that's what makes diving obsessive, the way the ocean engulfs you with its beauty. Location: Indian Ocean

Umeed Mistry

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Octopus are prolific on the reefs of the Andaman Islands. This is true of many of the world's tropical reefs where fishing has reduced the reef shark populations. This female, seemingly larger and lighter than the male (octopus can change their colour and stretch or shrink their bodies significantly), took some time to finally accept the advances of her wooer. The smaller, darker brown male on the left of the frame remained persistent. Eventually, she allows him to pass a packet of sperm across to her. This single, shy tentacle that reaches tentatively in the direction of the female until she accepts it can be seen just above the rock that separates the two bobbing, pulsating animals - the only point of contact in this special dance. Location: Andaman Islands

Nanda Kumar

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The Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator) is a reef-associated fish, native to the Indian and Pacific oceans. It has a vibrantly coloured body with alternating stripes in blue and yellow, with a dark stripe across its eye area which resembles a mask and is meant to confuse predators. Huge barrel sponges (Xestospongia muta) usually provide shelter for these colourful fish. Location: Indian Ocean

Umeed Mistry

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Jellyfish propel themselves by pumping water through their bells. Some species can contort their bells into a variety of shapes, thus determining their direction. Location: Palk Bay, Indian Ocean

Rohit Pansare

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The Symphyllia Brain Coral (Symphyllia sp.), popularly known as the Closed Brain Coral, is a type of massive coral species which resembles a human brain. This was photographed during low tide at the Poshitra reef in the Gulf of Kutch. Location: Marine National Park, Gujarat

Bibhav Behera

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This half and half image exhibits two different worlds that are in stark contrast to each other. The overexposed scene of the beach and hut with the faint silhouettes of two people to the right of the frame has been rendered colourless on purpose, representing the effects of human modification, whereas the relatively untouched coral bed beneath is bathed in the rich hues of the ocean. Location: Indian Ocean

Suman Kumar Raju Rudraraju

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The Umngot river flows through Dawki, a small but busy town in the East Jaintia Hills district near the Indo-Bangladesh border. The river is a prime fishing spot for fishermen from nearby areas. Here, suspended against a monochromatic teal background, the boat has so many colours to it; the fisherman completely dressed in blue, the pink bag, a red tub, a brown basket with a net, a yellow cover, a silvery white fish lying on the floor of the boat, a blue-green mug, a fishing stick with bluish-green rope and red life jackets. The water is so clear that when seen from a distance, it appears as if the boat is floating in mid-air. Location: Shnongpdeng Village, Meghalaya

Devendra Gogate

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The beaches along the village of Tarkali are some of the finest in India. Walking along its shore, the photographer spotted a dead starfish washed up on the beach. Once the tide had risen and the photographer got the image he had visualized, some kids who were collecting shells came and collected the starfish too. Location: Tarkali, Sindhudurg

Ritobroto Moitra

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Olive Ridley Turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) are marine creatures, but once a year, the females of the species come ashore to lay eggs. In India, most of the nesting and the egg-laying process takes place in three places along the coastline of Odisha - namely Gahirmatha, Rushikulya and the Devi river mouth. This image was shot at the Rushikulya river mouth which is the second largest rookery in India and the third largest in the world. Location: Rushikulya, Odisha

Jaidevsinh Rathod

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Mudskippers are amphibious fish that are quite active when out of the water; they can even jump as high as one foot above the ground. Photographed on the tidal flats in the Balachadi area of Jamnagar, this peculiar fish can be found in large numbers in these mangrove patches. Location: Jamnagar, Gujarat

Saurabh Satish Naigaonkar

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The Indian Bullfrog (Hoplobatrachus tigerinus) is the largest Indian frog; it can grow up to 6 inches in length. During the breeding season, the male bullfrogs turn yellow in colour and sport bright blue vocal sacs. Bullfrogs usually inhabit holes and bushes near permanent bodies of water. Location: Chandrapur, Maharastra

Kallol Mukherjee

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The wetlands of Mangalajodi are home to a huge number of resident birds and attract thousands of migratory birds every year. A birder's paradise, here in the image you can see two resident birds, the Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) and Ruff (Calidris pugnax), and the Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) which is a migratory bird. Location: Mangalajodi, Odisha

Sachin Rayal

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On the banks of River Ganges; right beside the cremation ground, alongside thousands of people bathing, worshipping and washing clothes was this nonchalant Pond Heron (Ardeola grayii), going about her business as she worked to fill up on her food for the day. Location: Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Samyak Kaninde

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The Kali river is the lifeline to millions throughout the state of Karnataka. Here, in this image, the photographer contrasts the monk-like patience of an egret against the fast-moving rapids of the river. Location: Kali River, Dandeli

Anu Marwah

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The golden hue of the rising sun transformed the river into a shimmering body of gold, casting the similarly hued wildcat in a dark shadow. A tributary of the River Ganges, the Ramganga flows through the Corbett landscape and plays a crucial role in shaping the biodiversity of the park.
Location: Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand

NiF thanks all its sponsors and partners for making The Wild Nation a grand success.

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