The NiF Photography Awards 2018 were announced at the fifth edition of the Nature inFocus Festival on 8 September in Bangalore.

Pratik Pradhan took home the grand prize of the NiF Photographer of the Year, who also won the Creative Nature Photography category for his image ‘Gulls and Ghosts’.

Check out the photo story below to find out all the category winners, runner ups and special mentions.

'The Hunt' – Anand Nambiar

Winner – Animal Portraits & Behaviour

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A female Snow Leopard launches into another subsequent failed attempt as she chases Ibex downhill at the Ibex Point, near Kibber village. Later that evening, the leopard successfully stalked and killed an Ibex.

'The Sniff-test' – Anjani Kumar

Joint Runner Up – Animal Portraits & Behaviour

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A curious Smooth-coated Otter sniffs at a camera trap set up in the mangrove forests of Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, as her pup stands cautiously a few feet behind.

'Size Does Not Matter' – Ashit Choudhary

Joint Runner Up – Animal Portraits & Behaviour

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Otters are known to be notorious creatures for how they constantly challenge animals way bigger in size. Here, an adult Smooth-coated Otter pulls at the tail of a crocodile in an attempt to move it out of his territory.

'Fireworks' – Mandar Ghumare

Special Mention – Animal Portraits & Behaviour

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A frog pictured against the volcanic-looking reflection of a street light on one of the roads in Matheran, Maharashtra. 

'The Guide' – Aditya Chavan

Special Mention – Animal Portraits & Behaviour

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The photographer trekked 9 km to capture this image of a Yellow-rumped Honeyguide feasting on the larvae and wax of a large bee colony in the village of Mandal near Gopeshwar, Uttarakhand. These unique birds earn their name from how humans use them to track and find massive bee colonies to procure honey. 

'The Lone Journey Home' – Biplab Hazra

Special Mention – Animal Portraits & Behaviour

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Olive Ridley Turtles are one of the most vulnerable turtle species in the world today. But, that does nothing to change the course of nature. Here, we see an Olive Ridley hatchling fall prey to the fatal pincers of a Ghost Crab as the turtle attempts the perilous journey home, at Rushikulya in Odisha.

'Home Alone' – Nikhil B Vatsal

Special Mention – Animal Portraits & Behaviour

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A Pallas's Cat litter take their first cautious steps outside the safety of home, while their mother is out foraging for food. 

'The Monk and the Monkeys' – Shatabdi Chakrabarti

Winner – Conservation Issues

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Shyam Sadhu, a self-proclaimed monk in Uttar Pradesh, regularly feeds hundreds of Rhesus Macaques who are in constant conflict with the local human population due to habitat loss. Even though they are wild, the monkeys have never harmed him. They come in hordes when they see him, have their fill, and then return to the forest.

'Bugger Off!' – Ashit Choudhary

Joint Runner Up – Conservation Issues

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An adult Smooth-coated Otter tries to steer the attention of a pack of street dogs away from its 6-month-old pup on the shores of the Chambal river in Kota, Rajasthan.

'Treat on the Highway' – Nikhil Tambekar

Joint Runner Up – Conservation Issues

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Under the penetrating beams of a truck's headlight, a female leopard and her cub feast on the carcass of a cow knocked down by a speeding vehicle on the Chandrapur – Gadhchiroli highway in Maharashtra. A couple of months later, the leopard was hit by a speeding vehicle on the same highway and succumbed to its injuries.

'Not so Charming' – Pradyut Kumar Das

Special Mention - Conservation Issues

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Celebrated in the month of August, in honour of Goddess Manasa, the festival of Jhapan is observed mainly in the western parts of West Bengal. The occasion is of great significance for snake charmers for whom it is a day to display their snakes. Under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, any form of trapping, snaring, capturing of snakes, and using them for display and entertainment is a criminal offence. Yet, to this day, quite a number of snakes die every year due to such malpractices.

'Amusement in Harassment' – Mandar Ghumare

Special Mention – Conservation Issues

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Live performances involving animals are illegal but publicly organised even to this today. It's all fun and laughter on the outside, but the cruelty inflicted on these animals is often conveniently forgotten.

'Gulls and Ghosts' – Pratik Pradhan

Winner – Creative Nature Photography & NiF Photographer of the Year

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A double exposure shot of seagulls arriving in the early hours of a cold winter morning on the Mumbai coastline near the Gateway of India.

'Sparks' – Jithesh Pai

Runner Up – Creative Nature Photography

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A backlit image of the hairs of a moth caterpillar reimagined as sparks thrown from a fire. 

'Spider on the Moon' – Viraj Ghaisas

Special Mention – Creative Nature Photography

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This image of a spider on a street lamp, waiting in ambush, invites the mind to fantasize of arachnids the size of the moon.

'Stained Glass' – Arjun Cheyyur

Special Mention – Creative Nature Photography

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A close-up of a Wandering Glider dragonfly's wings against a pristine white wall.

'Godswood' – Sitaram Raul

Special Mention – Creative Nature Photography

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This long exposure image of a tree blanketed with hundreds of fireflies seems almost otherworldly. If you look closely, you can spot firefly trails all across the frame.

'Fairyland' – Swaroop Singha Roy

Special Mention – Creative Nature Photography

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A dragonfly perched on a twig, surrounded by fairy lights during the festive season of Diwali.

'The Wrong Door' – Indranil Basu Mallick

Winner – Humour & Wildlife

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An Indian Palm Squirrel pays a surprise visit to two Spotted Owlets who've made a home of a fallen tree over a water canal in the Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan.

'The Three Stooges' – Sourav Mondal

Runner Up – Humour & Wildlife

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Yawn. Dream. Sulk.  This trio of barn owls sure sums up life in three simple expressions. 

'Love thy Neighbour' – Sarosh Lodhi

Special Mention – Humour & Wildlife

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A rare tete-a-tete between two unlikely buddies as a Malabar Giant Squirrel and a Grey Langur share a branch during a harsh summer afternoon.

'Ribbit-Ribbit!' – Manasi Gopinath

Winner – Young Photographer

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A Jayaram's Bush Frog, only slightly bigger than a coffee bean, sits perched deep within the rainforest of Valparai, Tamil Nadu.

'The Eye of the Albatross' – Tanvi Dutta Gupta

Runner Up – Young Photographer

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Close-up of a White-capped Albatross as it glides past a boat off Stewart Island, the southernmost island of New Zealand, with the clean turns and purposeful movements of the bird's characteristic and beautifully understated flight. 

'Trailblazer' – Rajas Rajopadhye

Special Mention – Young Photographer

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A small gastropod snail trails over the exposed vein network of a decaying leaf of a plumeria tree.

'An Odd Duo' – Sitara Karthikeyan

Special Mention – Young Photographer

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This image of a Bonnet Macaque and a Nilgiri Tahr, shot in the ghats of Valparai, Tamil Nadu, shows us how two vastly different species can co-exist in peace and harmony.

'Indian Summer' – Anagha Mohan

Special Mention – Young Photographer

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The Tigress, popularly known as Parwali, play-fight with her cub in the Ramganga river to beat the severe heat in Jim Corbett National Park.

'Fishing at Sundown' – Anjani Kumar

Winner – Wildscape & Animals in Habitat

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A strategically placed camera trap captures a male Fishing Cat in action in the late hours of twilight in Kakinada. The image was shot as part of an assignment for the Fishing Cat Conservancy and the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department to help them in their conservation, awareness and education programmes on the mangrove forests of coastal Andhra Pradesh.

'Spider-mare' – Pratik Pradhan

Runner Up – Wildscape & Animals in Habitat

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The Indian Ornamental Tree Spider is a species of arboreal tarantula found in the Eastern and Western Ghats of India. Usually found very high on tree trunks, this particular individual was found at eye level, allowing the photographer to execute the image the way he previsualized it.

'Eleph-ANTS' – Vipul Gupta

Special Mention – Wildscape & Animals in Habitat

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A herd of elephants cross a rivulet in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, Africa. The aerial image, taken from a low-flying aircraft, exhibits the vast landscape of the Okavango Delta with its stunted trees, rivulets, dried beds of streams and trails of wildlife movements, where one cannot but marvel at the minimal impact humanity has had on it.

'Arachnid Deception' – Mandar Ghumare

Special Mention – Wildscape & Animals in Habitat

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A backlit image of a tiny spider parked in the centre of a leaf in the forests of Badlapur, Maharashtra.

'Undercover in Thar' – Manish Vaidya

Special Mention – Wildscape & Animals in Habitat

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A Toad-Headed Agama breaks camouflage to peep out for a quick scan of its surroundings in the Thar Desert.

'Painted in Watercolour' – Indranil Basu Mallick

Special Mention – Wildscape & Animals in Habitat

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This remote-triggered shot from a submerged camera shows Painted Storks gathering near an island for supper in Bhigwan, Pune.

NiF thanks all its sponsors and partners for making the NiF Photography Awards 2018 a grand success.

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