WIPA 2017—The Journey & the Judges

 

The Wildlife India Photography Awards 2017 was initiated seeking to recognise and reward talent in wildlife photography from the country. It has been quite an exhilarating time with the contest, to say the very least. We, at Better Photography have been overjoyed with the enthusiasm at the response for this endeavour from photographers from around India.

WIPA 2017 invited photographers to submit their best Indian wildlife photographs in two categories. The Open Category invited entries from across the board, while the Emerging Photographer of the Year Award invited photographers aged 27 or younger to send in a portfolio of images for consideration. What was at stake? A chance to visit Kenya and experience an all-expenses-paid Wildlife Photography Masterclass with the best in their field!

After receiving almost 7000 entries from across the country, we invited a panel of wildlife photographers to bring their expertise to select and declare the nominees and winners. Here’s a look a the esteemed jury panel for the two rounds of judging that took place.

On 20th March, Kedar Bhide, Nirbhay Patil and Kedar Bhat carefully considered all the entries and selected the Nominees that would go to the next round.

Kedar Bhide

Photograph/Kedar Bhide

Photograph/Kedar Bhide

Kedar Bhide

Kedar Bhide

He is a herpetologist, wildlife and nature photographer who has dedicated his efforts towards furthering conservation of wildlife with a special focus on snakes, through his research, photography and awareness programs.

 

 

Kedar Bhat

Photograph/Kedar Bhat

Photograph/Kedar Bhat

Kedar Bhat

Kedar Bhat

He is an editorial and wildlife photographer, who has taught several workshops on advanced wildlife photography.

 

 

 

Nirbhay Patil

Photograph/Nirbhay Patil

Photograph/Nirbhay Patil

Nirbhay Patil

Nirbhay Patil

He is a passionate wildlife and nature photographer who has travelled to several parts of India, and has been part of the jury for several wildlife photography competitions across the country.

 

 

 

After an intense session of critical examination the judging panel was done and selected the Nominees of WIPA 2017. All nominees were asked to send in their RAW images for verification and proof of ownership. After which, 160 photographers from the Open Category and 22 from the Emerging Photographer of the Year category. These participants were in contention for the final round of judging which took place on 30th March, the day before the winners would be declared at the Wildlife India Forum 2017. Meet the judges for the final round:

Dhritiman Mukherjee

Photograph/Dhritiman Mukherjee

Photograph/Dhritiman Mukherjee

Dhritiman Mukherjee

Dhritiman Mukherjee

He is one of the most prolific wildlife photographers in India today. He is the Co-founder of Saevus, a nature and wildlife magazine, where he also serves as the Head of Photography and a conservationist who has travelled across the length and breadth of India, as well as several places abroad, covering endangered and challenging species. He prefers being on the road photographing, rather than being in a city!

 

Nayan Khanolkar 

BIG CAT IN MY BACKYARD! Photograph/Nayan Khanolkar

BIG CAT IN MY BACKYARD! Photograph/Nayan Khanolkar

Nayan Khanolkar

This wildlife photographer is an educator, researcher, conservationist who uses photography as a tool to get his message about conservation across. He was an avid bird photographer for over 15 years before the leopards in urban areas caught his attention. Since then he has photographed big cats for many years now, winning accolades along the way. His image ‘The Alley Cat’ won the Urban Category in BBC’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year in 2016 and he most recently won the second prize in the Nature category of the World Press Photo Awards.

After yet another intense session of judging, the two photographers came to their decisions, and the wait is finally over.

We reveal the Top 100 in the Open Category, Top 10 Honorable Mentions in the Open Category, The Top 4 Honorable Mentions in the Emerging Photographer of the Year Category and the winners!

The Better Photography Wildlife India Photography Awards 2017 was presented by Toehold and Panasonic, in association with HP and Magical Kenya.

Tags: Awards, photography, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography, WIPA, WIPA 2017