KATHMANDU, Oct 30: In the 7th annual nature and wildlife photography competition organized by Wildlife Conservation Nepal (WCN), photojournalist Keshab Thoker of Nepal Republic Media Pvt Ltd has been awarded the grand prize for his photo which captures a majestic peacock taking flight.
Photojournalist Thoker has been awarded with Rs 40,000 cash prize as well as other gifts and packages in kind. The 7th annual photography competition was a part of a bigger and first of its kind nature and wildlife photography festival in Nepal, ‘Nature through Lens’, organized to mark the beginning of WCN’s 10 years in photography.
The photography competition saw submission from 124 different photographers. The entries were judged by a panel of four judges consisting of photographers Raj Bhai Suwal, Mani Lama, Nripa Dhoj Khadka and Hari Bangsha Kirant. Apart from the grand prize winner, entries were also selected for four other categories.
Photographer Deepak Tolange was awarded for the category of landscape and human interaction with nature, photographer Aman Shrestha was awarded in the flora category whereas photographers Sunny Thapa and Sumit Shrestha won the fauna category and the macro category respectively. Winners in these categories were awarded with a cash prize of Rs 10,000 each along with gifts and packages in kind.
The winning photographs as well as the top 50 entries were exhibited today in an outdoor exhibition held at Hanuman Dhoka in Basantapur Durbar Square on Wednesday. The exhibition also included three iconic wildlife photographs taken by Late Dr Pralad Yonzon, a world renowned biologist of Nepal who lost his life two years ago on October 31, in a bicycle accident.
The grand prize winning photograph by Photojournalist Keshab Thoker. (Keshab Thoker)
“We brought the Nature and Wildlife Photography program to WCN 10 years ago believing that conservation needs awareness and interest from people of all walks of life. We believe that photography is the medium that can bring people closer to nature,” says Program Manager Sanjeevani Yonzon. This genre of photography is also not much explored in Nepal and through similar events, WCN hopes to change that.
Apart from the photography competition, the festival also included programs such as photography trainings, photo safari, photo sharing and photo walks which were held from October 21 in different venues of the Kathmandu valley as well as in Chitwan. Along with promoting nature and wildlife photography, the objective of this festival is also to raise funds for modest conservation activities at local level.
For instance, the top 10 photographs will be used in greeting cards, which will be sold to raise funds for scholarships for children living around national parks and other protected areas of Nepal as well as to support young researchers to carry out studies on urban wildlife, WCN informed.
The photography exhibition will continue till November 2 at Kathmandu Durbar Square.