The nonprofit Sanctuary Nature Foundation, which publishes wildlife and photography magazine Sanctuary Asia, presented the Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards at a virtual ceremony on Saturday.
The first prize went to photographer Pratik Uday Pradhan for capturing a crane fly on a thin twig in Matheran, a hill station near Mumbai. “In the dark of night, Pratik Pradhan watches this little dancer under the steady beam of a torchlight,” the citation for the photograph read. “He adjusts the shutter speed of his camera, and clicks. The cranefly is captured; its body still, its legs a blur of spectral blue waves reminiscent of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights.”
Photographers Sitaram Dinkar Raul and Mousam Ray shared the second prize. While Raul captured a fruit bat framed by a ring of leaves in Maharashtra’s Badlapur, Ray took a picture of crimson sunbird in the petal of a banana flower West Bengal’s Coochbehar city.
The third prize went to Priyanka Rahut Mitra for managing to capture a picture of a leopard preying on a giant squirrel in Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka. “Both mammals display their arboreal prowess,” the citation said. “Then the leopard reaches out, Priyanka Mitra releases her shutter, and the squirrel finds itself in the jaws of death. The picture, made seconds before the climax of the hunt, encapsulates all the drama of the moment, without giving away its conclusion.”