Nature’s Best Award – A Journey From the Wild to the Walls of the Smithsonian

If you are in Washington DC sometime over the next few months, please do take a moment and step into the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Apart from all the other incredible exhibits they have going on, they also have the Nature’s Best Photography Competition Award winning photos on display. I was fortunate to not only win an award at this highly coveted competition but was also fortunate to be there for the opening event and meet fellow winners from around the globe at the awards ceremony in June 2013.

THE STORY behind my Winning Image: This was my first trip to the deserts of northwest India. I was there on invitation to be part of the launch of Saevus Magazine. It was not meant to be a serious wildlife photography trip. Little did I expect to come across a den of a Small Indian Fox. We discovered the den in the morning with the aid of local experts and came back later in the evening when the pups come out to play and soak up the last rays of sunlight before the desert cold sets in. The den was situated not far from human habitation and the pups were acclimated to the presence of humans which allowed me to get fairly close at ground level and get intimate shots of the pups at play.

THE CAMERA: Canon EOS-1D Mark IV; EF 500mm ƒ/4 lens; 1/500 sec at ƒ/10; ISO 320; Hand-held

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Nature’s Best Photography Awards

Dedicated in memory of the accomplished photographer and conservation advocate, Windland Smith Rice, the Nature’s Best Photography Awards has become the premier showcase for natural history imagery, matching extraordinary pictures with passion driven storytelling to inspire as they inform.

THE ENTRIES: More than 20,000 images from nature photographers in 46 countries were reviewed by a Judging Panel made up of experts in photography, science, and conservation. Narrowed down to a selection of 127 award-winning photographs for the awards publication, and 45 for the Smithsonian exhibition, each image was measured by its uniqueness in topic, composition, technical excellence, and its overall appeal.

Category Winners

ANIMAL ANTICS Winner, Bence Máté, Hungary
 AFRICAN WILDLIFE Winner, Ben Cranke, 
ART in NATURE Winner, Sean Bagshaw, 
BIRDS Winner, Philip Marazzi, CONSERVATION Photographer of the Year, Frans Lanting, ENDANGERED SPECIES Winner, Katherine Feng,LANDSCAPE Winner, Mike Reyfman, USA
OCEANS Winner, Joshua Lambus, 
PEOPLE in NATURE Winner, Thomas Haney, PLANT LIFE Winner, Elizabeth Carmel, USA POWER of NATURE Winner, Bruce Omori, USA SMALL WORLD Winner, Simone Sbaraglia, Italy WILDLIFE Winner, Sandesh Kadur, India 
ZOOS & AQUARIUMS Winner, Laurie Rubin, USA YOUTH Photographer of the Year, Joe Sulik

See the Winning GALLERY.

THE PRINTING: The award-winning images were produced with the latest state-of-the-art inkjet printing technology. The pigment-based inks allow for the widest color gamut—and in combination with the precision print head, yield levels of sharpness and detail so the viewer feels like they are part of the actual scene.

PAPER AND FRAMING: True exhibition-quality prints are the result of using the finest printing solutions married with professional grade inkjet papers that are framed and displayed to the highest standards. Special Plexiglass mounting allows the print to seemingly float on the museum wall, adding to the inspiration and visual impact of the image. www.epson.com

Supporting science through the art of photography with innovative printing technology.

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Photo courtesy: ©Gbenga Idowu

If you would like more details about Nature’s Best and the competition, please visit their website

The Nature’s Best Photography concept began with simple yet dynamic goals: to celebrate the beauty and diversity of nature through the art of photography, and to use this far-reaching medium as a creative tool for encouraging greater public interest in outdoor enjoyment and conservation stewardship. The annual Windland Smith Rice International Awards program evolved from this ambitious mission to become one of the most highly-respected and visually compelling nature photography competitions in the world. Approximately 25,000 entries are received and judged each year in the awards competition.

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