Canadian photographer Thomas Vijayan from Kerala bagged the title of Nature TTL Photographer of the Year 2021. As the winner in the ‘Animal Behaviour’ category, he won a whopping 1,500 pounds. In fact, he beat more than 8,000 entries. Vijayan’s extraordinary picture – The World Going Upside Down – is winning hearts on the internet for the right reason. His photo of the Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) shows us a unique perspective of this species’ existence.
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The Bornean Orangutan spend their lives swinging in treetops. Their the heaviest tree-dwelling animal on the planet. Moreover, they feast on wild fruits that they come across during their swinging adventures. Unfortunately, this beautiful species is part of the Endangered animal list with over 41,000 of them surviving to date. Since they thrive on treetops, extreme deforestation over the years has posed a threat to their lives.
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On his experience on shooting The World Going Upside Down, Vijayan shared, “I had this frame in my mind so firstly, so to get this shot, I firstly selected a tree that was in the water so that I can get a good reflection of the sky which can make the image look upside down, then I climbed up on the tree and waited for hours. This is a regular path for the orangutans to cross to another small island so I was sure to get this frame if I wait patiently. Hence I waited and waited for long and finally, I got this beautiful frame.”
The frame is purposely meant to confuse people. At the same time, it perfectly captures the beauty of the beast.
The rest of the winners in other categories are as follows. Get ready to be mesmerised by nature.
Under 16 Category – ‘Spoilt for Choice’ by Thomas Easterbrook
Wild Portraits Category: ‘Sleepy Polar Bear’ by Dennis Stogsdill
Urban Life Category: ‘Winged Family Members’ by Kallol Mukherjee
Underwater Category: ‘Manta Space Ship’ by Grant Thomas
The Night Sky Category: ‘The Eye’ by Ivan Pedretti
Small World Category: ‘Dance of the Termites’ by James Gifford
Landscapes Category: ‘Tree of Life’ by Jay Roode
Camera Traps Category: ‘Silhouetted Wood Mouse’ by John Formstone