‘Explore your passion, but also look for meaning’ – Rohit Varma, co-founder, Nature inFocus


Photography is a great hobby, but can also be an effective platform to rally around causes like wildlife conservation, as shown in Part II of our photo essay on this annual nature conference.

PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 235 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festivaltelecom expomillets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.

The fifth nature and wildlife festival Nature inFocus (NiF), being held this weekend in Bengaluru, includes film screenings, the NiF Photography Awards (NPA), and the inaugural Wild Nation photography exhibition (see Part I of our photo essay here).

Together, both exhibitions feature over 120 photographs on the breathtaking beauty of nature and wildlife. The photographs have been taken by professionals as well as wildlife enthusiasts.

NiF co-founder Rohit Varma urges audiences to increase their awareness about nature and the environmental consequences of reckless development. The recent flood disasters in Chennai and Kerala serve as a warning to find balance, said Rohit, in a chat with YourStory.

There are many photography groups and activist organisations engaged in environmental conservation, and Rohit calls for more consolidation and cooperation between them. “Together, we should increase awareness of our impact on nature and collectively work on solutions,” he urges.

The NiF Photographer of the Year award and prizes are a recognition of the photographers’ empathy for nature’s biodiversity. They celebrate creativity in photography along with respect for habitats. Winners will be chosen in the categories of Animal Portraits and Behaviour, Conservation Issues, Creative Nature Photography, Humour and Wildlife, and Wildscape and Animals in Habitat.

Category winners will be awarded a cash prize of Rs. 50,000 and a guided safari tour to a national park of choice in India, while category runners-up will get a cash prize of Rs. 25,000. An additional cash prize of Rs. 50,000 and a trip to the Maasai Mara National Park in Kenya awaits the NiF Photographer of the Year.

Jurors include wildlife photographer Dhritiman Mukherjee, conservation scientist Divya Mudappa, wildlife filmmaker Saravanakumar Salem, wildlife photographer Giri Cavale, and award-winning wildlife photographer Jayaprakash Bojan. The jury curator is NiF co-founder, Kalyan Varma, himself a wildlife photographer, filmmaker and naturalist.

“The NiF conference and exhibition helps photographers, conservationists and enthusiasts to learn from each other and promote nature conservation within the community,” said Rohit. For example, the conference is aiming to be more eco-friendly this year. Future plans include coming up with publications about wildlife conservation, and increasing the profile of the photography exhibitions.

“Explore your passion, but also look for meaning,” Rohit signs off.

Now what you have done today to find that harmony between your work, hobby, and impact on the world?

Rohit Varma, Co-founder, NiF

Got a creative photograph to share? Email us at PhotoSparks@YourStory.com!

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