Local Wildlife Photographer Wins National Geographic’s Nature Photographer Of The Year Award
Lots of us take pictures just #forthegram, but this dedicated photographer does it for mother nature.
On Wed (13 Dec), Singaporean-based photographer Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan won the title of Nature Photographer of the Year, .
The award came after this winning photograph was picked among 11,000 other photo submissions:
Photo by @Jayaprakash_bojan | After over 11,000 photo submissions from around the world, our panel of judges has named the 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year! Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan of Singapore is this year's grand prize winner for his stunning shot of an enormous male orangutan, waist-deep in a river, shyly peeking from behind a tree. Our judges were impressed by how the poignant image spoke to the impact deforestation is having on the habitat of this critical endangered species. See all of this year's spectacular award-winning photos at natgeo.com/photocontest (link in profile).
As mentioned, Jayaprakash Bojan’s photograph featured a grown male orangutan, “waist-deep in a river” and “shyly peeking from behind a tree”.
The winning factor of the photo was how the “poignant image” gave an alarming narrative regarding the impact of deforestation on critically endangered animals.
In other words, Mr Bojan’s photo raised awareness on how important rainforests are for animals of all sorts, especially species who are already at risk of becoming extinct.
Imagine children hiding behind their mothers for protection whenever a scary clown or a random stranger shows up. Here, the vulnerable is the orangutan, and his protection, the forest — take that away, what happens next?
Getting down and dirty for the wild
Mr Bojan mentioned as he saw the orangutan enter precariously into the water, he decided to do the same so as to “get a different perspective of this natural history moment”.
No matter how hypebeast a photo opportunity is, willingly entering crocodile-infested waters doesn’t seem like a great idea.
Even though Mr Bojan was hiding behind a tree, the sound of the camera shutter eventually gave his position away which prompted the orangutan to hide before moving away.
The now-Photographer of the Year took 20 to 30 shots, documenting the primate climbing down the tree and crossing the river.
He even waited 2 days for the chance to catch upon this rare moment.
That’s real dedication right there.
Kudos to you Mr Bojan.
Saving animals one picture at a time
They say a picture says a thousand words. Mr Bojan’s photo probably says a thousand more.
In an interview with Channel NewAsia, he explains the story beyond the lens.
It is not typical of an orangutan’s nature to dip itself in a river, let alone cross one where crocodiles are actively hunting.
In Indonesia – where the photo was taken – palm oil cultivation is rapidly expanding, and natural habitats which animals such as this primate live in are slowly disappearing.
This leads to animals taking drastic risks like crossing dangerous rivers in order to survive.
Mr Bojan hopes that the attention brought to this photo would bring more aware to these issues.
Mr Bojan first came to Singapore with his wife two years ago and draws inspiration from the Singapore Zoo — a place that is sometimes undervalued by Singaporeans.
Perhaps in this rapidly urbanising country we should start paying more attention to our wildlife friends.
The title of National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Award comes together with a prize money of above $10,000.
But the true reward for Mr Bojan is the fact that his photo is able to make an impact in improving life for animals.
That in itself is invaluable.
Once again we congratulate Mr Bojan for this remarkable achievement and hope to see many more people with the unwavering dedication as displayed by him.
Feature image from Facebook