Month: September 2010

Photography for Environmental Awareness

Inviting Entries for the Srushti Mitra Award

The Srushti Mitra Award, instituted by the Environment Department, Government of Maharashtra, and managed by Centre for Environment Education seeks to promote environmental awareness and  to recognize the most inspiring, creative entries in various categories (click here for award details). The awards include a citation and honorarium (ranging from Rs 1000 to Rs 10000 in various categories).

Photographs can be powerful tools for social change. They have led to outrage against war and mobilization to fight pollution, to realizing the wonders of nature.

Some organizations use photographs as a major campaigning method. For example, the Blue Earth Alliance believes that “The link between compelling documentary photography and our collective motivation to change attitudes, behaviour, even policies – is strong”. Blue Earth has helped raise almost a million dollars for important issues such as lack of open public spaces, disappearing traditions of fishermen, the role of grandmothers in AIDS-ravaged Africa etc.

Sanjay Sondhi, who gave up his career in a multinational engineering company to pursue his love for nature photography, especially of butterflies, moths and other insects, says, “The excitement of capturing the hidden mysteries of nature with the click of a shutter has given me a lifetime of pleasure! And equally thrilling is the sharing of photos with friends afterwards!”

Photography requires patience. Sanjay describes a typical experience, “The butterfly flitted by and settled on a flower. Up came my camera, as I slowly approached the magnificently coloured insect. I lined up myself to photograph, I squeezed the shutter, and off it flew! A blank shot! How many times have I been through this! The hits and the misses. The thrill of capturing nature on film (and now in pixels) and sharing them with people who have not been so fortunate has given me (and hopefully, others) a lifetime of pleasure.”

Even though he is now a regular writer for newspapers and magazines, Sanjay says his photographs help him convey what his words cannot. He says, “Nature photography is the balm for the concrete-lined eyes of today’s urban world!”

Photo: Small Leopard in Meghalaya by Sanjay Sondhi

Inspired? Send your entries for the Environment Photographs category in the Srushti Mitra Award before 30 September 2010

For more details: The Srushti Mitra blog