Software Engineer’s Bald Eagle Photograph Wins NatGeo Image Contest

Bald Eagle Stealing Perch at the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve in Alaska

“Dance of the Eagles” by Karthik Subramaniam. Grand Prize Winner.
A bald eagle comes to steal a perch on a tree log that presents a strategic watch of the shoreline at the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve in Alaska. When other eagles drag freshly caught salmon in from the h2o, these bystanders swoop in to just take a share. “Hours of observing their patterns and behavior assisted me seize times like these,” says photographer Karthik Subramaniam, a application engineer with a passion for wildlife photography.

With the information that his picture will be revealed in the May possibly challenge of National Geographic, software program engineer Karthik Subramaniam is residing just about every beginner photographer’s desire. He attained this honor by successful the Nationwide Geographic Image of the 12 months photo contest. His photo Dance of the Eagles was selected by a panel of seasoned Nat Geo photograph editors from among just about 5,000 entries.

The photo, which was taken at Alaska’s Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, is an extraordinary appear at the dynamic in between these birds of prey perched on a tree as they wait to hunt salmon in the river underneath. Subramaniam has frequented the protect twice throughout the once-a-year salmon run, which allowed him to hone in on their behaviors and rituals.

“Studying their behavior styles aided me foresee some of their steps,” he confessed. “For case in point, when an eagle drags salmon to a dry place, other eagles in the region would inevitably fly there to declare their share, and that leads to chaotic action. They also seemed to have some beloved spots to cling out, and generally, commotion ensues when an eagle desires an presently occupied spot. This photo was taken through a single this sort of commotion.”

Subramaniam’s victory is even additional striking for the reason that he only started photographing wildlife in 2020. Though he’s generally been a fan of landscape and journey photography, the pandemic shifted his creativity. Pressured to remain in one spot, he commenced venturing out around his household in San Francisco and cultivated a new enthusiasm.

The time he spent driving to mother nature reserves and ready for the right innovative chances taught him the patience he essential to acquire his profitable photograph. And his victory is just a further illustration of how the oddity of the final quite a few decades also has a silver lining in forcing persons to examine new hobbies.

See far more pictures from the contest with some of the images that were being chosen as honorable mentions. And verify out the full gallery of winners on the Countrywide Geographic web-site.

See some of the finalists from the Nationwide Geographic Picture of the Yr photograph contest.

King Penguins Crowding Together on the beaches of Gold Harbor in South Georgia

Rhez Solano, Honorable Mention
King penguins crowd collectively in the viewfinder of Rhez Solano on the shorelines of Gold Harbor in South Georgia. The island sits in the distant southern Atlantic Ocean, not significantly from Antarctica, and hosts some 25,000 breeding pairs of king penguins, together with gentoo penguins, and elephant seals.

Fagradalsfjall Volcano Erupting

Riten Dharia, Honorable Point out
In Might 2021, the Fagradalsfjall volcano erupted in the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland for the initial time in above six thousand a long time. The lava circulation ongoing for six months, spreading really hard black rock throughout the landscape. It was, says Riten Dharia, who captured this graphic, “an exhibition of the raw and wonderful electricity of character.”

Nomadic Kazakh eagle hunter riding a horse

Eric Esterle, Honorable Mention
Asiilbek, a nomadic Kazakh eagle hunter, preps his golden eagle, Burged, for a horseback hunt in the grasslands outside the house of Bayan-Ölgii, the westernmost province of Mongolia. The eagle’s schooling starts when fledglings are captured from their cliff edge nests and taught how to hunt for hare, fox, and even deer. The custom stretches back 3,000 years.
“For this picture, I was lying on my stomach in the prone posture hunting as a result of the digital viewfinder at the edge of the stream,” claims photographer Eric Esterle. “The floor shook as Asiilbek’s horse passed considerably less than a number of ft away, splashing me with ice chilly water. I remember covering my digicam with my overall body and placing my head down.”

Screech Owl Eating a Gecko

Bruce Taubert, Honorable Point out
Wildlife biologist Bruce Taubert was researching the taking in routines of Arizona’s tiny desert owls when he bought lucky: he discovered a exceptional screech owl next. For many evenings, he photographed the owls carrying foodstuff back to their chicks working with an infrared excursion beam that triggers a higher-speed flash. This owl gathered a Mediterranean gecko on its nightly operate. “Mediterranean geckos are nonnative in Arizona and their distribution is expanding,” Taubert suggests. His theory on how they received there? “It may be that the geckos ended up sent to [nearby] homes by landscape companies bringing in unique plants.”

Tipsoo Lake in Mount Rainier National Park Under the Stars

W. Kent Williamson, Honorable Mention
Often a sleepless night is key to great pictures. At around 3:40 a.m. on a frigid summer morning, photographer W. Kent Williamson snapped this picture from Tipsoo Lake in Mount Rainier Countrywide Park, Washington. From across the nevertheless h2o, he could see a line of headlights as weary climbers approached the peak’s 14,411-foot summit—the fruits of a multi-working day climb. “The night sky was unusually crystal clear, and the Milky Way could be witnessed just higher than the mountain,” Williamson claims. “I was amazed to see how brilliant the climbers’ lanterns were being.”

Crystalized Salt at Maras in Peru

An Li, Honorable Point out
Maras in Peru. The archaeological report demonstrates that salt extraction probable started below before the Inca Empire, perhaps as considerably again as 500 Advert. Right now that custom carries on with the family members who possess wells, each individual of which provides some 400 pounds of salt per thirty day period. “The salt wells acquire drinking water through channels sourced by a salty underground spring close by and the moment the h2o evaporates, the crystallized salt stays,” claims An Li, who captured this picture. “Here, a salt miner is working with a wooden rake to extract the salt.”

Golden Tree in an Austrian Forest

Alex Berger, Honorable Point out
On a street trip by the Austrian Alps, Alex Berger spotted a one particular-lane road that wound into the mountains and looped back on the map. He followed it together with a little stream lined with walls of forest when he noticed this golden tree blooming from in between the trunks. There is “a fantasy-ish motivated dimension for me,” says Berger, “which provides me goosebumps.”

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My Contemporary Achieved granted permission to characteristic shots by Nationwide Geographic.

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