July 2022 was all about the Colour Green. And much to our pleasure, we spent the month looking through a few of the greenest landscapes. While some transported us to the heart of the Western Ghats, some took us to the far east, where monsoons had brought out the best hues of green in the hills.
Going through over 1,150 photos was a delight. Yet, choosing the best 11 was the hardest task for us.
Below, we are laying out our Top 11 nominations for the month of July.
We have special prizes for our top 2 photographs:
The winner gets a trek voucher of Rs 5,000.
The First Prize Winner Also Gets This Thoughtfully Designed Backpack by AdventureWorx. It's perfect for day hikes and cycling trips. We especially love that it has suitable compartments to hold two water bottles, a hydration bladder and even a helmet if you're cycling. It also has a laptop compartment making it work-friendly.
The Runner up gets a trek voucher of Rs 3,000
The Runner Up also gets a water purifying bottle, Paany, made by NOK Japan.
Water purifier bottles are hard to find in our country. Yet, here's one that does its job beautifully and is used while trekking and travelling. Paany is a water filter bottle made by NOK, Japan and has recently been launched in India.
We also have a Trekkers' Choice award that you can vote for! The photo that you chose will be the winner! So vote carefully. If your image is nominated, ensure you get your friends to vote for you too. :)
The Trekkers Choice Award gets a trek voucher of Rs 2,000. You can use these vouchers to book any Indiahikes trek in the next 1 year.
You can vote only once, so look at all the entries before you cast your vote at the bottom of the page.
For any queries, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Prasad Varamballi - Valley of Flowers
A bird's eye view of the Valley of Flowers. Picture by Prasad Varamballi
Trekkers mostly look forward to the flowers in the Valley of Flowers. Very few of them recognise the beautiful of the valley itself, with the lovely Pushpavathi river flowing in the heart of it.
We loved this well-composed for the easy leading lines and a good use of the rule of thirds. The focus is completely on the greenery of the valley, which fits right into our theme of Colour Green.
Camera settings - Shutter - 1/1160 | Aperture - 1.8 | ISO - 100 | Focal length - 10mm. (Captured in mobile)
2. Vijay Singh - Miyar valley
Sheep grazing deep in the meadows near Zardong, in Miyar Valley. Picture by Vijay singh.
At Indiahikes, we've always made it clear. If you haven't trekked in Lahaul, then you haven't trekked at all. This picture perfect encapsulates that feeling.
This image is a majestic view of Miyar Valley in the heart of Lahaul. Barren Mountains, broad everlasting green meadows with sheep grazing. even our best photographers have struggled to capture the vastness of the valley in one frame. But here's a photograph that does exactly that, capturing the width, the depth and the grandness of the valley, with ample focus on the foreground, yet capturing the backdrop of the Lahaul hillside as well. It's a frame-worthy shot!
Camera settings - Shutter - 1/1293 | Aperture - 1.8 | ISO - 100 | Focal length - 10mm (Captured in mobile)
3. Siddharth Kejriwal - Pratapgarh Fort Trek
Light and shade in the hills of Satara, Maharashtra. Picture by Siddharth Kejriwal
It's rare to find a picture from the Western Ghats competing and even overpowering Himalayan treks! That is so well done in this picture from the Pratapgarh Fort.
This superiority is down to the photographer's technical skill. We must admit, a lot of credit goes to the editing skills of the photographer as well. He has played beautifully with lights and shadows in this frame, leading to a well-composed picture. We loved the foreground layer of trees and the spotlight on meadows in the background.
Camera settings - Shutter - 1/1000 | Aperture - 8.0 | ISO - 100 | Focal length - 24mm. (Captured in mobile)
4. Subhajit Chakrabarti - Sandakphu Phalut
A post-card perfect shot from Sandakphu. Picture by Sahana Chakrabarti
Falmost every photographer who treks to Sandakphu, the Samanden village is a favourite. And it's not surprising. The village is laid out so harmoniously with the hills around that just looking at it is a pleasure.
But it's not as easy to capture it in a photograph, like this photo has. We loved this shot for the lightplay. The light falling from the right side of the frame, while the rest of the village rests in shade, the perfect composition with the hills in the background and the small homes framed so well in the picture. This beauty is down to the picture's composition. Only a good photographer can achieve this.
Camera settings - Shutter - 1/1200 | Aperture - 1.8| ISO - 100 | Focal length - 10mm. (Captured in mobile)
5. Megha Bhageria - Kudremukh
Halfway to the top of Kudremukh. Picture by Megha Bhageria
Remember the famous windows wallpaper we all had embedded on our desktops? This picture took us back to that shot. True, nothing speaks the colour green like the Kudremukh trek but couples with the right hues of green and blue, this shot is wallpaper-worthy.
Camera settings - Shutter - 1/400, Aperture - 4.5, ISO - 200, Focal length - 18mm.
6. Niladri Sikder - Goechala trek
A trekker accompanied by his four-legged friend while walking from Sachen to Tshoka. Picture by Niladri Sikder.
When it comes to Goechala, most prize-winning entries or nominations are shot from Dzongri or View Point 1. Very few pictures can beat the majestic Kanchenjunga, especially during sunrise or sunset.
But here was a breath of fresh air, the forests of Goechala! To us, this picture took us back to The Jungle Book! It captures the essence of trekking in the forests of the Kanchenjunga National park. It is one of the dreamiest forests, with trails snaking under a canopy of moss-laden trees. With a tad bit of editing, the photographer has really brought the greenery of the forest to life!
Camera settings - Shutter - 1/80 | Aperture - 6.3 | ISO - 200 | Focal length - 18mm.
7. Jigisha Rai - Gidara Bugyal
Cattle grazing in the vast Gidara meadows, just off the Thalotya campsite. Picture by Jigisha Rai
We keep thinking that Gidara Bugyal can never be captured well enough in a horizontal frame, even in a panorama mode. Yet, here's a shot capturing the meadows in all its glory with a vertical shot!
With golden light falling on the green meadows with snow-capped mountains in the background, the photographer has found the exact right moment to capture this shot. The grazing herds make for wonderful subjects, making the photograph more wholesome.
Camera settings - Shutter - 1/1500 | Aperture - 1.8 | ISO - 100 | Focal length - 6mm. (Captured in mobile)
8. Ravi Ranjan - Beas Kund
A campsite on the Beas Kund trek with seven sister peaks and Hanuman Tibba in the backdrop. Picture by Ravi Ranjan.
We especially liked the depth of this picture from Beas Kund, with so many layers interspersed over each other, yet so effortlessly sitting tight in one frame.
In the foreground, you have a lovely flowerbed that you see only in monsoon. In the heart of the photograph, you have the Indiahikes campsite, not too dominating, yet not too docile. Further down you have the Beas River flowing in the heart of the valley. The image is topped off with the terrific snow-capped peaks of the Pir Panjal range, including the massive Hanuman Tibba, which so many mountaineers dream of scaling.
In addition, the brightness, the colours, the bare minimum editing, make it for a beautifully raw shot that shows the trek as is.
Camera settings - Shutter - 1/800 | Aperture - 1.8 | ISO - 100 | Focal length - 10mm. (Captured in mobile)
9. Arun Kumar - Kashmir Great Lakes
A walk through Kashmir's lush valleys. Picture by Arun Kumar
We know the Kashmir Great Lakes trek very well for its lakes. But many don't know that you trek on 5 different green valleys over the course of 7 days. The setting of the meadows with its bright flowers, well-laid trail and glacial waters flowing below is a set taken for endless wallpaper moments.
It is not easy to capture the grandeur of the Kashmir valleys on camera. The photographer has done a terrific job, with great leading lines and depth of field in the photograph.
Camera settings - Shutter - 1/2500 | Aperture - 1.8 | ISO - 40 | Focal length - 5mm. (Captured in mobile)
10. Raghunath Tewari - Warwan valley trek
Camping in the heart of the valley on the Warwan Valley trek - Raghunath Tewari
At Indiahikes, we believe that there are treks. And there's the Warwan Valley trek, in a league of its own. This photograph tells us why.
One of the big reasons, camping on a river delta, where streams criss-cross each other and you camp on an island in the middle of it all. Brown snow-capped mountains tower around you while you sleep in a lush green valley.
What we truly appreciate is the eagle's eye view of the campsite. It takes tremendous effort, to walk such a distance, get to such a height and capture a campsite from such a vantage point.
Camera settings - Shutter - 1/1800 | Aperture - 1.8 | ISO - 200 | Focal length - 5mm. (Captured in mobile)
11. Nirupama Shukla - Buran Ghati
A sunny morning from the Dayara Thatch camp. Picture by Nirupama Shukla.
The Dayara meadows on the Buran Ghati trek are the perfect place to camp. For many, it's their favourite campsite out of all the treks they have done.
This photograph captures one of the reasons why. When you wake up at this camp, and see the sunlight fall directly on the yellow flowers and witness golden grass all around you, it's an eye-watering scene.
Camera settings - Shutter - 1/125 | Aperture - 10.1 | ISO - 100 | Focal length - 24mm.
That brings us to the end of the nominations of our July 2022 Photo Contest. Ensure you leave your vote for your favourite shot in the form below. The photograph with the highest number of votes wins the Trekkers' Choice Award!