January and February are peak winter months in the Himalayas. While it is not possible to run treks such as Deoriatal-Chandrashila and Har ki Dun all through the month, other winter treks such as Dayara Bugyal, Brahmatal, Kedarkantha, Kuari Pass and Sandakphu-Phalut saw a lot of action. We also opened up weekend treks such as Nag Tibba and Prashar Lake.
We received close to 400 nominations from trekkers across these treks. Our judges, Arjun Majumdar and Sandhya Chandrasekharayya, had a tough time indeed going through these to nominate the ten best photographs.
Here are the winners for the Trek Photographer of the month for January 2018.
Our judges have picked the top 3 winners. In addition, we also have the Trekkers’ Choice Award for the photograph with the maximum number of votes.
Trek Photographer of the Month
Ashish Manchanda – Dayara Bugyal
This picture not only “shows us a slice of life from a winter trek” but in its solitude it also reflects how unexplored the trek is. Our judges felt this picture is very well composed and tells a great story. Moreover, it doesn’t miss out on small details such as the front of tent and the snow even while the sun is rising from behind the mountains.
First Runner Up
Santhosh – Sandakphu Phalut
Now, Gorkhey is perhaps one of the most photographed places on the Sandakphu-Phalut trek. Apart from, of course, the Sleeping Buddha and the big mountains. But we haven’t seen any picture of Gorkhey that is so dramatic. While Santhosh has done some colour correction on this picture, our judges felt the composition is great and he has used technology creatively and judiciously.
Second Runner Up
Shashank Pandav – Brahmatal
Shashank has also used technology to correct this picture. However, he has made wonderful use of colours and contrast to make this place come alive. The composition is great with perfect placement of the mule.
Trekkers’ Choice Award
Vijay Bagmar – Dayara Bugyal
You reach this pond at Barsu right at the end of the Dayara Bugyal trek. Our judges point out that it “is best captured when there’s a clear reflection of the mountains in it.” They feel the photographer “has timed it perfectly. And he has framed his shot very beautifully, capturing a bit of what life is like at the village of Barsu.”
Jaydip Mehta – Brahmatal
We have seen umpteen pictures of Mt Trishul photographed from the Brahmatal summit. But hardly any of how this majestic mountain looks before you even begin the trek. Our judges feel “it requires a keen eye to spot this view of Mt Trishul and capture it so well”. Especially when you are on the move!
Pavan – Sandakphu Phalut
Everybody knows Sandakphu-Phalut for the views of the world’s tallest mountains. But the forests continue to remain this trek’s most under-rated feature. This picture brings to life these forest trails, which are among the prettiest in India.
Tushar Gupta – Kuari Pass
Arjun and Sandhya have both done the Kuari Pass trek. On seeing this intense picture, they felt “if there’s a picture that immediately makes you want to be at a place, this is it. Shot on the Kuari Pass trek, after a fresh snowfall, the proximity and detailing in the picture transports you right there.”
Yatharth Vibhakar – Dayara Bugyal
This picture of a lone trekker on the snow filled meadows at Dayara invites you to begin a story. In fact, the setting inspired the photographer of this picture to compose music!
Gauthami C V – Brahmatal
Being able to capture such a clear image is rare. This picture “captures the enormity of the mountains. We like that you can see every contour, every flank, every curve, etc.”
Eddy Lim – Kedarkantha
If you had any doubt about how winding the roads can get in the Himalayas, this photograph puts it to rest. It captures everything about the landscape, at the same time telling you what you have stored for you on the trek ahead.
Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!