Joint Third Prize: Raman Kulkarni
Featherweight, Heavyweight: Along a forest path to a butterfly mud-puddling spot in Parpoli village, Sindhudurg, Raman Kulkarni came across a small pile of feathers and fragile bones that once belonged to a Yellow-browed Bulbul. On closer examination, he realised the feathers were moving, being ferried away by an army of red weaver ants. The delicate detail of the feather, arranged like the extravagant plume of a hat, its quill in the iron grip of the insect, and the fine focus, all come together to make a remarkable image of one of Nature’s macro-titans – the ant. Interestingly, entomologists are still unsure of why ants collect feathers. They theorise that it could be a source of food, with the ants eating the bird tissue that clings to the calamus, or that it could be a water-harvesting device used to collect morning dew!
LOCATION: Parpoli forest, Sindhudurg, Maharashtra DETAILS: Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Lens: Canon MP-E65 mm. f/2.8 1-5x Macro, Aperture: f/16, Shutter speed: 1/100 sec., ISO 100, Focal length: 65 mm.