The Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards 2018
Certificate of Merit: Surya Ramachandran
Shortcut Through Saspotse: At the edge of a village named Saspotse in Ladakh, a snow leopard winds its way through the ruins of an old Buddhist gompa to reach its kill. After spending over a year walking high cliffs in the company of trackers Tsewang Norbu and Stanzin Farma, Surya Ramachandran came to the realisation that the only time snow leopards are easy to observe is when they’re settling down to eat. So when the trio received news that a dzo had been killed on the outskirts of Saspotse, they reached the site at the crack of dawn. For their effort, they were rewarded with an entire day in the snow leopard’s company. He retreated to the high cliffs to loll during the day, and then returned to the kill via this unexpected shortcut at dusk. Ramachandran’s lovely, minimalistic frame shows an animal in its prime, extraordinarily handsome and enigmatic.