The Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards 2018
First Prize: Baiju Patil
Death Steppe: A blackbuck fawn sprints across the grasslands of Rajasthan’s Tal Chappar Sanctuary with a Steppe Eagle in determined, aerial pursuit. Photographer Baiju Patil has an uncanny knack for being at the right place at the right time to bring us action-packed images but this one is exceptional on all accounts. The contrast between the colossal wingspan and grasping talons of the raptor and the fragile little fleeing antelope immediately claim the viewer’s attention. But this image is just as illustrative of India’s stunning but neglected grassland habitats that myriad species depend upon. Raw, dynamic… and yes dusty. Examine this picture long enough and you’ll feel the grit in your teeth and the desert heat.