Aishwarya Sridhar, the young photographer of fireflies

Aishwarya Sridhar, the wildlife photographer was recently in the news for climbing the ladders of photography when she became the first and youngest woman from India to bag the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year award.

She bagged the award in the Behaviour-Invertebrates category from about 50,000 entries from 80 countries. The wildlife photography competition is London’s Natural History Museum’s showcase for the world’s best nature photography. The 23 year old photographer bagged the award for her “Lights of Passion”, which showcased a posse of endangered fireflies deep inside the Western Ghats. It was in June 2019 that she framed the illumination of the fireflies in the deep greenery of Bhandardara, Maharashtra.

Expressing her delight in getting the award, she wrote in the twitter as saying that it was a big moment for her and also for India. She also said that it was a moment of great pride for being the first youngest girl to win the award in the adult category.

She was born on January 12 1997. Coming from Panvel in Maharashtra, Aishwarya Sridhar was introduced to photography at the age of 12. During her childhood, she used to go with her father in forest treks and clicked photos of the site. The interest of clicking pictures gradually grew in her and ultimately transformed her into a professional photographer.  Not only a photographer, she is also a conservationist that had awarded her the Diana Award in 2019. She is also recipient a Sanctuary Asia’s Young Naturalist Award (2011), International Camera Fair Award (2016), Woman Icon Award (2019), Excellence in Short Film Award for documentary  ‘Panje- The Last Wetland’ at NexGen Short Film Festival (2019) and best Amateur Film Award for documentary ‘The Queen of Taru’ at New York Wildlife Film Festival (2019).

On her interest in fireflies, Aishwarya had once come across an article in the newspaper about their abundant presence in the Western Ghats. She had said that she had trekked about two and a half hours with the help of local residence to reach the sport where fireflies was seen in abundance.

She said that it was a tough time to capture the f glowing fireflies in the dark. She remembers that she felt as if she was standing in a magical world in the midst of the flies.  Aiswarya framed the flies using Canon EOS-1D X Mark II camera and Canon EF16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM lens. She had snapped 27 consecutive photos that were later stitched together.



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