In a competition held by the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPY), Vihaan Talya Vikas, a ten-year-old boy from Bengaluru was awarded the best photographer award for under 10 categories held in London. Vihaan’s photo showcases a view of a spider looking entranced by the sound of Krishna’s flute it was clicked on the city’s outskirts and helped him bag the award. The event also known as the ‘Oscars of Photography’ was organized by the Natural History Museum situated in London which showcases exceptional pictures of wildlife from all over the world. Out of 50,000 pictures submitted, 100 were considered for the competition and 11 were chosen for different categories. The competition this year saw submissions from 95 countries in different categories.
While visiting an ancient tamarind grove just kilometers away from the Bangalore Airport, India, Vihaan came across an ornamental tree trunk spider preventing its prey from escaping with its web while lying on the carvings of Lord Krishna. The picture turned out to look like the spider was entranced by the sound of Lord Krishna playing the flute. This species – a type of orb weaver spider – creates a wheel-shaped web of sticky threads to catch flying insects. As the spider grows, it elongates its web, which entangles anything that lands on it. The patterns on the spider’s back have been known to attract prey while its bright orange belly is thought to startle potential predators.
Vihaan was inspired by his father’s passion for wildlife photography and began his journey at the age of 7 under the guidance of his father.
He likes to use both macro and telephoto lenses in his work. Vihaan enjoys going on safari as well as capturing images of spiders and insects at the nearby parks in Bengaluru. Alongside photography, he’s also interested in studying astronomy.
The young prodigy’s photograph will be showcased in the WPY59 collection and will be presented in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition at the Natural History Museum, which will tour around 25 venues across 4 continents to create awareness about the protection of wildlife. He said, “I am very happy and excited to receive this award. I like doing photography because it helps us think creatively and connect with nature.” Dhritiman Mukherjee, Wildlife and Conservation Photographer and Competition Judge said, “Vihaan’s image served the purpose of art, concept, conservation, and science very nicely.” He also appreciated the young boy’s thought process behind it and the composition of the image.