Indian photographer Nayan Khanolkar image titles 'The Alley Cat' was the winner of Wildlife Photographer of the Year in the Urban section. At night, in the Aarey Milk Colony in a suburb of Mumbai bordering Sanjay Gandhi National Park, leopards slip ghost-like through the maze of alleys, looking for food (especially stray dogs). The Warli people living in the area respect the big cats. Despite close encounters, occasional attacks (a particular spate coinciding with the relocation of leopards from other areas into the park), the cats are an accepted part of their lives, their culture, seen in the traditional paintings that decorate the walls of their homes. The leopard is not only the most versatile of the world’s big cats but possibly the most persecuted. With growing human-leopard conflicts elsewhere grabbing the headlines, Nayan was determined to use his pictures to show how things can be different with tolerance, planning. Once he had convinced the Warli people of his plan, they supplied him with valuable information, as well as keeping an eye on his equipment. Positioning his flashes to mimic the alley’s usual lighting, his camera so that a passing cat would not dominate the frame, he finally – after four months – got the shot he wanted. With a fleeting look of enquiry in the direction of the camera click, a leopard went about its business alongside people’s homes. Nayan hopes that those living in Mumbai’s new high-rise developments now impinging on the park will learn from the Warli how to co‑exist with the original inhabitants of the land. Nayan's equipment includes: Nikon D7000 + 18–105mm f3.5–5.6 lens at 21mm, 1/20 sec at f7.1, three Nikon flashes, Trailmaster infrared triggers , custom-made housing. - © Nayan Khanolkar Wildlife Photographer of the Year - Wednesday 19th October 2016 (1 Picture)
The Alley Cat
At Night, In The Aarey Milk Colony In A Suburb Of Mumbai Bordering Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Leopards Slip Ghost-like Through The Maze Of Alleys, Looking For Food (especially Stray Dogs). The Warli People Living In The Area Respect The Big Cats. Despite Close Encounters, Occasional Attacks (a Particular Spate Coinciding With The Relocation Of Leopards From Other Areas Into The Park), The Cats Are An Accepted Part Of Their Lives, Their Culture, Seen In The Traditional Paintings That Decorate The Walls Of Their Homes. The Leopard Is Not Only The Most Versatile Of The World’s Big Cats But Possibly The Most Persecuted. With Growing Human-leopard Conflicts Elsewhere Grabbing The Headlines, Nayan Was Determined To Use His Pictures To Show How Things Can Be Different With Tolerance, Planning. Once He Had Convinced The Warli People Of His Plan, They Supplied Him With Valuable Information, As Well As Keeping An Eye On His Equipment. Positioning His Flashes To Mimic The Alley’s Usual Lighting, His Camera So That A Passing Cat Would Not Dominate The Frame, He Finally – After Four Months – Got The Shot He Wanted. With A Fleeting Look Of Enquiry In The Direction Of The Camera Click, A Leopard Went About Its Business Alongside People’s Homes. Nayan Hopes That Those Living In Mumbai’s New High-rise Developments Now Impinging On The Park Will Learn From The Warli How To Co‑exist With The Original Inhabitants Of The Land.
Nikon D7000 + 18–105mm F3.5–5.6 Lens At 21mm, 1/20 Sec At F7.1, Three Nikon Flashes, Trailmaster Infrared Triggers and Custom-made Housing.
Photo credit: Nayan Khanolkar/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Supplied by
View All: Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2016
Take a look back at October's inaugural event.
The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.