Better Photography announces winner of Photographer of the Year 2011

In its seventh year, the competition declares S L Shanthkumar as the winner by the final judge Raghu Rai

BestMediaInfo Bureau
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Better Photography announces winner of Photographer of the Year 2011

In its seventh year, the competition declares S L Shanthkumar as the winner by the final judge Raghu Rai

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | February 3, 2012


After a record breaking 66,782 entries from remote towns, cities all over India, a Photojournalist based in the city of Chennai won accolades as the Photographer of the Year 2011.

Better Photography, one of India's leading photography magazines's much awaited contest, currently in its seventh year declared S L Shanthkumar as the rightful winner by the final judge, the legendary photojournalist and Magnum photographer Raghu Rai .

Working with a leading newspaper, S L Shanthkumar was extremely excited after the win. “I am extremely grateful to Better Photography. Being judged by the best in the industry that appreciates and recognizes your talent is an extremely humbling experience. It was hard work and dedication that persuaded me to concentrate on photography. Achieving a title as the 'photographer of the year' is completely priceless. I am thrilled and honoured.”

As the grand prize, he has won a Canon EOS 7D, among other exciting prizes and earned the title , Canon-Better Photography Photographer of the Year 2011 on a national platform.

The competition was organized by Better Photography India's No.1 photography magazine in sponsorship with title partner Canon along with Associate Partner Canvera and Television Partner CNBC TV18 and the win was celebrated at the gala awards ceremony on 1st February 2012. The award night saw a large presence from both sides of the photography fraternity, the photographers as well as the manufacturers.

Seiji Hamanishi, Group Head, Image Communications Products Group, said,Canon is delighted to support the Better Photography in this endeavor. Opportunities like these assist people to share their thoughts and ideas through photography and Canon salutes these outstanding minds.”

The contest submissions closed on December 31, 2011 and the magazine received a whopping 66,782 entries. The entrants were allowed to participate in multiple themes with a maximum of four entries per theme. For the photo essay, participants could send up to two series of images-each containing a minimum of six and maximum of 12 images.

The chosen eight contestants were from different cities and were flown to Mumbai and each of the eight categories was selected by an esteemed panel of judges.

The winners of the eight categories are as follows:

The Joy of Colour- S L Shanthkumar, Still Life: Obvious Things- Nilesh Bhange, Portraiture: I, Me, Myself- Nirvair Singh, Reflections- Gokul Mudambile , Landscapes: Play of Light-Neelima Vallangi,Wildlife: Animal Behaviour- Baiju Patil ,Life on the Streets- Sudipto Das, Photo Essay: Song of the Road- Vinit Gupta.

The eight contestants had to fight it out in a decisive final face-off that took place from 29th- 31st January 2012 wherein they had the opportunity to shoot the city of Mumbai through their lenses.

According to Raghu Rai, “These awards are a great platform for young photographers. For them, it is important to realize that their photographs must exude freshness, instead of simply duplicating the kind of work they have seen before. The talent India has is spectacular. All we need to do is to channelize it in a better way, and focus our energies to make pictures that are shot straight from the heart.”

Better Photography editor, K Madhavan Pillai said “The number of entries was unbelievable. It's the seventh year for the contest and we are going strong. During the category judging we realized that there is so much untapped talent in the country. We plan to conduct many more opportunities through photography to explore the talent and capabilities of the people of India.”

The curtain raiser of Photographer Of the Year 2012 would be telecasted on CNBC TV18 and would be featured on18th February 2012 at 3:30pm and the final awards show would be telecasted on 19th February 2012 at 5:30pm. The contest was promoted on a large scale through television promotions on CNBC TV18, CNN IBN, Awaaz, CNN IBN, IBN Lokmat, magazine advertisements in Better Photography, Overdrive, T3, Chip, AV Max, Better Interiors, Entrepreneur, Burrp, Noise Factory along with banner ads across web18 sites including , , Ibnlive, Ibn khabar,  and e-mailers to the vast Network 18 database.