Indian American Karthik Subramaniam Wins National Geographic’s Annual Pictures of The Year Award
- The San Francisco-based software engineer’s image “Dance of the Eagles” shows a trio of bald eagles battling for a spot on a branch in Alaska's Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve.
Indian American Karthik Subramaniam has won National Geographic’s annual Pictures of The Year award for his photo titled “Dance of the Eagles.’” The San Francisco-based software engineer’s image shows a trio of bald eagles battling for a spot on a branch in Alaska’s Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, the magazine said in a press release. The photo was selected from nearly 5,000 entries across four categories: Nature, People, Places and Animals.
Subramaniam told the magazine that he titled the image “Dance of the Eagles” as a homage to a fictional dragon war in George R.R. Martin’s novel “A Dance with Dragons.” He said he camped out near the shore of the eagle preserve for a week to capture the perfect shot. The magazine said the area hosts the largest congregations of bald eagles in the world every fall when around 3,000 arrive in time for the salmon run.
“Every year in November, hundreds of bald eagles gather at Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve near Haines, Alaska, to feast on salmon,” he told the magazine. “I visited there last two Novembers to photograph them.” He said, “studying their behavior patterns helped me anticipate some of their actions.”
Subramaniam has been photographing landscapes and his travels for years, National Geographic said. He began “experimenting with wildlife photography” in 2020 when he was “grounded by the pandemic.” It was then that he started “scouring local natural reserves and walking the city’s parks in search of birds and other creatures.” When he hears that two bald eagles were nesting on top of an elementary school two hours from home, he told the magazine that he began going there on the weekends, “camping out for as long as it took to capture them flying out to hunt.”
The magazine will feature Subramaniam’s photo in its May issue, “alongside Nat Geo’s leading photographers, and receive a six-month digital subscription to the magazine,” the press release said.