Always looking for innovative ways to bring new opportunities to photographers, TPOTY has partnered with the charity Elephant Family and Cutty Sark blended Scotch whisky to add an exciting additional prize to the 2011 awards.
The winner of the ‘Wild Moments’ One Shot category will be offered the opportunity to undertake a commission on behalf of Elephant Family in Valparai in Southern India. And Cutty Sark has generously stepped in to fund the commission with a £1,000 commission fee, which the winning photographer can choose to take or donate to Elephant Family.
TPOTY will, together with Elephant Family, fund the winning photographer’s trip to India. On the prize commission, the photographer will spend time with the lead conservationist on this project and with the people who work on the plantation. They are likely to encounter herds of wild elephants, along with an array of local wildlife which includes; tigers, bison, monkeys, the lion tailed macaque and several species of deer.
A selection of the best images from this shoot will be exhibited during TPOTY’s 2012 exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in London next June, July and August. They will also be made available as limited edition prints, the proceeds from which will be shared between Elephant Family and the winning photographer.
Elephant Family, the UK’s biggest funder of Asian elephant conservation, is a young yet hugely ambitious charity which was founded to help save the endangered Asian elephant from extinction in the wild, along with tigers, orangutans and all the other animals who share their habitat. The charity has recently partnered with the Nature Conservation Foundation in the Anamalai Hills of southern India to enable people and elephants in this area a safe existence.
Anamalai means “elephant hill”, as this region has historically been an elephant stronghold. Yet much of their forest home has been cleared for commercial tea, coffee, and cardamom plantations, which now chequer the landscape, particularly on the Valparai Plateau. Here, herds of wild elephants can be seen regularly crossing through the plantations in order to reach the new forest feeding grounds.
We at TPOTY have admired the innovative work of Elephant Family for a number of years, and its spectacular Elephant Parade was one of the highlight attractions of summer 2010 in London. As its work with migration corridors now starts to bear fruit, both for the elephants and other migratory species, it is great to be able to support this fantastic charity. This year’s ‘Wild Moments’ category provides the perfect opportunity for a photographer with a keen interest in the natural world to contribute to the preservation of the Asian elephant in the wild using their photographic talents. In turn TPOTY will showcase the work of the winning photographer in a special feature during our London Olympic year exhibition. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the photographer to showcase their work from a paid commission, and we would like to thank Cutty Sark for their generous support and Elephant Family for making it all possible.
Ruth Powys, Director, Elephant Family says, “Elephant Family are jumping for joy at the news that a TPOTY winner will be photographing this magnificent endangered animal next year! Asian elephants are the least photographed species of elephant, as they live deep in the jungles and are much harder to spot than their Savannah dwelling African cousins. To know that the winner of one of the world’s most prestigious photography awards will capture these amazing creatures and, along with our vital conservation work, help to turn the situation around, is hugely heartening. We send an elephantine thank you to both Cutty Sark and TPOTY.”