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A prestigious fellowship for her skills

Jeevan Chinnappa


Her father got the Royal Photographic Society fellowship a year ago




A photo of an Asian Open-bill Stork by Nikitha.

Mysore: The Royal Photographic Society (RPS) of London has picked N.V. Nikitha from Mysore for a fellowship for her skills in the nature category.

The honour is doubly special for Nikitha because her father, N.T. Vijayakumar, a forest official, who is the Deputy Director of the Chamarajendra Zoological Garden (Mysore zoo), got an RPS fellowship a year ago.

“I would never have become a photographer, but for my father's encouragement,” Nikitha, who has finished her final B.Com examination, told The Hindu.

More than 15 pictures of birds shot by her were sent to the RPS by an agency of the RPS in Bangalore in January 2011. And, on March 23, 2011, she was informed that she had been chosen for the honour.

The distinction that young Nikitha has got is laudable also because only 11 persons in the world are chosen by RPS for it.

This year, of the 11, four from Karnataka have got the RPS honour, and Nikitha is one of them. The other three are Siddarth Malik, Ramu Mastaiah and Hanumantha Ramakrishnaiah.

Mr. Vijayakumar said that Nikitha was only the third woman photographer from the country in the nature category to have won the RPS honour. The others were Devi in the late 1970s and Asha Jaykumar in 2000.

Nikitha attributes her passion for nature photography to her father. When Mr. Vijayakumar was the Assistant Conservator of Forests at Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary in 2003, Nikitha started watching birds.

Then in 2005, she followed it up with bird photography.

There was no stopping her afterwards as she went on a photography spree from 2005 to 2010 touring Hesaraghatta in Bangalore, Attiveri Bird Sanctuary in Haveri district, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary near here, various parts of Kodagu and the Karanja Nature Park here.

About the international recognition for her photography skills, she says, “It is again my father who coaxed me to apply for the international recognition.”

Nikitha has taken the pictures of Asian Open-bill Stork, Black Kite, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Spoonbill, Great Cormorant, Kestrel, Great Thick-knee, Little Egret, Paddyfield Pipit, Little Grebe, Pied Kingfisher, Purple Swamphen, River Tern, Spot-billed Duck and Spot-billed Pelican.

Nikitha, besides pursuing her passion for photography, also wants to take up MBA.

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