Aditya Viswanathan of Los Alamos has won the NWF’s Ranger Rick International Photo Contest. Courtesy/NWF
Aditya Viswanathan in 2018 in Kenya where his photo of a leopard was his first award winner. Courtesy/PEEC
By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post
Aditya Viswanathan, a 6th grader at Barranca Mesa Elementary School has won his second international photo contest.
The National Wildlife Federation’s Ranger Rick International Photo Competition selected his photo, “Rip-Roaring Cat” showing a jaguar balancing on a branch, that Aditya took while on a trip with his family to the Pantanal, Brazil, the world’s largest wetland, in the summer of 2019.
His photo of a Leopard that he took while in Kenya was the contest winner in 2018.
Aditya is surrounded by family members all talented at taking wildlife photos. His father Hari Viswanathan, who works at LANL, began teaching Aditya photography several years ago.
“He started taking photos when he was 5,” Hari said. “He would see my wife Gowri, my parents and myself taking photos and was interested in doing the same.”
Aditya’s grandmother Selvi Viswanathan was recently featured in the Los Alamos Daily Post as “the woman behind the beautiful bird photos”.
While on that trip to the Pantanal, Aditya and his family went on a safari where they saw jaguars, ocelots, giant anteaters, giant otters, anacondas, macaws, toucans and even a very rare puma.
Aditya enjoys sharing his love of wildlife photography. He gave a presentation last year for the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) at the Los Alamos Nature Center about his photography to encourage other children to try taking photos. He also has written blog posts for PEEC about his photography.
“Aditya really likes taking photos. He likes taking birds at our house and my parent’s house,” Hari said. “Even at a young age, he’s been fascinated by animals and patiently went on safaris in India when he was 6. Since then, he’s been to Africa, Australia and South America. COVID has curtailed our travel for now but there is still plenty of photos to take around Los Alamos. This summer there have been lots of bears in trees, bobcats, deer, etc. More wildlife than usual probably since things are quiet due to the stay at home orders.”
“The National Wildlife Federation believes that when we share our love of wildlife with kids, we can spark a lifelong passion to learn about, explore, and protect our natural world. Ranger Rick, the National Wildlife Federation’s friendly raccoon character, helps children of all ages discover and connect with nature so that they, too, become good stewards of the environment.” –NWF
Learn more about the National Wildlife Federation’s Ranger Rick International Photo Contest here.