We hunters are nothing if not connected to nature. And thanks to the 9th Annual iPhone Photography Awards, non-hunters know it, too, as this hunting image just received grand-prize honors as the top iPhone pic for 2016. As noted by Sporting Classics Daily, the compelling image of a falconer shown nose-to-beak with his blindfolded companion certainly is not the typical hunting shot, which may be how it stood out amongst thousands of entries worldwide.
Taken by Siyuan Niu of Xinjiang, China, with an iPhone 5s, the photo, titled “Man and the Eagle” portrait, shows a 70-year-old Khalkha, a Mongolian ethnic group, with his golden eagle. The pair lives and hunts in the Tianshan Mountains south of Xinjiang. In capturing the connection between the man and the eagle, Niu shows there is no doubt we humans are dependent on one another and on our natural resources for survival as he connects us to that moment.
Designed to encourage iPhone and mobile photography, the photo contest drew submissions from 139 nations. Awards were given to four overall winners and first, second and third prizes in 19 categories, including travel, animals and portraits. In describing any given photo submission, contest founder Kenan Aktulun says, “It feels like a warm invitation from someone sharing a slice of their life experience.”
That’s just what we hunters try and do as we share our stories with our non-hunting friends. Maybe we can aspire to tell the next one through such a photo.