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Photo Contest Winners Offer a Stunning Slice of Life in Nepal

Photo of the year category winner image by Deepak Ratna Bajracharya. Used with permission.

Photo of the year category winner image by Deepak Ratna Bajracharya. Courtesy: Photojournalist Club, Nepal.

During the last week of July, the Photojournalist Club Nepal announced the winners of this year's IME-Global IME Bank Nepal Photo Contest, which gives out the most award money of any photo contest in Nepal. The categories included culture and tourism, daily life, nature and wildlife, Nepal smiles, sports, news, photo story and the photo of the year.

The contest, organised by the Photojournalist Club, attracts a huge number of entries from photographers, both amateur and professional. A total of 6,670 photos under seven different genres were submitted by 811 photographers this year.

Breaking with the norm, a priest and amateur photographer named Deepak Ratna Bajracharya won the photo of the year category with a shot of the immediate aftermath of a devastating earthquake that rattled Nepal in April 2015, leaving thousands dead.

Bikas Rauniar, a former photo editor with Kantipur Publications, echoed the news of Bajracharya's win on Facebook:

Congratulations to the main winner of PJ club photo contest Deepak Ratna Bajracharya, pujari of sankata temple, for being at the right place at the right time and capturing really powerful picture of earthquake !

While many of the awarded pictures showcase the different hues of everyday life in Nepal, in the news category, a gruesome image of a man’s torso trapped in in the rubble of a collapsed building took the first spot. Likewise, dust billowing from the Khokana village stood second in the news category.

Warning: graphic image below. 

A body of a victim lies trapped in the debris after an earthquake hit, in Kathmandu, Nepal April 25, 2015. The shallow earthquake measuring 7.9 magnitude struck west of the ancient Nepali capital of Kathmandu on Saturday, killing around 9,000 people. Image by Navesh Chitrakar. Used with permission.

A body of a victim lies trapped under rubble in Kathmandu, Nepal, on April 25, 2015 after an earthquake hit. The shallow earthquake measuring 7.9 magnitude struck west of the ancient Nepali capital of Kathmandu on Saturday, killing around 9,000 people. Image by Navesh Chitrakar. Courtesy: Photojournalist Club, Nepal.

However, not everyone thinks such images are appropriate. One person tweeted:

Somebody needs to teach journalism to journalists who post images of dead bodies in pools of blood online and on Facebook.

Smoke and dust billow over the sky in Khokana village of Lalitpur district a couple of minutes after Nepal was hit by a devastating earthquake on Saturday, April 25, 2015. [This caption has been abridged.] Image by Rajesh Gurung. Used with permission.

Smoke and dust billow over the sky in Khokana village of Lalitpur district a couple of minutes after Nepal was hit by a devastating earthquake on Saturday, April 25, 2015. Image by Rajesh Gurung. Courtesy: Photojournalist Club, Nepal.

Now, let’s delve into the happy moments captured by the photographers.

Hindu women light oil lamps performing traditional rituals during Bala Chaturdashi festival at the Bajrabarahi temple in Lalitpur, Nepal, on Wednesday, September 15, 2014. 1st in the category culture and tourism. Image by Dinesh Shrestha. Used with permission.

Hindu women light oil lamps performing traditional rituals during the Bala Chaturdashi festival at the Bajrabarahi temple in Lalitpur, Nepal, on Wednesday, September 15, 2014. First-place winner in the culture and tourism category. Image by Dinesh Shrestha. Courtesy: Photojournalist Club, Nepal.

Nepali festivals are Nepal's rich heritage. Among many festivals, this one is the annual Kartik Naach (Dance of the deity Kartik) being staged at Patan Durbar Square. Kartik Naach is a month long traditional dance and drama festival that takes place in the Hindu lunar calendar month of Kartik, which falls in October/November. 3rd in the category culture and tourism. Image by Avash Karmacharya. Used with permission.

Nepali festivals are a part of the country's rich heritage. Among many festivals, this one is the annual Kartik Naach (Dance of the deity Kartik) being staged at Patan Durbar Square. Kartik Naach is a month-long traditional dance and drama festival that takes place in the Hindu lunar calendar month of Kartik, which falls in October/November. Third-place winner in the culture and tourism category. Image by Avash Karmacharya. Courtesy: Photojournalist Club, Nepal.

A girl jumps on top of sewage pipes. 1st in the category daily life. Image by Naresh Shrestha. Used with permission.

A girl jumps on top of sewage pipes. First-place winner in the daily life category. Image by Naresh Shrestha. Courtesy: Photojournalist Club, Nepal.

A woman walks with two children as they make their way from Samzong to Lomanthang. Upper Mustang is a remote and isolated region of the Nepalese Himalayas. The Upper Mustang was a restricted demilitarized area until 1992 which makes it one of the most preserved regions in the world, with a majority of the population still speaking traditional Tibetan languages. Tibetan culture has been preserved by the relative isolation of the region from the outside world. 2nd in the category daily life. Image by Gopen Rai. Used with permission.

A woman walks with two children as they make their way from Samzong to Lomanthang. Upper Mustang is a remote and isolated region of the Nepalese Himalayas. The Upper Mustang was a restricted demilitarized area until 1992, which makes it one of the most preserved regions in the world, with a majority of the population still speaking traditional Tibetan languages. Tibetan culture has been preserved by the relative isolation of the region from the outside world. Second-place winner in the daily life category. Image by Gopen Rai. Courtesy: Photojournalist Club, Nepal.

Women carrying the wooden frame to make the handmade Nepali paper at Sankhu,Kathmandu on Jan.9,2015. Handmade paper production is based on only handmade Nepali paper made from Lokta. Lokta is the raw material for Nepal's most important indigenous paper found at the altitude of 6500 feet to 9500 feet from the sea level. Generally, the paper is used for official and ceremonial purposes, and it has been identified among the 19 major exportable goods of the country. 3rd in the category daily life. Image by Pratap Thapa. Used with permission.

Women carrying the wooden frame to make indigenous handmade Nepali paper at Sankhu, Kathmandu on January 9, 2015. Handmade paper is made from Lokta, a raw material found at an altitude of 6,500 feet to 9,500 feet above sea level. Generally, the paper is used for official and ceremonial purposes, and it has been identified among the 19 major exportable goods of the country. Third-place winner in the daily life category. Image by Pratap Thapa. Courtesy: Photojournalist Club, Nepal.

Peacocks in the Chitwan National Park. 1st in the category nature and wildlife. Image by Ramesh Kumar Poudel. Used with permission.

Peacocks in the Chitwan National Park. First-place winner in the nature and wildlife category. Image by Ramesh Kumar Poudel. Courtesy: Photojournalist Club, Nepal.

Summer Love. 2nd in the category nature and wildlife. Image by Bishop Tamrakar. Used with permission.

Summer Love. Second-place winner in the nature and wildlife category. Image by Bishop Tamrakar. Courtesy: Photojournalist Club, Nepal.

Owls are spotted sitting in hollow nest.3rd in the category nature and wildlife. Image by Bikash Khadge. Used with permission.

Owls are spotted sitting in hollow nest. Third-place winner in the nature and wildlife category. Image by Bikash Khadge. Courtesy: Photojournalist Club, Nepal.

An elderly man has a jovial moment and relishes during a paddy plantation at jitpur fedi, kathmandu. 3rd in the category Nepal smiles. Image by Sulav Bhakta Shrestha. Used with permission.

An elderly man has a jovial moment and relishes at a paddy plantation at Jitpur Fedi, Kathmandu. Third-place winner in the Nepal smiles category. Image by Sulav Bhakta Shrestha. Courtesy: Photojournalist Club, Nepal.

Local children playing football on the roof of a traditional house in Rukum's Taksera Village Development Committee. Since the hilly area with steep land lacks playgrounds, the children use the rooftops as an alternative. 1st in the category sports. Image by Surbindra Kumar Pun. Used with permission.

Local children playing football on the roof of a traditional house in Rukum's Taksera Village Development Committee. Since the hilly area with steep land lacks playgrounds, the children use the rooftops as an alternative. First-place winner in the sports category. Image by Surbindra Kumar Pun. Courtesy: Photojournalist Club, Nepal.

Bird's eye view of two mountain bikers in Muktinath, Mustang. 3rd in the category sports. Image by Umesh Shrestha. Used with permission.

Bird's eye view of two mountain bikers in Muktinath, Mustang. Third-place winner in the sports category. Image by Umesh Shrestha. Courtesy: Photojournalist Club, Nepal.

The top 150 photos of the competition will be put in an exhibition, which will tour five different Nepali cities.

Photos taken from the official press kit of the Photojournalist Club, Nepal.

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