“As I photographed the billowing smoke from the prescribed burn with Half Dome in the distance, I knew that it was an iconic image,” said Joan K. Sharma, professor of art. “It represents our changing relationship with our environment and efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change, an urgent topic.”
“I feel honored to receive an award from IPA and grateful for international validation from an international jury of renowned photography experts who judged 14,000 entries from 120 countries,” said Sharma.
The image, taken on May 24, 2021, depicts a prescribed burn below Half Dome on the Yosemite Valley floor. The photo was recently part of the “Controlled Burn: The Wonder and the Worry,” an exhibit featuring Sharma’s works at the Spectrum Art Gallery.
Sharma has previously received IPA awards in 2019 for “Boatman on Ganga” taken in Bhagalpur Bihar State, India and in 2016 for “Hindu Priest, Mahbubani” taken in Bihar State, India. Additionally, she received recognition from Smithsonian Magazine in 2018 for her image “Young Monk with Toy Car,” taken in Punakha Dzong, Bhutan.