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Stark and stunning images from the 2018 Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition

Stark and stunning images from...
Animal portrait runner-up: Luminous, Bluebottle (Physalia utriculus), by Matty Smith – an eerie image of a bluebottle, also known as a man o’war
Animal portrait runner-up: Luminous, Bluebottle (Physalia utriculus), by Matty Smith – an eerie image of a bluebottle, also known as a man o’war
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Overall winner: Hide and Seek, by Tracey Jennings – a school of fish flee predators underneath Arborek Jetty in Raja Ampat, Indonesia
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Overall winner: Hide and Seek, by Tracey Jennings – a school of fish flee predators underneath Arborek Jetty in Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Animal portrait winner: Northern leaf-tailed gecko (Saltuarius  cornutus) by Igor Mikula – a gecko blends in with its surroundings near Lake Eacham, Queensland, Australia
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Animal portrait winner: Northern leaf-tailed gecko (Saltuarius  cornutus) by Igor Mikula – a gecko blends in with its surroundings near Lake Eacham, Queensland, Australia
Animal portrait runner-up: Luminous, Bluebottle (Physalia utriculus), by Matty Smith – an eerie image of a bluebottle, also known as a man o’war
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Animal portrait runner-up: Luminous, Bluebottle (Physalia utriculus), by Matty Smith – an eerie image of a bluebottle, also known as a man o’war
Animal behavior winner: Black-fronted dotterel (Elseyornis melanops), by Dan Giselsson – A pair of dotterels caught in a compromising position
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Animal behavior winner: Black-fronted dotterel (Elseyornis melanops), by Dan Giselsson – A pair of dotterels caught in a compromising position
Animal behavior runner-up: Play fighting, Western grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus), by Georgina Steytler – Young kangaroos engage in friendly fisticuffs
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Animal behavior runner-up: Play fighting, Western grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus), by Georgina Steytler – Young kangaroos engage in friendly fisticuffs
Animal habitat winner: Enchanted, White’s Seahorse (Hippocampus whitei), by Matty Smith – Low evening sunlight streams in behind a White’s Seahorse
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Animal habitat winner: Enchanted, White’s Seahorse (Hippocampus whitei), by Matty Smith – Low evening sunlight streams in behind a White’s Seahorse
Animal habitat runner-up: Runner-up: Dune run, Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae), Josh Tagi – a pair of emus out on a jog
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Animal habitat runner-up: Runner-up: Dune run, Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae), Josh Tagi – a pair of emus out on a jog
Botanical winner: The refuge, Red mangroves (Rhizophora stylosa), by Andy Lewis – a school of tropical anchovies swims among red mangrove roots, in a sheltered corner of Lizard Island Lagoon, near the Great Barrier Reef
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Botanical winner: The refuge, Red mangroves (Rhizophora stylosa), by Andy Lewis – a school of tropical anchovies swims among red mangrove roots, in a sheltered corner of Lizard Island Lagoon, near the Great Barrier Reef
Botanical runner-up: Pandani in blizzard, Pandani (Richea pandanifolia), by Raoul Slater – snow falls on a giant grass tree in Waldheim, Tasmania
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Botanical runner-up: Pandani in blizzard, Pandani (Richea pandanifolia), by Raoul Slater – snow falls on a giant grass tree in Waldheim, Tasmania
Landscape winner: Early elation, by Dylan Fox – the sun rises over Bluff Knoll in Western Australia
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Landscape winner: Early elation, by Dylan Fox – the sun rises over Bluff Knoll in Western Australia
Landscape runner-up: Broken dreams, by Ben Goode – the aftermath of fires through the Adelaide Hills, made more eerie by the fog settling in
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Landscape runner-up: Broken dreams, by Ben Goode – the aftermath of fires through the Adelaide Hills, made more eerie by the fog settling in
Monochrome winner: Junction falls - after, by Peter Hill – a rainy afternoon turns Junction Falls in the Blue Mountains from a trickle into a torrent
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Monochrome winner: Junction falls - after, by Peter Hill – a rainy afternoon turns Junction Falls in the Blue Mountains from a trickle into a torrent
Monochrome runner-up: Light dappled billabong, by Richard Wylie – a turtle swims overhead in the Upper Orara River, as sunlight streams through the leaves above it
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Monochrome runner-up: Light dappled billabong, by Richard Wylie – a turtle swims overhead in the Upper Orara River, as sunlight streams through the leaves above it
Junior winner: Running Wombat, Common wombat (Vombatus ursinus), by Floyd Mallon (aged 16) – startled by the photographer, a wombat takes off
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Junior winner: Running Wombat, Common wombat (Vombatus ursinus), by Floyd Mallon (aged 16) – startled by the photographer, a wombat takes off
Junior runner-up: Hell’s gate, by Fionn Holyoak-Roberts (aged 16) – a geothermal spring at Hell’s Gate Geothermal Park in Rotorua, New Zealand
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Junior runner-up: Hell’s gate, by Fionn Holyoak-Roberts (aged 16) – a geothermal spring at Hell’s Gate Geothermal Park in Rotorua, New Zealand
Our Impact winner: Left Behind, Kangaroo (Macropus sp.), by Ben Goode – a kangaroo is an unfortunate victim of the Adelaide Hills fires, highlighting how fast these disasters can take hold
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Our Impact winner: Left Behind, Kangaroo (Macropus sp.), by Ben Goode – a kangaroo is an unfortunate victim of the Adelaide Hills fires, highlighting how fast these disasters can take hold
Our Impact runner-up: City Slicker, White’s seahorse (Hippocampus whitei), by Justin Gilligan – a food wrapper drifts past a White’s seahorse in Sydney Harbor
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Our Impact runner-up: City Slicker, White’s seahorse (Hippocampus whitei), by Justin Gilligan – a food wrapper drifts past a White’s seahorse in Sydney Harbor
Threatened Species winner: Maybe 2 in a 1000, Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), by Matty Smith – Two newly-hatched, critically-endangered Hawksbill turtles have achieved their first major life goal of reaching the water
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Threatened Species winner: Maybe 2 in a 1000, Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), by Matty Smith – Two newly-hatched, critically-endangered Hawksbill turtles have achieved their first major life goal of reaching the water
Threatened Species runner-up: Turtle Reflection, Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), by Johnny Gaskell – a green sea turtle pays a visit to snorkellers off Heron Island, Queensland
19/22
Threatened Species runner-up: Turtle Reflection, Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), by Johnny Gaskell – a green sea turtle pays a visit to snorkellers off Heron Island, Queensland
Portfolio Prize winner: Ribbon Dancer, Threadfin pennantfish (Alectis ciliaris), by Matty Smith – a juvenile threadfin pennantfish, with long blue fins trailing almost a meter behind it
20/22
Portfolio Prize winner: Ribbon Dancer, Threadfin pennantfish (Alectis ciliaris), by Matty Smith – a juvenile threadfin pennantfish, with long blue fins trailing almost a meter behind it
Portfolio Prize winner: Cross Dresser, Giant cuttlefish (Sepia apama), by Matty Smith – Three male cuttlefish surround what they think is a female of the species, but it’s actually another male disguised as a female
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Portfolio Prize winner: Cross Dresser, Giant cuttlefish (Sepia apama), by Matty Smith – Three male cuttlefish surround what they think is a female of the species, but it’s actually another male disguised as a female
Portfolio Prize winner: Australian Sea Lion Family Portrait, Australia sea lion (Neophoca cinerea), by Matty Smith – This intimate family portrait was snapped after other snorkelers had left and the sea lions had grown comfortable with the photographer’s presence
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Portfolio Prize winner: Australian Sea Lion Family Portrait, Australia sea lion (Neophoca cinerea), by Matty Smith – This intimate family portrait was snapped after other snorkelers had left and the sea lions had grown comfortable with the photographer’s presence

The winners of the 2018 Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year have been crowned. The competition is designed to celebrate the natural beauty of Australia and surrounding regions, such as New Zealand, Antarctica and New Guinea, and includes some stunning shots of animals going about their business as though we aren't there – as well as some stark reminders of the impact humans are having on the world.

The winning photograph, named "Hide and Seek," was snapped by Tracey Jennings during a dive under Arborek Jetty in Raja Ampat, Indonesia. The monochrome image captures the moment a huge school of fish, startled by a predator, began to flee in a silvery swarm.

Overall winner: Hide and Seek, by Tracey Jennings – a school of fish flee predators underneath Arborek Jetty in Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Overall winner: Hide and Seek, by Tracey Jennings – a school of fish flee predators underneath Arborek Jetty in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

"I love how the light plays through the fish, and how it really describes the essence of the feeling I experienced when below the jetty where life and death plays around you," says Jennings.

The photo was selected from among 2,288 submissions, along with winners and runners-up in 10 categories such as Animal Behavior, Landscape, Junior – for budding photographers under the age of 18 – and Our Impact, which highlights human presence on the natural world.

Animal behavior runner-up: Play fighting, Western grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus), by Georgina Steytler – Young kangaroos engage in friendly fisticuffs
Animal behavior runner-up: Play fighting, Western grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus), by Georgina Steytler – Young kangaroos engage in friendly fisticuffs

The Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition is owned by the South Australian Museum. All of the finalists will be on show at the South Australian Museum in Adelaide until November 11, and at the Australian Museum in Sydney until January 28, 2019.

Explore the rest of this gorgeous collection in the gallery.

Source: Australian Geographic

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