Photography

Down Under delights in the Aus Geo Nature Photographer of the Year Awards

Down Under delights in the Aus...
Shortlist - Animal Behavior. Dance at Dawn. Wallaby (Macropodidae), Cape Hillsborough National Park, Queensland. Sony A7RIV, Sony 24–105 G OSS, 1/1600, f/9, ISO 100, handheld
Shortlist - Animal Behavior. Dance at Dawn. Wallaby (Macropodidae), Cape Hillsborough National Park, Queensland. Sony A7RIV, Sony 24–105 G OSS, 1/1600, f/9, ISO 100, handheld
View 28 Images
Overall Winner. Leafy Night. Leafy seadragon (Phycodurus eques), Second Valley, South Australia. Olympus OMD EM1 Mk II, 60mm macro, 1/250, f/22, ISO 100, Olympus strobes, underexposed to highlight details in the appendages
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Overall Winner. Leafy Night. Leafy seadragon (Phycodurus eques), Second Valley, South Australia. Olympus OMD EM1 Mk II, 60mm macro, 1/250, f/22, ISO 100, Olympus strobes, underexposed to highlight details in the appendages
Winner - Animal Portrait. A White-Capped at sunset. White-capped mollymawk (Thalassarche cauta), Foveaux Strait, Stewart Island, New Zealand. Nikon d750, Nikon 80–400mm f/4.5–5.6, 1/640, f/7.1, ISO 800, handheld
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Winner - Animal Portrait. A White-Capped at sunset. White-capped mollymawk (Thalassarche cauta), Foveaux Strait, Stewart Island, New Zealand. Nikon d750, Nikon 80–400mm f/4.5–5.6, 1/640, f/7.1, ISO 800, handheld
Runner up - Animal Portrait. Howling at the Moon. Eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus), Woolgoolga NSW. Canon EOS 5D Mk II, Canon EF 70–200mm f2.8L IS USM, 1/60, f/2.8, ISO 4000, handheld, manual exposure and manual focus
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Runner up - Animal Portrait. Howling at the Moon. Eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus), Woolgoolga NSW. Canon EOS 5D Mk II, Canon EF 70–200mm f2.8L IS USM, 1/60, f/2.8, ISO 4000, handheld, manual exposure and manual focus
Winner - Animal Habitat. Tree Dreaming. Galah (Eolophus roseicapillus), Strzelecki Desert, South Australia. Canon T4i, Canon 135mm, 1/250, f/10, ISO 200
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Winner - Animal Habitat. Tree Dreaming. Galah (Eolophus roseicapillus), Strzelecki Desert, South Australia. Canon T4i, Canon 135mm, 1/250, f/10, ISO 200
Runner up - Animal Habitat. Stilted Reflections. Pied stilt (Himantopus leucocephalus). Bremer Bay, Western Australia. Canon EOS-1D X Mk III, Canon EF 100–400mm f/4.5–5.6L IS II USM, 1/1000, f/8, ISO 1600, handheld
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Runner up - Animal Habitat. Stilted Reflections. Pied stilt (Himantopus leucocephalus). Bremer Bay, Western Australia. Canon EOS-1D X Mk III, Canon EF 100–400mm f/4.5–5.6L IS II USM, 1/1000, f/8, ISO 1600, handheld
Winner - Botanical. Ghost Mushrooms. Ghost mushroom (Omphalotus nidiformis), Belanglo Forest, New South Wales. Canon 70D, Sigma Art, 30, f/3.2, ISO 6000
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Winner - Botanical. Ghost Mushrooms. Ghost mushroom (Omphalotus nidiformis), Belanglo Forest, New South Wales. Canon 70D, Sigma Art, 30, f/3.2, ISO 6000
Runner up - Botanical. Swamp Secrets. Mullinger Swamp Conservation Park, South Australia. Olympus OM-D E-M1, Olympus 40–150 Pro 100mm, 1/1000, f/9, ISO 200, tripod
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Runner up - Botanical. Swamp Secrets. Mullinger Swamp Conservation Park, South Australia. Olympus OM-D E-M1, Olympus 40–150 Pro 100mm, 1/1000, f/9, ISO 200, tripod
Runner up - Landscape. Beneath the Surface. Ningaloo Reef, Coral Bay, Western Australia. Sony A7Rii, 16–35mm f/2.8 G Master lens , 1/250, f/14, ISO 500, 2 x Inon z330 strobes, Nauticam housing
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Runner up - Landscape. Beneath the Surface. Ningaloo Reef, Coral Bay, Western Australia. Sony A7Rii, 16–35mm f/2.8 G Master lens , 1/250, f/14, ISO 500, 2 x Inon z330 strobes, Nauticam housing
Winner - Landscape. Forest of Reflection. The Lakes, Dalyellup, Western Australia. Canon 7D Mk II DSLR, Canon EF 17–40mm f/4L USM, 1/80, f/4, ISO 100, handheld
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Winner - Landscape. Forest of Reflection. The Lakes, Dalyellup, Western Australia. Canon 7D Mk II DSLR, Canon EF 17–40mm f/4L USM, 1/80, f/4, ISO 100, handheld
Winner - Monochrome. Incoming. Omeo, Victoria. Sony A7Riii, Sony 24–105mm f4 G OSS, 1/250, f/11, ISO 100, tripod
10/28
Winner - Monochrome. Incoming. Omeo, Victoria. Sony A7Riii, Sony 24–105mm f4 G OSS, 1/250, f/11, ISO 100, tripod
Runner up - Monochrome. King of the Cape. Palm cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus), Cape York, Queensland. Canon 1DX Mk II, Canon 800mm f5.6L IS, 1/1250, f/6.3, ISO 2000, handheld
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Runner up - Monochrome. King of the Cape. Palm cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus), Cape York, Queensland. Canon 1DX Mk II, Canon 800mm f5.6L IS, 1/1250, f/6.3, ISO 2000, handheld
Winner - Threatened Species. Declining Species. Grey nurse shark (Carcharias taurus), Exmouth, Western Australia. Olympus EM1 Mk II, 8mm fisheye, 1/200, f/6.3, ISO 250, Olympus strobes
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Winner - Threatened Species. Declining Species. Grey nurse shark (Carcharias taurus), Exmouth, Western Australia. Olympus EM1 Mk II, 8mm fisheye, 1/200, f/6.3, ISO 250, Olympus strobes
Runner up - Threatened Species. In the Shadows. Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), Maria Island, Tasmania. Canon 1DX Mk II, Canon 200–400mm f4L IS USM 362mm, 1/1000, f/5.6, ISO 3200, handheld
13/28
Runner up - Threatened Species. In the Shadows. Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), Maria Island, Tasmania. Canon 1DX Mk II, Canon 200–400mm f4L IS USM 362mm, 1/1000, f/5.6, ISO 3200, handheld
Runner up - Animal Behavior. Dreaming. Veined octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus), Lembeh Strait, Indonesia. Canon EOS 7D Mk II, Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 macro USM, 1/160, f/14, ISO 100, Sea & Sea YS-D2 strobe with Retra snoot, Easydive Leo III housing
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Runner up - Animal Behavior. Dreaming. Veined octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus), Lembeh Strait, Indonesia. Canon EOS 7D Mk II, Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 macro USM, 1/160, f/14, ISO 100, Sea & Sea YS-D2 strobe with Retra snoot, Easydive Leo III housing
Winner - Animal Behavior. Next Generation. West Australian seahorse (Hippocampus subelongatus), Perth, Western Australia. Nikon D850, Nikkor 60mm macro, 1/200 sec, f/13, ISO 320, 2 x Inon Z240 strobes, Nauticam NA-D850 underwater housing with macro port, handheld
15/28
Winner - Animal Behavior. Next Generation. West Australian seahorse (Hippocampus subelongatus), Perth, Western Australia. Nikon D850, Nikkor 60mm macro, 1/200 sec, f/13, ISO 320, 2 x Inon Z240 strobes, Nauticam NA-D850 underwater housing with macro port, handheld
Runner up - Junior. Cockatoo. Sulphur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), North Narrabeen, New South Wales. Nikon D7200, 18–300mm, 300mm, 1/3200, f/9, ISO 1250, handheld
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Runner up - Junior. Cockatoo. Sulphur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), North Narrabeen, New South Wales. Nikon D7200, 18–300mm, 300mm, 1/3200, f/9, ISO 1250, handheld
Winner - Junior. You Can't See Me. Lichen huntsman (Pandercetes gracilis), Daintree National Park, Cape Tribulation, Queensland. Nikon D750, AF-S Nikkor 24–120mm, 1/60, f/4, ISO 900, handheld
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Winner - Junior. You Can't See Me. Lichen huntsman (Pandercetes gracilis), Daintree National Park, Cape Tribulation, Queensland. Nikon D750, AF-S Nikkor 24–120mm, 1/60, f/4, ISO 900, handheld
Winner - Our Impact. A wildlife officer measures one of two blue-tongued lizards found bound and stuffed inside a DVD player.
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Winner - Our Impact. A wildlife officer measures one of two blue-tongued lizards found bound and stuffed inside a DVD player.
Runner up - Our Impact. A Columbus crab finds shelter in a plastic bag of face masks
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Runner up - Our Impact. A Columbus crab finds shelter in a plastic bag of face masks
Winner - Portfolio. Tracks. Southern Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. Fuji GFX 100, GF 110mm f/2, 1/2700, f/4.5, ISO 160, handheld, captured from a Cessna 210 at 2000 feet
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Winner - Portfolio. Tracks. Southern Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. Fuji GFX 100, GF 110mm f/2, 1/2700, f/4.5, ISO 160, handheld, captured from a Cessna 210 at 2000 feet
Winner - Portfolio. Mangrove Dieback. Southern Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. Fuji GFX 100, GF 110mm f/2, 1/750, f/5.0, ISO 200, handheld, captured from a Cessna 210 at 1500 feet
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Winner - Portfolio. Mangrove Dieback. Southern Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. Fuji GFX 100, GF 110mm f/2, 1/750, f/5.0, ISO 200, handheld, captured from a Cessna 210 at 1500 feet
Winner - Portfolio. Balance. Bynoe Harbour, Northern Territory. Fuji GFX 100, GF 110mm f/2, 1/2500, f/5.6, ISO 320, handheld, captured from a Cessna 210 at 2000 feet
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Winner - Portfolio. Balance. Bynoe Harbour, Northern Territory. Fuji GFX 100, GF 110mm f/2, 1/2500, f/5.6, ISO 320, handheld, captured from a Cessna 210 at 2000 feet
Shortlist - Animal Behavior. The Blowtorch. Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), North Head, entrance to Sydney Harbour, New South Wales. Canon EOS-1D X, Canon f/4.5–5.6L IS II USM 100–400mm 300mm, 1/1250, f/7.1, ISO 500, handheld from a boat
23/28
Shortlist - Animal Behavior. The Blowtorch. Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), North Head, entrance to Sydney Harbour, New South Wales. Canon EOS-1D X, Canon f/4.5–5.6L IS II USM 100–400mm 300mm, 1/1250, f/7.1, ISO 500, handheld from a boat
Shortlist - Animal Behavior. Dance at Dawn. Wallaby (Macropodidae), Cape Hillsborough National Park, Queensland. Sony A7RIV, Sony 24–105 G OSS, 1/1600, f/9, ISO 100, handheld
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Shortlist - Animal Behavior. Dance at Dawn. Wallaby (Macropodidae), Cape Hillsborough National Park, Queensland. Sony A7RIV, Sony 24–105 G OSS, 1/1600, f/9, ISO 100, handheld
Shortlist - Animal Habitat. Outback Mirage. Eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus), Mallee region, north-western Victoria. Canon T4i, Canon 135mm, 1/1250, f/14, ISO 400
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Shortlist - Animal Habitat. Outback Mirage. Eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus), Mallee region, north-western Victoria. Canon T4i, Canon 135mm, 1/1250, f/14, ISO 400
Shortlist - Landscape. Bioluminescent Shores. Sea sparkle (Noctiluca scintillans), Jervis Bay, New South Wales. Canon EOS 5D Mk IV, Canon EF 16–35mm f/4L IS USM lens, 30, f/4, ISO 4000, tripod
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Shortlist - Landscape. Bioluminescent Shores. Sea sparkle (Noctiluca scintillans), Jervis Bay, New South Wales. Canon EOS 5D Mk IV, Canon EF 16–35mm f/4L IS USM lens, 30, f/4, ISO 4000, tripod
Shortlist - Monochrome. Laundry Night. Gubbi Gubbi Country, Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Canon 700D, Canon EF 40mm f2.8, 1/160, f/9.0, ISO 400, custom DSLR housing, Nikon SB-28 flash, Camtraptions PIR motion sensor v2, Camtraptions transmitter and receiver, Zomei M3 tripod
27/28
Shortlist - Monochrome. Laundry Night. Gubbi Gubbi Country, Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Canon 700D, Canon EF 40mm f2.8, 1/160, f/9.0, ISO 400, custom DSLR housing, Nikon SB-28 flash, Camtraptions PIR motion sensor v2, Camtraptions transmitter and receiver, Zomei M3 tripod
Shortlist - Our Impact. Tohora. Southern right whale (Eubalaena australis), Port Ross, Auckland Islands, New Zealand. DJI Mavic 2 Pro, 28mm equivalent, 1/200, f/2.8, ISO 100
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Shortlist - Our Impact. Tohora. Southern right whale (Eubalaena australis), Port Ross, Auckland Islands, New Zealand. DJI Mavic 2 Pro, 28mm equivalent, 1/200, f/2.8, ISO 100
View gallery - 28 images

Kangaroos howling at the moon, mysterious seadragons and glowing forest fungi feature in this year’s Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Awards. The unique photo contest celebrates flora, fauna and landscapes of the Australasian region.

The contest spans nine categories, including Animal Portraits, Landscapes and Monochrome shots. An additional Portfolio prize is offered to the best collection of six or more images. Entry is open to photographers of all nationalities. The only rule is images must feature natural sights from Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica or the New Guinea regions.

Overall Winner. Leafy Night. Leafy seadragon (Phycodurus eques), Second Valley, South Australia. Olympus OMD EM1 Mk II, 60mm macro, 1/250, f/22, ISO 100, Olympus strobes, underexposed to highlight details in the appendages
Overall Winner. Leafy Night. Leafy seadragon (Phycodurus eques), Second Valley, South Australia. Olympus OMD EM1 Mk II, 60mm macro, 1/250, f/22, ISO 100, Olympus strobes, underexposed to highlight details in the appendages

The top prize this year went to Australian photographer Scott Portelli for a genuinely striking portrait of a Leafy Seadragon. Portelli explains the image came about when he was caught in a six-week lockdown at the beginning of pandemic while on holiday at a tiny campground on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia.

“Over the course of the six weeks I had the opportunity to dive regularly, becoming familiar with the terrain, getting to know the dive site and spotting a few individual Seadragons,” says Portelli. “I became acquainted with the resident dragons of Second Valley and this is how I managed to get the shot.”

Winner - Monochrome. Incoming. Omeo, Victoria. Sony A7Riii, Sony 24–105mm f4 G OSS, 1/250, f/11, ISO 100, tripod
Winner - Monochrome. Incoming. Omeo, Victoria. Sony A7Riii, Sony 24–105mm f4 G OSS, 1/250, f/11, ISO 100, tripod

Chrissie Goldrick, editor-in-chief of Australian Geographic, notes the irony of pandemic lockdown restrictions actually helping create the conditions for the winning photograph.

“The restrictions experienced by us all in the lead up to the competition haven’t impacted the quality and breadth of the photography on display in this year’s exhibition,” says Goldrick. “In fact, the winning photo came about as result of the pandemic, so the photographers have shown great resourcefulness, and their photos once again demonstrate the raw beauty and power of the natural history of our biogeographic region.”

Runner up - Animal Portrait. Howling at the Moon. Eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus), Woolgoolga NSW. Canon EOS 5D Mk II, Canon EF 70–200mm f2.8L IS USM, 1/60, f/2.8, ISO 4000, handheld, manual exposure and manual focus
Runner up - Animal Portrait. Howling at the Moon. Eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus), Woolgoolga NSW. Canon EOS 5D Mk II, Canon EF 70–200mm f2.8L IS USM, 1/60, f/2.8, ISO 4000, handheld, manual exposure and manual focus

One notable highlight is Mike George’s stunning shot of a kangaroo appearing to howl at the moon. George captured the shot by cautiously sneaking up on an Eastern grey kangaroo at night.

“I had to crawl through long grass downhill from them to try and get close enough to backlight one against the rising full moon,” explains George. “As I took a few shots my model tilted its head back and opened its mouth slightly.”

Winner - Botanical. Ghost Mushrooms. Ghost mushroom (Omphalotus nidiformis), Belanglo Forest, New South Wales. Canon 70D, Sigma Art, 30, f/3.2, ISO 6000
Winner - Botanical. Ghost Mushrooms. Ghost mushroom (Omphalotus nidiformis), Belanglo Forest, New South Wales. Canon 70D, Sigma Art, 30, f/3.2, ISO 6000

Other highlights from this above-average crop of nature photographs include a magically illuminated blast of water from a humpback whale, an incredibly rare glimpse of glowing mushrooms, and a sublime monochrome show of a cloud of bushfire smoke looming over the Australian landscape.

The Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition is produced by the South Australian Museum. Take a look through our gallery at more highlights from this remarkable photography competition.

Source: South Australian Museum

View gallery - 28 images
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