The Nature Conservancy photography award winners announced

By AG Staff Writer 13 December 2016
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Stunning, award-winning photos showcase Australia’s natural beauty.

GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT AND conservation organisation, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Australia, has announced the winners of its annual photography competition, which aims to inspire Australians to engage with nature through photography and celebrate their country’s natural beauty.

The winning entries were selected from 16,120 photos submitted by photographers across Australia in categories including landscape, water and wildlife. The photos showcase Australia’s diverse natural beauty, with winning shots taken from all over the country including Hervey Bay, Queensland, Rottnest Island, Western Australia and Lorne, Victoria.


‘The Hunt’: Winner, Wildlife category. Nankeen kestrel on Rottnest Island, Western Australia. (Image: Kyle Behrend).

The overall winning photo, ‘Eye Spy’ (pictured, top) was taken by Mark Seabury in Hervey Bay. “I’ve been photographing whales for the last ten years and am fascinated about understanding their behaviours and curiosity when interacting with people,” Mark said.

“This photograph captures a whale behaviour called ‘spy hopping’, where whales poke their head above the water to take a look around and see what’s happening above the surface,” he added.

“It’s like these majestic mammals of the sea understand we are watching them and are trying to connect with us in some way. In this shot, I wanted to capture this by showing the whale between two worlds, ours above the surface and its below, at the precise moment when it is about to make that connection.”


‘The Spark’: Winner, Landscape category. Dramatic lightning strike at sunset in Barmera, South Australia. (Image: Kirsty Morrell)

The competition was judged by a panel of renowned nature photographers including long-time Australian Geographic photographer Esther Beaton. “The winners demonstrated the skill of far more experienced photographers, their entries prove that you don’t have to be a professional to take a great shot,” said Esther.

The director of TNC Australia, Rich Gilmore, said the competition helped raise awareness for conservation. “In Australia we’re surrounded by incredible landscapes and wildlife and this competition shines a light on some of our most beautiful areas,” he said.

“It also gives people the chance to take a step back and appreciate the environment around them. We’re thrilled so many Australians got involved and shared their incredible images.”

Scroll down for more amazing winning and highly commended images from the 2016 TNC Photo Competition. Find out more on


‘Sky On Fire’: Winner, Mobile category. “It’s all about being in the right place and the right time, finger ready to take the photo,” says judge Michael Snedic of this photo. (Image: Josh Murphy)


A hail-battered Procyon Peak stands guard over Square Lake in the Western Arthurs, Tasmania: Highly Commended, Landscape category. (Image: Phillip Roach)

peoples choice

‘Blossoms in Winter’: Winner, People’s Choice. (Image: Alexis Buenaflor)

people in nature

‘Dawn Walker’: Winner, People in Nature category. Lone walker on a rain-slick Lorne Pier, Victoria, at sunrise. (Image: Louisa Kelland)


‘Reflections’: Winner, Urban category. Yarra River and the Melbourne city skyline at sunrise. (Image: Hai Pham)