Overall winner

    Hide and seek

    I travelled to Raja Ampat mainly to visit the stunning Arborek Jetty. If you are really lucky you can observe
    schools of fish and I spent some time under the jetty. At one point, predators moved in and I was mesmerised by the chase between predator and prey.

    Arborek Jetty, Raja Ampat, Indonesia

    Nikon D3S, Nikon 16mm, 1/250, f/4.5, ISO 250, Ikelite 161 strobe,Seacam housing

    Photo Credit: Tracey Jennings, UK/Malaysia

    Portfoilo prize

    Maybe 2 in a 1000
    Hawksbill turtle
    ERETMOCHELYS IMBRICATA

     

    Photo Credit: Matty Smith, New South Wales

    Portfoilo prize

    Australian sea lion family portrait
    Australian sea lion
    NEOPHOCA CINEREA

    Photo Credit: Matty Smith, New South Wales

    Portfoilo prize

    Ribbon dancer
    Threadfin pennantfish
    ALECTIS CILIARIS

    Photo Credit: Matty Smith, New South Wales

    Portfoilo prize

    Luminous
    Bluebottle
    PHYSALIA UTRICULUS

    Photo Credit: Matty Smith, New South Wales

    Portfoilo prize

    Enchanted
    White’s seahorse
    HIPPOCAMPUS WHITEI

    Photo Credit: Matty Smith, New South Wales

    Portfoilo prize

    Cross dresser
    Giant cuttlefish
    SEPIA APAMA

     

    Photo Credit: Matty Smith, New South Wales

    Animal portrait: winner

    The Northern leaf-tailed gecko

    NORTHERN LEAF-TAILED GECKO, SALTUARIUS CORNUTUS

    This northern leaf-tailed gecko (Saltuarius cornutus) was found and
    photographed during a night walk around Lake Eacham.

    Lake Eacham, Crater Lakes National Park, Queensland

    Canon EOS 5D Mk III, Canon 100/2.8L macro IS USM, 1/200, f/11, ISO 500, Youngnuo flash with diffuser

    Photo Credit: Igor Mikula, Slovakia

    Animal portrait: runner-up

    Luminous

    BLUEBOTTLE, PHYSALIA UTRICULUS

    A Physalia utriculus, also known as the Pacific man-of-war or bluebottle – its shade of blue is one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed. Every summer bluebottles sting about 40,000 Australian beachgoers, but their design and colour is truly art in nature.

    Bushrangers Bay, New South Wales

    Nikon D810, Nikkor 8–15mm, f3.5–4.5 E ED, 1/250, f/29, ISO 160, two INON Z240 strobes, Aquatica digital water housing and 4-inch glass port

    Photo Credit: Matty Smith, New South Wales

    Animal behaviour: winner

    Posing black-fronted dotterels

    BLACK-FRONTED DOTTEREL, ELSEYORNIS MELANOPS

    These two black-fronted dotterels seemed to want to pose for me, but I think they might have had something else in mind.

    Charleville, Queensland

    Nikon D800, Nikon 500mm f/4.0 with 1.4 converter, 1/400, f/5.6, ISO 500, tripod

    Photo Credit: Dan Giselsson, Queensland

    Animal behaviour: runner-up

    Play fighting

    WESTERN GREY KANGAROOS,
    MACROPUS FULIGINOSUS

    The light was low in the wandoo bushland where I watched these young western grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus). At this age, they often engage in play fighting where they throw their heads back, put their arms up and occasionally even kick. In between, they stop to have a scratch before starting again.

    Julimar, Western Australia

    Canon EOS-1D X, Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS USM II, 1/800, f/5.6, ISO 3200, handheld

    Photo Credit: Georgina Steytler, Western Australia

    Animal habitat: winner

    Enchanted

    WHITE’S SEAHORSE, HIPPOCAMPUS WHITEI

    Low evening sunlight backlights White’s seahorse. Many of this species can be found living on the shallow shark nets beneath the boardwalk in Mosman, Sydney Harbour.

    Mosman, New South Wales

    Nikon D810, Nikkor 8–15mm F3.5–4.5 E ED, 1/125, f/29, ISO 160, two INON Z240 strobes, Aquatica digital water housing and 4-inch glass port

    Photo Credit: Matty Smith, New South Wales

    Animal habitat: runner-up

    Dune run

    EMU, DROMAIUS NOVAEHOLLANDIAE

    As evening rapidly approached, the sun started its descent towards the horizon. The shadows of two stray emus can be seen in the middle of the image, just two pinpricks in the vast expansiveness of this pristine dune network that runs along Eyre Peninsula.

    Coffin Bay National Park, South Australia

    DJI Phantom 3, DJI FC300C, 1/1700,
    f/2.8, ISO 100

    Photo Credit: Josh Tagi, Victoria

    Botanical: winner

    The refuge

    RED MANGROVES, RHIZOPHORA STYLOSA

    Red mangroves (Rhizophora stylosa) grow in a sheltered corner of Lizard Island Lagoon. Their tangled roots provide shelter to many species of fish from the nearby coral reefs, including this school of tropical anchovies that streamed past my camera.

    Mangrove Bay, Lizard Island

    Canon Powershot G10, 28–140mm
    f/2.8–4.5, 1/20, f/4, ISO 80

    Photo Credit:

    Botanical: runner up

    Pandani in blizzard
    PANDANI, RICHEA PANDANIFOLIA

    At the age of 51, I lost my falling snow virginity at Waldheim. I was so overwhelmed by frozen feet, crusted spectacles and the unbearable beauty that I could not take a coherent photo. I returned the next day prepared: car heater cranking and camera pointed at a sublime composition. Just add blizzard.

    Waldheim, Cradle Valley, Tasmania

    Canon 5DII, 100mm macro f/2.8, 1/15, f/14, ISO 400, beanbag on car window frame

    Photo Credit: Raoul Slater, Queensland

    Landscape: winner

    Early elation

    On arrival at Bluff Knoll there was a clear sky, so my expectations were low. Within minutes the peaks created their own clouds, as they are known to do, and just in time for sunrise created this stunning scene.

    Stirling Ranges, Western Australia

    Sony A7rII, Zeiss 16–35mm, 1/100, f/8, ISO 500, Benro tripod

    Photo Credit: Dylan Fox, Western Australia

    Landscape: runner-up

    Broken dreams

    Broken Dreams was from one of my most rewarding but confronting shoots. After the Sampson Flat bushfires swept through the northern Adelaide Hills, I spent a lot of time shooting the aftermath and rebirth during the following year. This particular early morning shoot brought with it fog and an amazing mood.

    Gumeracha, South Australia

    Sony A7R, Sony 55mm, 1/5, f/10, ISO 100, tripod

    Photo Credit: Ben Goode, South Australia

    Monochrome: winner

    Junction Falls – after

    In a matter of seconds, Junction Falls went from a trickle to a roaring wall of thundering stormwater on a wet afternoon. I was fortunate to be there to capture the amazing transformation. Shortly after this shot, the embedded log completely disappeared from view.

    Junction Falls, Blue Mountains, New South Wales

    Canon EOS 1DS Mk III, Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8, 0.6, f/8, ISO 100, tripod

    Photo Credit: Peter Hill, New South Wales

    Monochrome: runner -up

    Light dappled billabong

    This deep, billabong-like section of the river is able to sustain a large population of turtles. I loved the light filtering through the trees so I dived to the bottom and held my breath in wait for one of the many turtles to swim overhead – finally capturing this image.

    Upper Orara River, Upper Orara, New South Wales

    Canon 5D Mk III, Canon 8–15mm fisheye, 1/160, f/16, ISO 400, two Ikelite 160 substrobes, Aquatica housing, handheld while freediving

    Photo Credit: Richard Wylie, Queensland

    Junior: winner

    Running wombat

    COMMON WOMBAT, VOMBATUS URSINUS

    I came across a wombat while hiking, and as soon as it saw me it ran between my legs and off into the distance. Fortunately, I was able to take a photo as it ran past me. The slower shutter speed helped to highlight the running wombat and added a sense of movement to the image.

    Cradle Valley, Tasmania

    Canon 5D Mk III, Canon 17–40mm f/4L, 1/40, f/4, ISO 1600, handheld

    Photo Credit: Floyd Mallon, New South Wales. Age 16

    Junior: runner-up

    Hell’s gate

    This geothermal spring at Hell’s Gate Geothermal Park in Rotorua made me imagine a satanic summoning ritual with the smell of sulphur, the ominous circle of pine trees and the vast plume of volcanic gases rising to the sky. I felt excited to tell this story through the photo.

    Rotorua, New Zealand

    Nikon D750, Sigma 15–30mm f/3.5–4.5 EX DG, 1/500, f/18, ISO 200, handheld

    Photo Credit: Fionn Holyoak-Roberts, Western Australia. Age 16

    Our impact: winner

    Left behind

    KANGAROO, MACROPUS SP.

    Coming across this kangaroo during a shoot in the Adelaide Hills really brought home how fast and intense Australia’s bushfires can be. The man-made fire that destroyed this forest was one of the scariest South Australia had experienced in a while and a harsh reminder of the precautions that need to be taken during summer.

    Gumeracha, South Australia

    Sony A7R, Sony 16–35mm, 1/20, f/10, ISO 100, tripod

    Photo Credit: Ben Goode, South Australia

    Our impact: runner-up

    City slicker

    WHITE’S SEAHORSE, HIPPOCAMPUS
    WHITEI

    White’s seahorse thrives in Sydney Harbour’s modified foreshore environment. As I photographed this individual in the early morning light, a plastic wrapper drifted along the opposite side of the swimming enclosure net, momentarily making its way into the frame. Plastic pollution is an emerging threat throughout the world’s oceans.

    Manly Cove, New South Wales

    Nikon D810, Sigma 15mm, 1/125, f/22, ISO 100, two Ikelite DS161 strobes, Nauticam housing

    Photo Credit: Justin Gilligan, New South Wales

    Threatened species: winner

    Maybe 2 in a 1000

    HAWKSBILL TURTLE, ERETMOCHELYS IMBRICATA

    STATUS: CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

    As the sun sets over the Bismarck Sea, two newly hatched hawksbill turtles swim past my waiting camera. They have a long, hard struggle ahead of them to reach maturity; only one in a thousand will survive.

    Lissenung Island, Papua New Guinea

    Nikon D500, Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8 E ED fisheye, 1/15, f/22, ISO 320, two INON Z240 strobes, Aquatica digital water housing and 4-inch glass port

    Photo Credit: Matty Smith, New South Wales

    Threatened species: runner-up

    Turtle reflection

    GREEN SEA TURTLE, CHELONIA MYDAS

    STATUS: ENDANGERED

    On an early morning snorkel off the south-western shelf at Heron Island, this green sea turtle actually came out of the deep to look at us. We were more surprised than it, I think. It hung out with us for a while and then faded back into the blue.

    Heron Island, Queensland

    Nikon D7200, Tokina 10– 17mm, 1/160, f/13, ISO 320

    Photo Credit: Johnny Gaskell, Queensland

2018 AG Nature Photographer of the Year winners

By AG Staff | August 23, 2018

The winning images from the 2018 Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the year contest have been revealed.

Congratulations to all winners and runners-up. These photos will be exhibited at the South Australian Museum in Adelaide (24 August – 11 November 2018 ) and the Australian Museum in Sydney (24 August to 27 January).