Minke whale

    I was guiding a group of kayakers when a minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) appeared. Trusting this intelligent mammal to know where my hull was, I tried to concentrate on capturing our encounter.

    Photo Credit:

    THREATENED SPECIES (runner-up)

    Crested macaque portrait

    Michael Gallagher, London, United Kingdom

    I photographed this portrait of a critically endangered Celebes, or Sulawesi, crested macaque (Macaca nigra) while hiking through the thick rainforest in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. It was dark under the dense canopy, but for a brief moment a chink of light illuminated the primate’s pensive, almost-sombre countenance.

    North Sulawesi, Indonesia

    Canon EOS 50D, Canon 100–400mm IS lens at 400mm, 1/80, f5.6, ISO 640, handheld.

    Photo Credit:

    INTERPRETIVE (runner-up)


    Lynton Francois Burger, New South Wales

    Great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) are mesmerising to watch under water. They can suddenly accelerate from an easeful glide to surging at prey. I wanted to capture this sense of pure predatory fury. The title also speaks of my anger at our senseless killing of sharks, globally.

    Neptune Islands, South Australia

    Canon EOS 7D, Tokina 10–17mm fish-eye lens, 1/125, f11, ISO 200, Nauticam underwater housing,
    2 x ikelite DS125 strobes.

    Photo Credit:



    Lance Peters, South Australia

    I feel very privileged to have been able to capture such an engaging image of this endangered species, the bush stone-curlew (Burhinus grallarius).

    Horsham, Victoria

    Nikon D3S, Sigma 300–800mm lens at 800mm, 1/160, f5.6, ISO 1600, handheld braced on a structure on the ground.

    Photo Credit:


    Coy cockatoos

    Keith Lightbody, Western Australia

    Major Mitchell’s cockatoos (Lophochroa leadbeateri) are regular visitors to the Eyre Bird Observatory within the Nuytsland Nature Reserve, near Cocklebiddy. Aside from being one of our most beautiful birds, they are also fun to watch – whether preening, clowning around in flight or hanging upside down on a perch.

    Eyre Bird Observatory, Nuytsland Nature Reserve, Western Australia

    Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II lens, 1/2500, f8, ISO 800, EV–1, handheld.

    Photo Credit:


    Pelican quarrel

    Justin Gilligan, New South Wales

    As it searches for an easy meal, the Australian pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) is often drawn to boat ramps where fishers clean their catch. These pelicans seemed to be a tangle of beaks as they squabbled over a fish discarded by a local fisherman. The interesting interaction lasted less than a second, before the pelican on the left raised its head above water and swallowed its winnings whole.

    Little Beach, Port Stephens, New South Wales

    Nikon D300, 10.5mm lens, 1/500, f9, ISO 200, ikelite housing.

    Photo Credit:


    Milky Way

    Julie Fletcher, South Australia

    In the dead of the night, the camera picks up more than the eye can see, including millions of stars and the light from the town of Menindee, which creates the illusion of sunrise or sunset. The image is made up of seven images stitched together. For each frame that was taken, additional light was painted on the trees in the foreground with two torches and coloured gels. The overall hue in the image is light pollution – no filters were used.

    Lake Menindee, New South Wales

    Nikon D800, Nikon 14–24mm lens at 14mm, 30 seconds, f2.8, ISO 3200, tripod and cable release.

    Photo Credit:

    ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR (runner-up)

    Out on the salt lake

    Gary Steer, New South Wales

    We found two emus (Dromaius novaehollandiae) on Lake Gairdner, South Australia, that were, strangely, many kilometres from the nearest shoreline. The shallow water would have been far too salty for animals to drink and there was no vegetation whatsoever. The emus appeared to be foraging, perhaps for insects that were blown about by strong winds before falling, exhausted, onto the lake.

    Lake Gairdner, South Australia

    Canon EOS 5D MkII, Canon EF 28–300mm f/3.5–5.6L IS USM lens, 1/320, f10, ISO 100, aerial, handheld.

    Photo Credit:


    Andrew Peacock, Queensland

    The portfolio prize is awarded to the photographer who enters the best set of six or more photos. Queensland-based Andrew Peacock won this year for his emotive Antarctica images.

    Face in the ice

    The incredible shape and hues of this iceberg attracted my interest as I paddled around this beautiful area. Then I saw ‘the face’; can you?

    Photo Credit:


    Don’t mind me!

    This gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua) seems less than enthralled with the arrival of hikers near its nesting area.

    Photo Credit:


    David Rennie, Western Australia


    Near miss

    A young osprey (Pandion cristatus) was learning to fish one morning and this was her sixth try. She came out of the water and looked down at her talons to see why she was missing her prey. The yellow-billed spoonbill (Platalea flavipes) was coming in to land as the osprey looked up again and a ‘near miss’ was captured.

    Mandurah wetlands, Western Australia

    Canon 1D MkIII, Canon 800mm f/5.6L lens, 1/2000, f8, ISO 800, handheld.

    Photo Credit:

    BLACK AND WHITE (runner-up)

    Black-winged stilts

    Dan Giselsson, Tasmania

    This beautiful courtship dance began with the female black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus), right, clearing a mound of sand by tossing away extraneous sticks. She then stooped forward, inclining her whole body, which immediately attracted the male. The male then circled the female as she slowly and gracefully spun around on the spot.

    Charleville, Queensland

    Nikon D800, Nikon 500mm f/4 VR lens, 1/500, f4, ISO 400.

    Photo Credit:

    BOTANICAL SUBJECT (runner-up)

    The big wet

    Cindy McCauley, Queensland

    Photography has helped me learn to appreciate every aspect of nature, especially those elements within the macro world that are often overlooked or unforeseen. Some of my favourite photography moments were made directly after a big Queensland storm.

    Bellbowrie, Queensland

    Canon EOS 550D, Tamron 60mm macro lens, 1/200, f11, ISO 100, Canon 430EX Speedlite fired on camera, handheld.

    Photo Credit:

    JUNIOR (runner-up)


    Chelsea McCann, 16, Western Australia

    The common housefly is a creature that we are all too familiar with. However, up close, Musca domestica looks unnervingly sci-fi – it’s covered with hairs capable of tasting, red compound eyes composed of myriad lenses, and antennae waiting to sniff out forgotten meals.

    Perth, Western Australia

    Olympus Pen E-p3, 60mm macro lens, 1/125, f8, ISO 200, flash, handheld.

    Photo Credit:


    Know a dentist?

    Andrew Peacock, Queensland

    Surely this is a face only a mother could love? I captured this shot at an area where southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) haul out when moulting. I spent a few fascinating hours photographing to a loud cacophony of fighting, burping and farting by these marine mammals.

    Elephant Point, Livingstone Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica

    Canon EOS 5D MkIII, Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM lens at 420mm + 1.4x, 1/1250, f5.6, ISO 200, handheld.

    Photo Credit:

    OUR IMPACT (runner-up)

    Hunter hunted

    Alan Kwok, New South Wales

    This red fox (Vulpes vulpes) was exhausted after trying to escape from a trap under the blazing sun. For me, the animal represented a destroyer of native wildlife and a harbinger of extinction, but also a beautiful, cunning and remarkably adaptable creature. The reasons to admire the fox are also the reasons
    to hate it.

    Stroud, New South Wales

    Canon EOS 5D MkII, Canon EF 70–200mm f/2.8L II lens at 182mm, 1/4000, f5.6, ISO 1000, handheld.

    Photo Credit:


    Adélie penguin

    To experiment with a new lens that allowed for a very shallow depth of field, I sat on a rock near a colony of curious Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae), hoping to get their attention.

    Photo Credit:


    Reflection of fire

    Vincent Antony, Victoria

    The calm before the storm: with a fire in the national park creeping along, the wind would come up and then die down, leaving only minutes to capture the glassy surface and reflections.

    Lake Eildon National Park, Victoria

    Sony Alfa 700, 80–200mm lens at 160mm, 1/45, f10, ISO 500, tripod and remote switch.

    Photo Credit:



    Using an unprotected digital SLR while paddling in frigid waters is a challenge; I was pleased to capture this image of gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua) after many attempts.

    Photo Credit:


    Marovo Lagoon, Solomon Islands

    Stuart Chape, Samoa

    One of the world’s largest coral reef lagoons, the Marovo Lagoon is located in Western Province, Solomon Islands. Although parts of the lagoon are showing the signs of human impact, it’s still characterised by rich marine and terrestrial biodiversity, including spectacular coral reefs.

    Western Province, Solomon Islands

    Mamiya 645, 21mm lens, 1/125, f8, ISO 100, polariser, handheld.

    Photo Credit:


    Shipwreck, Solomon Islands

    Stuart Chape, Samoa

    The Pacific Ocean and islands are under severe threat from marine and land pollution. Uncontrolled dumping of waste contaminates near-shore waters and land areas of many Pacific islands, compromising ecosystem health and the welfare of people. This image epitomises the scale of degradation that is occurring.

    Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands

    Sony A99, 24mm lens, 1/60, f11, ISO 100, UV filter, handheld.

    Photo Credit:

    UNDERWATER SUBJECT (runner-up)

    Whip goby

    Shannon Conway, Western Australia

    While diving in the notoriously stiff currents off Tala Island in Komodo National Park, I discovered this extraordinarily large whip coral (Cirripathes sp.) occupied by a small goby (Bryaninops sp.). I used the coral for negative space and a wide aperture for macro to create ‘bokeh’, or aesthetic blur.

    Tala Island, Komodo National Park, Indonesia

    Nikon D300, Nikon AF-S 105mm f/2.8 VR lens, 1/250, f13, ISO 200, twin INON 220 strobes.

    Photo Credit:


    Fungi in mist

    Raoul Slater, Queensland

    Every morning for a fortnight, a cluster of fungi would burst from a pile of wood chips, but then shrivel and disappear a few hours after sunrise. I would lie in the mulch and focus my macro lens through the mushrooms, looking for the effects of atmosphere in the misty light.

    Noosa Botanic Gardens, Sunshine Coast, Queensland

    Canon EOS 5D MkII, 100mm f/2.8 macro lens, 1/200, f5.6, 400 ISO, handheld.

    Photo Credit:


    King penguins

    Peter Lambert, Western Australia

    On a typical grey and overcast day on South Georgia, I was photographing countless king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) when a small herd of introduced reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) ran through the huddle. This is probably an outdated photograph now because many of the reindeer have since been culled.

    St. Andrews Bay, South Georgia

    Nikon D3, Nikon 70–200mm f/2.8 lens at 200mm, 1/400, f5.6, ISO 200, handheld.

    Photo Credit:

    CATEGORY: JUNIOR (winner)

    Frog patterns

    Oliver Sekulic, 16, New South Wales

    The intricate patterns and colours covering its skin and eyes make this Peron’s tree frog (Litoria peronii) an irresistible photo subject and easily distinguishable from other tree frogs. It’s not too shy, either – it jumped onto my camera lens soon after I took this photo!

    South coast, New South Wales

    Sony Nex-5, 18–55mm lens at 55mm, 1/200, f8, ISO 1600, UV(c) filter, handheld.

    Photo Credit:

    ANIMAL PORTRAIT (finalist)

    Moving home

    Trevor Penfold, Raglan, New Zealand

    At night, strawberry hermit crabs (Coenobita perlatus) scurry across the white beaches of Lady Elliot Island. They are terrestrial hermit crabs and this one had a particularly large shell. It was heading for the ocean as it needed to refresh its supply of water.

    Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef

    Canon EOS 1D MkIII, Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L USM macro lens, 1/200, f8, ISO 100, Canon Speedlite 580EX, handheld.

    Photo Credit:

    ANIMAL PORTRAIT (finalist)

    Green Tree Python

    Stephen Zozaya, Queensland

    Cape York Peninsula harbours several species found nowhere else in Australia, but which are widespread in New Guinea. Green tree pythons (Morelia viridis) are one example; they are only known in the Iron and McIlwraith ranges.

    Iron Range, Cape York Peninsula, Queensland

    Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF-S 14–22mm f/3.4–4.5 lens, 1/200, f20, ISO 100, Canon 430EX II Speedlite fired remotely, handheld.

    Photo Credit:

    ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR (finalist)

    This way

    Ray Alley, New South Wales

    This pod of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) was cruising along and having a great time as they headed north along Bennetts Beach, a little to the north of Port Stephens.

    Port Stephens, New South Wales

    Nikon D3S, Nikon 70–200mm f/2.8 IF ED VR2 lens, 1/250, f8, ISO 320, handheld (image taken from a Robinson R44 helicopter).

    Photo Credit:

    BOTANICAL SUBJECT (finalist)

    Gums during drought

    Raoul Ribot, Victoria

    After years of drought, a eucalyptus forest on the riverbank of the Murrumbidgee River is left dry and dusty in 2009.

    Murrumbidgee River, New South Wales

    Sony HDR-SR12, f/4.9–58.8mm lens, 1/60, f4, handheld.

    Photo Credit:

    BLACK AND WHITE (finalist)


    Peter Hill, New South Wales

    This section of forest in Barrington Tops National Park was logged and suffered from a fire several years ago, but is now well the way to recovery and regeneration. The afternoon sun caught the tops of the trees and the new foliage perfectly.

    Stewarts Brook State Forest, Barrington Tops National Park precinct, New South Wales

    Canon EOS 10D, Canon EF 24–70mm f/2.8L lens at 24mm, 1/180, f8, ISO 100, handheld (to shoot infrared, a B+W IR filter was inserted within the camera body, replacing the original hot mirror filter).

    Photo Credit:


    Silcrete Island

    Peter Elfes, New South Wales

    Australia’s largest lake retained water for a record-breaking four years, which encouraged algae, bacteria and single-cell life forms (known as archaebacteria) to form. These microorganisms are considered the oldest life forms on Earth. The colour of the water comes from pigments within the cell that produce carotenoids, possibly to protect the cell from ultraviolet light that would otherwise destroy it.

    Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre National Park, South Australia

    Canon EOS 5D MkII, 24–70mm at 50mm f/2.8 lens, 1/500, f7.1, ISO 320.

    Photo Credit:

    JUNIOR (finalist)

    Spikes at every corner!

    Maud Graillot-Denaix, 15, France

    During a holiday in Australia we hoped to see numbats (Myrmecobius fasciatus) and we spent hours looking for them unsuccessfully. At noon, while my brothers and I were not concentrating as hard as we were in the morning, I found four sleeping echidnas (Echidna hystrix). We spent the whole afternoon watching their behaviour.

    Narrogin, Western Australia

    Canon EOS 40D, 300mm lens, 1/200, f4, ISO 500, tripod.

    Photo Credit:


    Bounce Back

    Mark Woods, South Australia

    Operation bounce back helped this population of yellow-footed rock wallabies (Petrogale xanthopus) recover in the Flinders Ranges. It was a pleasure to spend a couple of hours observing them in their natural habitat.

    Brachina Gorge, Flinders Ranges, South Australia

    Sony DSLR-A300, Sigma APO 150–500mm f/5–6.3 DG OS HSM lens at 230mm, 1/125, f5.6, ISO 400, handheld.

    Photo Credit:

    OUR IMPACT (finalist)

    Harvesting groundwater

    Liz Rogers, Victoria

    Preserved in the cold, fresh water, an old harvester has been sitting on the bottom of this sinkhole for decades – a symbol of the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality. Greater demand, drought and dropping water levels have increased our awareness of the importance of groundwater as a resource requiring protection.

    One tree sinkhole, Mt Gambier region, South Australia

    Canon EOS 5D MkII, Canon 14mm f/2.8L II USM lens, 1/125, f7.1, ISO 400, Aquatica underwater housing with 8″ dome port, 2 x INON Z240 MkIV underwater strobes, 1 x INON Z240 MkIV underwater strobe held by model, off-camera strobes triggered using a Triggerfish light sensor; handheld.

    Photo Credit:

    INTERPRETIVE (finalist)

    Frozen visage

    Kah Kit Yoong, Victoria

    Inside an ice cave at Fox Glacier, I lay on my belly photographing the pool of water and the icy textures reflected in it. When I tilted my head, I realised the potential for an abstract image with strong anthropomorphic qualities. All I had to do was rotate the image 90°.

    Fox Glacier, New Zealand

    Canon EOS 5D MkII, Canon 16–35mm f/2.8L lens at 29mm, 1/160, f9, ISO 200, handheld.

    Photo Credit:

    BOTANICAL SUBJECT (finalist)

    Bee visiting

    Jennie Stock, Western Australia

    I noticed bees were visiting the huge mottlecah (Eucalyptus macrocarpa) flowers, so I composed the shot and waited patiently for the perfect moment when one hovered in just the right place. It is interesting that these small bees can pollinate such a large flower.

    Dryandra woodland, Western Australia

    Nikon D3000, Sigma 150–500mm f/5–6.3 DG OS HSM lens at 350mm, 1/320, f11, ISO 400, tripod

    Photo Credit:


    Cuttlefish mating

    Ignacio Palacios, New South Wales

    While diving off Lady Elliot Island I photographed these cuttlefish mating. There was a big group of them but this couple was not shy. Cuttlefish are marine animals of the order Sepiida and, despite their name, are not fish but molluscs. They have the remarkable ability to rapidly alter their skin colour at will, which allows them to communicate with other cuttlefish and camouflage themselves.

    Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef

    Canon G10, 28mm lens, 1/250, f2.8, ISO 80, underwater flash.

    Photo Credit:


    Hamersley Gorge waterfall

    Ignacio Palacios, New South Wales

    Hamersley is quite different from the other gorges in Karijini National Park. It takes hours to get there by car, but its dramatic colours, unique textures and rock formations make it well worth the effort. There is a beautiful little waterfall to complete the brilliant scenery.

    Karijini National Park, Western Australia

    Pentax 645D, Pentax SMC DA 645 25mm f/4 AL (IF) SDM AW lens, 2 seconds, f11, ISO 100, tripod.

    Photo Credit:


    A giant appetite

    George Madani, New South Wales

    The giant barred frog (Mixophyes iterates), silent sentinel of the creek’s bank, is motionless as it waits. Oblivious to the danger, a young rat scuttles among the leaf litter before it’s trapped by the most unlikely of hunters.

    Bulahdelah, New South Wales

    Panasonic DMC-FT3, 5mm lens at 29mm, 1/60, f3.3, ISO 100, auto flash.

    Photo Credit:

    OUR IMPACT (finalist)

    The vanishing billabong

    Gary Steer, New South Wales

    Climate change and record hot and dry periods are impacting on the land and water availability. Although billabongs provide a temporary water supply for animals after flooding, it’s not long before soakage and evaporation occurs. Pastoralists must then resort to pumping water from bores into troughs. Converging livestock and native animals also inflict heavy grazing pressure on the surrounding vegetation.

    Near to the Diamantina River, Queensland.

    Canon EOS 5D MkII, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens at 70mm, 1/320, f11, ISO 100, aerial, handheld.

    Photo Credit:

    JUNIOR (finalist)

    Australian trolls

    Brieuc Graillot-Denaix, 17, France

    During a family holiday we visited The Pinnacles, spectacular geological formations. Beforehand I had some pictures in mind – I wanted to photograph them at night, framed against a starry sky. When we arrived the sky was cloudy, so I took advantage of a slow shutter speed to capture the movement of the clouds and I placed a spotlight on the rocks.

    Cervantes, Western Australia

    Canon EOS 1D MkIV, 17–40mm at 17mm, 30 seconds, f4, 1600 ISO, tripod, torchlights.

    Photo Credit:

    INTERPRETIVE (finalist)

    Sea Egg no. 7

    William Goodwin, Birmingham, Alabama, USA

    The planet’s oceans are the womb of all life on Earth. This premise underlies my Ocean Ova series of images, of which this is the seventh. I manipulated the original image of a Tube Anemone (Cerianthus sp.) shot at night in an attempt to embody this premise.

    Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi, Indonesia

    Sony Nex-5N, 18–55mm lens at 26mm, 1/60, f4, ISO 1000, handheld (image made at night with lighting from 2 x UK Aqualite Video).

    Photo Credit:



    Vanessa Mignon, New South Wales

    This curious and playful humpback calf (Megaptera novaeangliae) chased us around for a while and we nicknamed it ‘BamBam’. This shot is special to me because of the memory, but also because I feel it captures their graceful and dynamic beauty.

    Ha’apai, Kingdom of Tonga

    Canon EOS 5D MkII, Canon 16–35mm f/2.8L lens, 1/200, f6.3, ISO 320, Subal underwater housing.

    Photo Credit:

    BLACK AND WHITE (finalist)

    Bull kelp

    Graham Morgan, New South Wales

    Glistening bull kelp (Durvillaea potatorum) sculpted by the ocean surges into an infinite array of patterns.

    Enderby Island, Auckland Islands, New Zealand

    Canon EOS 1Dx, Canon 70–300mm lens at 300mm, 1/2000, f5.6, ISO 800, handheld.

    Photo Credit:

    ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR (finalist)

    Giant flax weevil

    Thomas Burns, Cambridge, New Zealand

    The jagged edge of flax, where giant flax weevils (Anagotus fairburni) have been feeding, shines brightly in torchlight. After searching several bushes, I found weevils feeding on the flax leaves, but the pose of this individual caught my attention.

    Maud Island, Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand

    Canon 7D, Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS USM macro lens, 1/200, f11, ISO 400, 2 x Canon 430EX II flashes, handheld.

    Photo Credit:


    Osprey’s early morning catch

    John Van-Den-Broeke, New South Wales

    Some days I spend 3-4 hours paddling and drifting in my canoe, looking for photo subjects. This method is great because it does not disturb wildlife and you can immerse yourself in nature. This osprey (Pandion cristatus) caught a fish and flew directly at me. It was a great moment.

    Cudgen Creek, Kingscliff, New South Wales

    Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS lens + 1.4 x at 280mm, 1/1600, f8, ISO 2000, handheld.

    Photo Credit:

Gallery: 2013 ANZANG Nature photography winners

By AG STAFF | August 23, 2013

We’re happy to announce the winners of 2013’s AG ANZANG Nature Photographer of the Year.