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OVERALL WINNER. BLUEBOTTLE, PHYSALIA PHYSALIS. Despite its potentially dangerous sting, the bluebottle zooid is an amazingly beautiful creature. I wanted to demonstrate this with careful lighting and composition. On this particular morning a whole armada of them had been blown into this little bay where they were trapped overnight, enabling me to get my shot. Bushrangers Bay, Shellharbour, New South Wales. Nikon D300s, Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8 fisheye, 1/320, f/13, ISO 320, Inon Z220 Substrobe, Blusnoot Fibre Optic Snoot, Aquatica for D300s, Aquatica 8″ Acrylic Dome Port, handheld.
WINNER: ANIMAL PORTRAIT. HAIRY FROGFISH, ANTENNARIUS STRIATUS. Frogfish are ambush predators and often blend into their surroundings – this particular specimen resembles a bright orange sponge. I took this portrait of a hairy frogfish while scuba diving in Lembeh Strait. Lembeh Strait, Sulawesi Island, Indonesia. Canon EOS 50D, Tokina 35mm macro lens, 1/200, f/22, ISO 200, Inon Z-240 strobe, Hugyfot housing, handheld
WINNER: PORTFOLIO CATEGORY. Regent bower bird, captured at the Lamington National Park QLD, 17 October 2012
WINNER: ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR. This wasp taps her antennae – which are sensitive to vibrations and scent – in search of a suitable host larva upon which she will lay her eggs using her long ovipositor. After hatching, her young will feast on the host while it is still alive. Centennial Park, Sydney, New South Wales. Canon EOS 400D, Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro, 1/30, f/8, ISO 400, handheld
WINNER: ANIMAL HABITAT. SILVER ORB SPIDER, LEUCAUGE GRANULATA. The backlit spider web is one of the great cliches of nature photography. No wonder – on cold mornings they make for easy subjects. The web was built just beyond the shaded front of a garden shed, allowing the intense back lighting to last for an hour. I had time to drink a coffee first and then find just the right shutter speed to capture the droplets of morning mist. Lake McDonald Botanical Gardens, Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Canon EOS 5D Mk II, Canon 100mm macro, 1/320, f/13, ISO 800 ASA, handheld
WINNER: THREATENED SPECIES. Carnaby’s black cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus latirostris. Status: endangered. Baudin’s black cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus baudinii. Status: endangered.
There was no wind and it was more than 30 degrees by 8am, so Baudin’s and Carnaby’s black cockatoos from the local flocks came down from the trees to the farmer’s pond for a social drink. A few also had a quick rinse before heading off to look for food. Nannup, Western Australia. Canon EOS 1DX, EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM, 1/2500, f/2.8, ISO 200, handheld.
WINNER: LANDSCAPE CATEGORY. Australia’s iconic peak captured under serendipitous conditions. On average, it rains every second day in these highlands so I was fortunate to obtain a still lake with a crystal clear reflection, a cloudless sky without the moon and the phenomenon of strong air-glow colours. Cradle Mountain, Tasmania. Canon EOS 5D Mk III, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II, 30, f/2.8, ISO 1600, Really Right Stuff TQC 14 tripod, BH-30 ball head
WINNER: BOTANICAL CATEGORY. Deep in the Tasmanian wilderness remains some of Australia’s most pristine forest. This aesthetic Myrtle Glade cloaked in mountain mist portrays some of the finest representation of primeval vegetation, which is constantly saturated in life-filled moisture and rich in ambience. Southwest National Park, Tasmania. Nikon 800E, 17mm, 1/60, f/18 ISO 200, tripod
WINNER: INTERPRETIVE CATEGORY. This aerial view of the low tide formed by salt lakes, tidal mudflats, mangrove swamps, hidden creeks and rivers exposes the heart of the Cambridge Gulf’s landscape on the north coast of Western Australia. This entire vista appeared more like an artist’s abstract painting than a landscape. Cambridge Gulf, Western Australia. Canon EOS 5D Mk II, EF24-70mm F/2.8L USM, 1/250, f5.6, ISO 200, handheld
WINNER: MONOCHROME CATEGOY. Eastern grey kangaroo, Macropus giganteus. The other roos had seen this many times and merely sat drenched and depressed waiting for the storm to pass. The young bucks had something to prove, rearing back onto their tails to intimidate each other into submission. Geehi, New South Wales. Nikon D800e, Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3, 1/1250, f/6.3, ISO 4000, Really Right Stuff TS 33 tripod, Really Right Stuff BH-55 ball head
WINNER: OUR IMPACT CATEGORY. During winter this parched lake gains water that runs down from surrounding paddocks which have all been cleared for crops. Without any exit creeks, it sits still and slowly evaporates during summer, with salt growths and crystals forming on the dead trees. Quairading, Western Australia. Canon EOS 7D, EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, 1/20, f/13, ISO 400, tripod
WINNER: JUNIOR CATEGORY. Australian emperor dragonfly, Hemianax papuensis. Australian emperor dragonflies are large, fiercely territorial and are found all over Australia. I spotted this individual sitting poised for take-off among the plants in my grandparents’ garden. Cootamundra, New South Wales. Nikon D3100, AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR + 20mm macro extension ring , 1/200, f/5.6 ISO 200, flash, handheld
American photographer Jordan Ekwon the People’s Choice Award. His striking black and white image Bird Tree, taken at Lake Wanaka in New Zealand, was named the runner-up in the Monochrome category of the 2014 ANZANG competition.
Home Topics Wildlife 2014 ANZANG photography contest winners
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