BLUEBOTTLE ARMY. Following strong summer northeast winds, hundreds of bluebottles (Physalia physalis) blow in and are trapped, floating around the bay and sometimes clumping together in huge rafts. After quite a few early mornings and lighting experiments I captured the striking contrast between their blueness and the orange sun rising in the background. Bushrangers Bay, Shellharbour, New South Wales. Nikon D300s, Nikon 10.5mm F2.8 Fisheye, 1/200, f/22, ISO 100, Inon Z220 Substrobe at ½ power flash, handheld, Aquatica for D300s with Aquatica 8” Acrylic Dome Port water housing

    Photo Credit: Matthew Smith, New South Wales

    BLUE WATER VIEW. GREEN TURTLE CHELONIA MYDAS. Bunaken National Park is located in the heart of the coral triangle. Colourful brigades of tropical fish swarm along vertical reef walls covered with a coral veneer home to hidden secrets such as frogfish and pygmy seahorses. The walls are also home to green sea turtles that arrive here from the open ocean to rest on perfectly formed ledges with the ultimate blue water view. Bunaken, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Nikon D300, Nikon 10.5mm, 1/125, f9, ISO200, Ikelite housing, twin DS161 strobes, handheld

    Photo Credit: Justin Gilligan, New South Wales

    CAMOUFLAGED EEL. MORAY EEL, FAMILY: MURAENIDAE. The Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve offers some of the best temperate water diving in the world. The kelp-covered reefs provide the shelter for a range of species. This moray eel was barely discernible amongst the kelp – the perfect cover for an ambush predator. Poor Knights Islands, New Zealand. Nikon D800, Nikon 10.5mm, 1/250, f/10, ISO 400, Ikelite housing, twin DS161 strobes, handheld

    Photo Credit: Justin Gilligan, New South Wales

    NANKEEN KESTREL, FALCO CENCHROIDES. The guardian, I’ve spent many hours photographing this juvenile nankeen kestrel in Waverley cemetery. On this day, I was there shooting time-lapse of a passing storm on my Nikon D810. With a dead D810 battery, my best camera was in my iPhone when my falcon friend appeared at sunset. Bronte, New South Wales. iPhone 6 (back camera), 4.15mm (29mm focal length in 35mm format), 1/120, 2.2, ISO 40, handheld (horizontal), image captured with VSCOcam 

    Photo Credit: Melissa Williams-Brown, New South Wales

    BLACK-WINGED STILT, HIMANTOPUS HIMANTOPUS. Black-winged stilt in the mist. A wind free, misty morning created an ideal setting for this black-winged stilt, walking in shallow water.Pitt Town Lagoon, New South Wales. Nikon D800, Nikon 200-400mm VR f/4, Nikon 1.4x TCE II (Converter), 1/1000, f/7.1, ISO 2000, lying prone on bank, Skimmer Pod with Wimberly Sidekick

    Photo Credit: Heyn de Kock, New South Wales

    LACE MONITOR, VARANUS VARIUS. The lace monitor resembles the giants of yesteryear. With its razor sharp claws and powerful tail these reptiles can intimidate the bravest of souls. Basking in the sun on top of a paper bark tree surrounded by the expanse of the Myall Lakes, this reptile is king of its domain. Myall Lakes, New South Wales. Canon 5D MK II, Canon 16-35mm, 1/125, f/16, ISO 800

    Photo Credit: Scott Portelli, New South Wales

    BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE, ELANUS AXILLARIS. Thriving on agriculture. The black-shouldered kite is one of the lucky species to have reaped the benefits of agricultural practices and the introduction of house mice in Australia. This stunning raptor was using the fence as a vantage point to spot its rodent prey, which is abundant in the wheat fields. Roma, Queensland. Canon EOS 7D, Sigma 105mm macro lens, 1/250, f/16, ISO 160, handheld

    Photo Credit: Brendan Schembri, South Australia

    MANTA RAY, MANTA SP. From above you get a true indication of the vast numbers of large marine animals in Ningaloo Reef’s lagoons. I will never forget seeing these huge manta rays swimming so close to shore. Over 30 manta rays, dugongs, humpback whales, tiger sharks and dolphins were seen during this flight. Batemans Bay, Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia Nikon D90, Nikon 18-105 VR, 1/400, f/7.1, ISO 250, handheld

    Photo Credit: Johnny Gaskell, Victoria

    WHIP CORAL GOBIES, BRYANINOPS YONGEI. Whip coral gobies and eggs. Whip coral gobies live along the wire-like whip corals of Indo-Pacific coral reefs. Just a few centimetres long, the fish lay eggs that are invisible to the naked eye on the whips and guard them from predators. This parent’s protective behaviour indicated to me that they were guarding an egg clutch. Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia. Nikon D2Xs, Nikkor 105mm, 1/125, f/13, ISO 100, Twin INON Z240 strobes, Subal underwater housing

    Photo Credit: Richard Smith, United Kingdom

    Saltwater Crocodile. 

    Photo Credit: Justin Gilligan, New South Wales

    EMU, DROMAIUS NOVAEHOLLANDIAE. Emuscape.We were camped near a dam in a dry and remote area of western Queensland photographing flock bronzewings. A mob of Emus appeared over the shimmering horizon, scattered over a vast area coming in for a drink. Their natural curiosity drew them closer to us allowing me to capture this ‘emuscape’. West of Astrebla Downs National Park, Queensland. Canon EOS-1DX, EF 24-70 f2.8L @ 24mm, 1/400, f/14, ISO 800, Gitzo tripod

    Photo Credit: David Stowe, New South Wales

    SOUTHERN PILBARA ROCK GOANNA, VARANUS HAMERSLEYENSIS. The southern Pilbara rock goannainhabits rocky areas of the Hamersley Range in Western Australia’s Pilbara Region. A medium-sized species, it uses the many cracks and crevices of the banded ironstone for shelter and foraging. Eastern Hamersley Range, Western Australia. Canon EOS 7D, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM, 1/30, f/11.0, ISO 200, Canon 580EX for fil flash, handheld

    Photo Credit: Jordan Vos, Western Australia

ANZANG 2015 Animal habitat shortlist

By AG STAFF | June 17, 2015

The Australian Geographic 2015 ANZANG Animal habitat competition asked for photographs of animals in the environment they live in. This environment could be natural or built and the animal, either native or feral. The only rule was that the animal must not be captive and has claimed the habitat independently. This shortlist shows the beautiful variety of landscapes and animals we enjoy in Australia.