NEXT GALLERY: Botanical shortlist

    Next up, see the shortlisted photos from the Botanical category in the 2016 AG Nature Photographer of the Year competition here.

    Photo Credit: MAREE CLOUT, NEW SOUTH WALES

    Arctic Roo

    Kangaroo, Macropodidae

    On the coldest day of the year I wanted to catch the incoming snow storm and search for kangaroos. I had to walk for 5km to reach the snow line and it was coming down in large, fast-falling flakes. As the roos hopped away I captured the scene I’d waited so long for.

    Yanky Hat, Namadgi National Park, Australian Capital Territory.

    Nikon D800e, Nikon 200-400 f4 VR2, 1/160, f/9, ISO 4000, Really Right Stuff TVC33, BH55 ball head.

    Photo Credit: Charles Davis, New South Wales

    Gentoo vs. the Mountain

    Gentoo penguin, Pygoscelis papua

    All alone, this Gentoo penguin faces the mountains during a snowstorm at Cuverville Island in Antarctica. The choice of framing and composition is key to providing the epic sense of scale one finds in Antarctica as well as emphasising the graphic design of the penguin and mountains.

    Cuverville Island, Antarctica

    Canon EOS 1DX, Canon EF 70-200 mm F2.8L IS MKII at 105 mm, 1/500, f/8, ISO 400, handheld

    Photo Credit: Joshua Holko, Victoria

    Home Shrinking Home

    Pink anemonefish, Amphiprion perideraion

    Two pink anemonefish snuggle tightly as their host anemone has contracted its column, leaving a small clutch of tentacles exposed. A mucus layer on the anemonefish prevents injury from the tentacle’s stinging cells. Anemone shrimp are also present. Both species live in a symbiotic relationship with the host anemone.

    Wakatobi reefs, Sulawesi, Indonesia

    Canon EOS 5D Mk III, Canon EF 100 mm f2.8L Macro IS USM, 1/200, f/22, ISO 200, Nauticam underwater housing, twin 240Z Inon strobes

    Photo Credit: Wayne Osborn, Western Australia

    King of the Desert

    Western desert taipan, Oxyuranus temporalis

    The western desert taipan (Oxyuranus temporalis) was only described in 2007 as its utter remoteness has hid it from science for generations. Very little is known of this beautiful predator with less than a dozen sightings formally recorded. It was a highlight of my life to meet this young individual!

    Ilkurlka, Western Australia

    Canon 7D, Tokina 11-16 mm, 1/250, f/16, ISO 160, twin flash 430 EXII, handheld

    Photo Credit: Max Jackson, Queensland

    Well, hello!

    Smallspotted combtooth blenny, Escenius stictus

    A smallspotted combtooth blenny, Escenius stictus, watches from the safety of its soft coral home. So often it’s the little things in life that bring pleasure and these blennies do that in spades – they are cute, curious, fun to watch and they stay still long enough for slow photographers.

    Russell Island, Queensland

    Olympus OMD-EM1, Olympus M-Zuiko 12-50 mm F 3.5-6.3 in macro mode, 1/200, f/22, ISO 200, Ikelite DS-125 and Ikelite DS-51 strobes, Olympus PT-EP11 housing

    Photo Credit: David Westcott, Queensland

    Boo – Fernbird

    Fernbird, Bowdleria punctata

    Fernbirds forage through reeds and grasses making it extremely difficult to see them, let alone photograph them. I wanted to show one as it climbed up out of the dense foliage before diving into the next clump. I managed this shot as it did the splits while clinging on.

    Orokonui Ecosanctuary, New Zealand

    Canon EOS-1DX, EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, 1/640, f/7.1, ISO 1000

    Photo Credit: Trevor Penfold, New Zealand

    Aggregation

    Giant cuttlefish, Sepia apama

    The Australian giant cuttlefish aggregation is truly one of nature’s great events. Thousands of cuttlefish congregate in the shallow waters around the Spencer Gulf in South Australia to mate and perpetuate the species. The cuttlefish, like alien beings, display an array of patterns, textures and colours to indicate their intentions.

    South Australia

    Canon 5D Mk III, 15 mm fisheye, 1/200, f/20, ISO 320, Ikelite DS-161 strobes

    Photo Credit: Scott Portelli, New South Wales

    Basket Star Shrimp

    Basket star shrimp, Lipkemenes lanipes

    At night, huge echinoderms called basket stars emerge from their hiding places within the reef. On their surface lives a tiny shrimp (two centimetres long and about the diameter of a five cent coin), which scurry around the basket star’s wide stretched arms foraging for food.

    Alor, Indonesia

    Nikon D800, Nikkor 105 mm, 1/125, f/14, ISO 100, 2x Inon Z240 underwater strobes, Subal underwater camera housing

    Photo Credit: Richard Smith, United Kingdom

AG Nature Photographer of the Year 2016: Animal habitat shortlist

By AG STAFF | May 25, 2016

In this category, we asked for photos showing animals in the environment in which they live – 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. These photos will be exhibited at the South Australian Museum in Adelaide (18 August to 3 October) and the Australian Museum in Sydney (19 August to 9 October).