NEXT GALLERY: Junior shortlist

    Next up, see the shortlisted photographs from our 2016 AG Nature Photographer of the Year Junior Category, featuring stunning photos by talented photographers aged 18 and under here.


    Leaf Reflection

    Red-eyed tree frog, Litoria chloris

    I fell in love with Australia’s tree frogs and spent weeks building up a portfolio. I finally found this lovely red-eyed tree frog and its reflection on the leaf. With my flash tucked safely away from the rain, I used my flashlight to provide some lighting to capture its reflection.

    Lamington National Park, Queensland

    Canon EOS 5D Mk III, EF 100 mm f/2.8L macro IS USM, 1/200, f/5.6, ISO 800, handheld Nitecore LED flashlight, handheld

    Photo Credit: Bret Charman, United Kingdom


    Red fox, Vulpes vulpes

    A red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in Altona Coastal Park, Victoria. Standing in cover on the edge of Port Phillip Bay photographing shorebirds, I saw movement out of my peripheral vision. I swung the camera around at the same moment as the fox, who was busily hunting, spotted me.

    Altona Coastal Park, Victoria

    Nikon D4s, Nikon 500 mm, f4 + 1.4x extender, f/6.3, ISO 1600, 1/1250, monopod

    Photo Credit: Mark Doro, New South Wales

    Blue-eyed flatback

    Flatback turtle, Natator depressus

    Much of the life history of Australia’s endemic flatback turtle (Natator depressus) remains a mystery. This blue-eyed baby turtle was reared and released with a group of satellite-tagged siblings by scientists from James Cook University, as part of a world-first study into the species’ migration and habitat use.

    Whitsunday Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland

    Nikon D7100, Tokina 10-17 mm DX fisheye zoom, 1/250, f/10, ISO 100, 2x Inon Z-240 strobes with diffusers, Nauticam NA-D7100, Nauticam 230 mm optical glass dome

    Photo Credit: Matt Curnock, Queensland

    Curious Company

    Common Sydney octopus, Octopus tetricus

    The Sydney octopus commonly occurs in sheltered rock pools along the temperate coast of Australia feeding on fish and crustaceans. This individual was particularly curious about the dome port of my camera housing, reaching out to touch it with its tentacle – curious about the unusual creature sharing its rock pool.

    Narooma, New South Wales

    Nikon D800, Sigma 15 mm, 1/40, f/13, ISO 320, Ikelite housing, twin DS161 strobes

    Photo Credit: Justin Gilligan, New South Wales


    Red jellyfish, Crambione mastigophora

    Crambione mastigophora, the red jellyfish, edible jellyfish or ‘sea tomato’ backlit by the sun during a jellyfish bloom event around the North West Cape area (Ningaloo Reef and Exmouth Gulf) of Western Australia.

    Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

    Canon EOS 50D, Tokina 10-17 fisheye at 10 mm, 1/250, f/16, ISO 200, 2x Inon Z240 strobes, handheld

    Photo Credit: Ross Gudgeon, New South Wales

    Mouthful of Needles

    Freshwater crocodile, Crocodylus johnsoni

    This young freshwater crocodile (Crocodylus johnsoni) was found searching for frogs and tadpoles in a well-known ‘nursery’ located in the Mt Isa region, hoping to trap his prey with a mouthful of needle sharp teeth.

    Mt Isa region, Queensland

    Canon EOS 7D Mk II, Venus Optics Laowa 15 mm f/4 macro wide angle, 1/100, f/11 (estimate manual lens), ISO 125, 2x handheld Yonguo 560YN II Speedlites with softbox

    Photo Credit: Jannico Kelk, Queensland

    Wraparound by night

    Wraparound spider, Dolophones spp

    In full light many people struggle to appreciate spiders. Silhouettes focus on shapes and allow a different insight and perspective. Wraparound spiders (Dolophones spp.) have tall, knobby protrusions on their abdomens, which help them camouflage when resting on branches. The protrusions can vary within a single species!

    Bensville, New South Wales

    Canon 1DX, Tamron 90 mm, 1/160, f/16, ISO 4000, LED torch to create circle of light against a leaf

    Photo Credit: Alan Kwok, New South Wales

    Hunting in the rain

    Buff-breasted paradise kingfisher, Tanysiptera (Uralcyon) sylvia

    I was in my hide photographing a pair of buff-breasted paradise kingfishers bringing food for their hungry nestlings. During the five days I photographed them they didn’t stop bringing food, even in the pouring monsoon rain.

    Julatten, Queensland

    Canon EOS 5D III, Canon EF 800 mm f5.6L IS, 1/2000, f/7.1, ISO 800, tripod, Canon Speedlit 600 RT flash

    Photo Credit: Ofer Levy, New South Wales

    Under the Lime Slime

    Murray turtle, Emydura macquarii

    While trying to get a photo of water dragons covered in thick green algae, this inquisitive Murray turtle poked his head out of the water and looked at me. I managed to get just a few photos before the turtle slipped back under the slime and disappeared.

    Adelaide Zoo, South Australia

    Olympus OMD E-M5, Zuiko 70-300 mm at 108 mm, 1/800, f/8, ISO 200, handheld

    Photo Credit: Paula McManus, South Australia

    Celestial Terrestrial

    Southern calamari squid, Sepioteuthis australis

    The alien looking southern calamari squid is native to Australian and New Zealand coastlines. Its dot painting-like skin patterns are reminiscent of ancient native Australian paintings. It took me several weeks of night dives and patience to achieve this unique portrait: when I shot this frame I was elated!!

    Bushrangers Bay, Shellharbour, New South Wales

    Nikon D810, Nikkor 105 mm F2.8 Micro, 1/250, f/25, ISO 100, 2x Inon Z220 strobes at half power, Aquatica Digital AD810 with low profile macro lens port

    Photo Credit: Matty Smith, New South Wales

    Flying Flatworm

    Unidentified species

    Flatworms are relatively common on coral reefs. Their undulating body is perfectly adapted to crawling around this complex habitat, but also for swimming. I found this individual swimming several metres above a sandy bottom in deep water. I used the negative space to highlight the beautiful animal.

    Alor, Indonesia

    Nikon D800, Nikkor 105 mm, 1/125, f/18, ISO 100, 2x Inon Z240 underwater strobes, Subal underwater camera housing

    Photo Credit: Richard Smith, United Kingdom

    Emu Field

    Emu, Dromaius novaehollandiae

    I was driving home when I saw two large emus stalking through a field of long grass. I love the sharpness and proud attitude of this one standing out amongst the blur of grasses.

    Toodyay, Western Australia

    Canon EOS-1D X, Canon EF 600 mm f/4L IS II USM, 1/8000, f/5.6, ISO 1600, handheld

    Photo Credit: Georgina Steytler, Western Australia

    Red Whip Ambush

    Painted Flutemouth, Aulostomus chinensis

    Fish have few facial muscles to enliven their portraits but their behaviour opens up some opportunities. Here, a painted flutemouth hovers amongst the waving stems of red whip-coral. Patient and sharply watchful, it will be rewarded when a passing small fish or crustacean fails to notice its deadly presence.

    South-east Sulawesi, Indonesia.

    Canon 5DSR, EF100 f2.8L macro IS USM plus Kenko 1.4x teleconverter, 1/250, f/16, ISO 100, 2x Inon Z240


    Photo Credit: Wade Hughes, Western Australia

AG Nature Photographer of the Year 2016: Animal portrait shortlist

By AG STAFF | May 25, 2016

In this category, 30% of the frame had to be taken up by the animal. Creatures of the land, air and sea all feature in this stunning shortlist. 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).