Winner: animal portrait

    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

    Runner up: animal portrait

    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

    Winner: animal behaviour

    Glaucus Atlanticus

    Blue glaucus, Glaucus atlanticus

    I found these beautiful floating pelagic nudibranchs in a low-tide rockpool early one morning, along with hundreds more. They had been washed there overnight during onshore winds and these two looked like they were squaring up for a fight!

    Port Kembla, Shellharbour New South Wales

    Nikon D810, Nikkor 105 mm F2.8 micro, 1/320, f/32, ISO 64, 1x Inon Z220 strobes full power and fibre optic snoot, Aquatica Digital AD810 with low profile macro lens port

    Photo Credit: Matty Smith, New South Wales

    Runner up: animal behaviour

    Mud Skipping

    Mudskippers, Gobiidae

    I found these irascible and territorial mudskippers (Gobiidae family), leaping around in the mud, to be more attention grabbing than the thousands of shorebirds that flocked around them on the mudflats of the bay.

    Roebuck Bay, Broome, Western Australia

    Canon EOS-1D X, Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM, 1/6400, f/5.6, ISO 1600, handheld

    Photo Credit: Georgina Steytler, Western Australia

    Winner: animal habitat

    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

    Runner up: animal habitat

    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

    Winner: botanical

    Aligning Planets

    Giant grass tree, Richea pandanifolia

    Two planets align, Venus and Jupiter, aside this giant grass tree. Off camera flash was used to backlight and add/keep important detail in the shot. Perfectly still conditions were also required to set this up.

    Flinders Ranges, South Australia

    Nikon D800, Nikon Lens 14-24 mm, 30, f/2.8, ISO 3200, flash off camera, tripod

    Photo Credit: Julie Fletcher, South Australia

    Runner up: botanical

    Mist Shower

    New England National Park was registered as a World Heritage area in 1986, due to the universal significance of its biological and landscape values. The park’s genetic diversity and natural cycles remain unaltered, which has allowed the survival and evolution of rainforest species over geological time.

    New England National Park, New South Wales

    Canon 6D, Canon 16-35 mm f/2.8, 2.5, f/13, ISO 200, tripod and circular polarised filter

    Photo Credit: Drew Hopper, New South Wales

    Winner: landscape

    Desert Patterns

    Aerial image taken from helicopter of a creek line that runs through Kata Tjuṯa in the early morning creating long shadows and patterns.

    Kata Tjuṯa, Northern Territory

    Nikon D800, Nikon Lens 24-70 mm, 1/2000, f/2.8, ISO 1100, aerial

    Photo Credit: Julie Fletcher, South Australia

    Runner up: landscape

    Transcendence

    Being in the presence of the mountains stirs emotions deep inside me. This photo, captured in the Southern Alps looking toward Mt Avalanche, depicts a fleeting moment of light and the relentless forces of nature one is exposed to in these wild places. I’ll remember this moment for the rest of my life.

    Mount Aspiring National Park, New Zealand

    Sony A7R, Sony 70-200 mm F4, 1/200, f/9, ISO 100, handheld

    Photo Credit: William Patino, New South Wales

    Winner: monochrome

    Winters Path

    Brumby, Equus caballus

    Gales were blazing off the main range and snow flurrying right through the valley when I spotted these two brumbies at the valley’s entrance. I waited for the storm to close in but the conditions became too harsh for the horses and the weary beasts struggled through the fierce winds to find shelter.

    Thredbo, New South Wales

    Nikon D800e, Nikon 28-300 mm f5.6, 1/1000, f/8, ISO 1250

    Photo Credit: Charles Davis, New South Wales

    Runner up: monochrome

    Leura Falls Creek within a wet and foggy morning

    Leura Falls Creek flows over the southern escarpment at Bridal Veil Falls. Further upstream, the creek meanders through a Jurassic-looking, tree fern infested, bush area before it forms a cascading drop to the falls. The prehistoric mood of the locale is enhanced whenever there is early morning fog rising up from the valley.

    Leura Cascades, Blue Mountains National Park, New South Wales

    Canon EOS 5D Mk II, Canon TS-E 24 mm f3.4L II, 1.3 sec, f/13, ISO 50, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod with 496RC2 Ball Head. Stitched image shot using the shift function of the 24 mm Tilt+Shift lens, three shots taken at the same settings; at +8 mm shift, 0 mm shift, and -8 mm shift.

    Photo Credit: Peter Hill, New South Wales

    Winner: interpretive

    Swaying

    Dandelion, Hypochaeris sp

    The beauty of the dandelion viewed through a macro lens can almost transport one into another world, but I needed to trust a steady hand and flexible back when capturing these dandelion seed heads as they swayed in the breeze.

    Everard Park, South Australia

    Canon 5D Mk II, Canon MP-E 65 mm macro lens, 1/100, f/3.5, ISO 100, handheld

    Photo Credit: Dianne Galbraith, South Australia

    Runner up: interpretive

    Float

    I love to capture the ocean in its different forms. The ethereal and delicate moment was caught while the sun was setting over the ocean, adding beautiful hues to the surface. The shallow DOF emphasises a brief moment of water passing by.

    Glenelg North, South Australia

    Nikon D800, Sigma ART series 50 mm, f1.4, 1/500, f/1.4, ISO 100, aquatic underwater housing, handheld.

    Photo Credit: Joel Durbridge, South Australia

    Winner: our impact

    The Killing Field

    Kangaroo, Macropodidae

    Despite the fact that many native animals are much more active between dusk and dawn, sadly inflexible speed limits of up to 110 km/h don’t seem to take this into consideration. This kangaroo was killed and then moved off road by the truck driver who hit it. It was then moved back onto the same road nearer to the sign for effect.

    Karatta, Kangaroo Island, South Australia

    Nikon d750, Nikon 24-70 mm f/2.8, 27, f/14, ISO 500, UV filter, Gitzo mountaineer tripod with a Really Right Stuff ball head, bulb mode, two flashes – first flash manually fired, second flash with rear curtain

    Photo Credit: Doug Gimesy, Victoria

    Runner up: our impact

    The whale sharks of Cenderawasih Bay – Two worlds

    Whale sharks, Rhincodon typus

    In Cenderawasih Bay the squid fishermen are stationed for months on a rickety wooden platform a few miles from the coast. The deviation of the fish attracts whale sharks (Rhincodon typus), which seem to appreciate this unusual delicacy. Whale sharks for local people are synonymous with good luck and are treated like real puppies.

    Cenderawasih Bay, Irian Jaya, Indonesia

    Olympus E PL-1, Panasonic 7-14 mm f/4.0 micro four thirds, 1/20, f/16, ISO 100, 10 BAR underwater housing

    Photo Credit: Alex Varani, Italy

    Winner: threatened species

    Palm Grove Dingo

    Dingo, Canis lupus

    Status: Vulnerable

    Having spent an hour following this dingo, I waited until she went to lay in the cool shade of a grove of small palms. I wanted to capture an intimate portrait of this rare wild dog in its forest habitat, hoping it may change people’s perceptions of this species.

    Fraser Island, Queensland

    Canon EOS 5D Mk III, Canon EF 300 mm f2.8 IS II USM, 1/500, f/3.5, ISO 2500, handheld

    Photo Credit: Bret Charman, United Kingdom

    Runner up: threatened species

    Buller’s Albatross, Thalassarche bulleri

    Buller’s albatross, Thalassarche bulleri

    Status: Near threatened

    The boat was rocking in a large swell; it was pouring with rain; and I was being sick overboard when this stunning Buller’s albatross came in close. Sometimes a photo is worth the pain. Buller’s albatross is a common by-catch from long-line fisheries in the Southern Ocean.

    Lord Howe Island, New South Wales

    Canon EOS 7D Mk II, Canon EF 300 mm f/4L IS USM, 1/3200, f/5.6, ISO 640, handheld

    Photo Credit: Georgina Steytler, Western Australia

    Winner: junior

    Rockpool

    Tiny bugs swirl above an ocean rock pool in the morning sun. It seems no matter where you look on the south coast, everything is beautiful.

    Minnamurra, New South Wales

    Nikon D3200, 18-105 mm f/3.5-5.6, 1/400, f/5.6, ISO 100, handheld

    Photo Credit: Ryan North, New South Wales, aged 17

    Runner up: junior

    Toothy Grin

    Salt water crocodile, Crocodylus porosus

    This image conveys a large male saltwater crocodile resting on a river bank in northern Queensland. The saltwater crocodile is a modern day dinosaur that is an integral part of the precious ecosystem. I had the privilege to photograph the awe-inspiring predator in its natural habitat. An amazing experience!

    Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve, northern Queensland

    Canon EOS 7D Mk II, Canon EF-S 18-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS at 135 mm, 1/200, f/5.6, ISO 2000, handheld

    Photo Credit: Robert Irwin, Queensland, aged 12

    Overall winner

    Piercing Headache

    Orange-eyed tree frogs, Litoria xanthomera

    Several male orange-eyed tree frogs (Litoria xanthomera) were pronouncing their prowess around an old water-filled car tyre, attempting to attract females. Some of these frogs enticed the wrong kind, attracting bloodthirsty female mosquitoes in search of a meal crucial for future egg development.

    Cedar Bay National Park, Queensland

    Nikon D7000, Tamron 60 mm f/2.0, 1/250, f/40, ISO 100, 2x Nikon SB-600 speedlights remotely fired from on-camera flash, handheld

    Photo Credit: Matthew McIntosh, Queensland

    Winner: portfolio 1

    Orphans

    Western grey kangaroo, Macropus fuliginosus

    These western grey kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus) joeys were orphaned when their mothers were hit by cars. I helped care for them until they were old enough to be released back into the wild. Anxious, scared and vulnerable, they never let me out of their sight.

    Lake Ninan, Western Australia

    Canon EOS-1D X, Canon EF 16-35 mm f/2.8L IS USM at 35 mm, 1/200, f/14, ISO 400, handheld

    Photo Credit: Georgina Steytler, Western Australia

    Winner: portfolio 2

    Driftwood River

    I loved the shape of the washed out driftwood on the bright sand, nestled amongst a small forest of orange succulents.  But it also reflects a sad fact: once a freshwater oasis, this area is now six times saltier than the ocean as a result of over clearing.

    Lake Ninan, Western Australia

    Canon EOS-1D X, Canon EF 16-35 mm f/2.8L IS USM at 16 mm, 1/80, f/11, ISO 100, handheld

    Photo Credit: Georgina Steytler, Western Australia

    Winner: portfolio 3

    Buller’s Albatross, Thalassarche bulleri

    Buller’s albatross, Thalassarche bulleri

    The boat was rocking in a large swell; it was pouring with rain; and I was being sick overboard when this stunning Buller’s albatross came in close. Sometimes a photo is worth the pain. Buller’s albatross is a common by-catch from long-line fisheries in the Southern Ocean.

    Lord Howe Island, New South Wales

    Canon EOS 7D Mk II, Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM, 1/3200, f/5.6, ISO 640, handheld

    Photo Credit: Georgina Steytler, Western Australia

    Winner: portfolio 4

    Mud Skipping

    Mudskipper, Gobiidae

    I found these irascible and territorial mudskippers (Gobiidae family), leaping around in the mud, to be more attention grabbing than the thousands of shorebirds that flocked around them on the mudflats of the bay.

    Roebuck Bay, Broome, Western Australia

    Canon EOS-1D X, Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM, 1/6400, f/5.6, ISO 1600, handheld

    Photo Credit: Georgina Steytler, Western Australia

    Winner: Portfolio 5

    A Fishy Present

    Crested tern, Thalasseus bergii

    There was a lot of activity on the rocks, with male crested terns busily trying to impress the females. This one flew around me several times with its fish, looking for a mate willing to accept his precious gift.

    Bremer Bay, Western Australia

    Canon EOS-1D X, Canon EF 500 mm f/4L IS II USM + Canon Extender EF 1.4X I, 1/4000, f/9, ISO 1250, handheld

    Photo Credit: Georgina Steytler, Western Australia

    Winner: portfolio 6

    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

GALLERY: 2016 AG Nature Photographer of the Year winners

By AG STAFF | August 12, 2016

The winning images from the 2016 Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the year contest have been revealed. Congratulations to all winners and runners-up.

These photos will be exhibited at the South Australian Museum in Adelaide, SA (18 August to 3 October) and the Australian Museum in Sydney, NSW (19 August to 9 October).