Brolga Family Portrait

    Brolga, Grus rubicunda

    Just like most family portraits, there is always one kid not looking at the camera! This beautiful brolga family had just returned to their nest to settle in for the night as the sun was going down.

    Victoria, Australia

    Canon EOS 1DX Mk II, EF 500 mm f4L IS +1.4x III,1/1000, f/6.3, ISO 1600

    Photo Credit: David Stowe, New South Wales

    Shortfin Scorpion Fish

    Shortfin scorpionfish, Scorpaena brachyptera

    I love these strange bottom-dwelling creatures. They are easy to find, often overlooked and have the most amazing eyes. Scorpionfish are highly dangerous ambush predators, with venomous spines along their backs. I used a directional light to highlight only the face of the fish and created the black surround by under exposing the surrounding area.

    Lembeh, Manado, Indonesia

    Nikon D3S, Nikon 105 mm, 1/160, f/18, ISO 400, Retra light shaping device, Ikelite 161 strobe, Seacam housing

    Photo Credit: Tracey Jennings, Singapore

    Standing Ground

    Smooth knob-tailed gecko, Nephrurus levis occidentalis

    This charismatic gecko was adamant about staying on the warm road. When encouraged to move from harms way it began stretching its body as tall as possible in this awesome display of ‘toughness’, before scurrying off the road into the bush. Good timing, as a car followed 30 seconds later.

    Kalbarri National Park, Western Australia

    Canon EOS 5D Mk III, Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 macro USM, 1/160, f/32, ISO 320, Canon 580EX II with Diffuser, handheld, with small head torch

    Photo Credit: Brad Leue, Western Australia

    The Scratch

    Western grey kangaroo, Macropus fuliginosus

    I love watching young kangaroos. This little fellow, a western grey (Macropus fuliginosus), was having a scratch seemingly unconcerned by my presence. The back light captures the fur and dust as it floats off into the muted colours of the Wandoo bushland.

    Julimar, Western Australia

    Canon EOS-1D X, Canon EF 500 mm f/4L IS USM, 1/800, f/5.6, ISO 1600, handheld

    Photo Credit: Georgina Steytler, Western Australia

    Manta birostris

    Oceanic manta ray, Manta birostris

    There have been fewer than 10 recorded sightings of Manta birostris on the eastern side of Australia. Little is known about them. This one was quite small with an approximately 3.5 metre wingspan. These ocean giants have been recorded up to seven metres wide, though not all adults reach this size.

    Holmes Reef, Coral Sea

    Canon 5D Mk II, Canon EF 8 15 mm f4L USM, 1/200, f/22, ISO 400, Seacam underwater camera housing and Seacam superdome

    Photo Credit: Julia Sumerling, Queensland

    Windblown Egret

    Little egret, Egretta garzetta

    A little egret (Egretta garzetta) in breeding plumage was feeding in a shallow section of Herdsman Lake on a windy day when he turned and the breeze ruffled his feathers.

    Herdsman Lake, Perth, Western Australia

    Nikon D7200, Sigma 150-600 mm Sport at 440 mm, 1/1000, f/6.3, ISO 100, monopod

    Photo Credit: Jennie Stock, Western Australia

    Quiet Contemplation

    Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog, Litoria fallax

    One of the bonuses of visiting my mainland home is its proximity to the local wetland area. It’s a wonderful frog and bird habitat and occasionally we have visitors. This Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog (Litoria fallax) was quietly contemplating life on one of my succulents.

    Eagleby, Queensland

    Olympus Mirrorless EM1 Mk I, Olympus 60 mm macro, 1/20, f/4.5, ISO 400, handheld

    Photo Credit: Karen Willshaw, Cocos (Keeling) Islands

    When Pipis go bad

    Australian pied oystercatcher, Haematopus longirostris; common pipi, Donax deltoides

    This unfortunate Australian pied oystercatcher somehow picked up an unlikely hitchhiker that it just couldn’t shake, a common pipi (Donax deltoides). The other oystercatchers in the flock unsympathetically kept a safe distance fearing dreaded pipi foot contagion.

    Shoalhaven Heads, New South Wales

    Canon EOS 7D Mk II, Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM + 1.4xTC III @490 mm, 1/4000, f/10, ISO 1250, ground pod, partial metering, manual exposure, autofocus, burst mode

    Photo Credit: Mathew Jones, New South Wales

    First Wave

    Hawksbill turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata bissa

    A young and critically endangered hawksbill turtle ducks under its first wave just minutes after hatching. Its struggle will be long and tiresome and the odds of survival are sadly stacked against it. A slow shutter speed used with a flash enabled me to capture the amazing ambient light.

    Lissenung Island, New Ireland, Papua New Guinea

    Nikon D500, Nikkor 10.5 mm F2.8 fisheye, manual 1/25, f/22, ISO 320, two INON Z240 strobes set to ¼ power, Aquatica Digital AD500 with 4 inch glass dome port

    Photo Credit: Matty Smith, New South Wales

    Geometry in Nature

    Little egret, Egretta garzetta

    The waters at Bibra Lake are often perfectly still, mirroring anything that passes perfectly in reflection. I was hidden in the reeds, watching as this little egret hunted, slowly coming closer. I love how this image captures the geometric pattern made as one foot is lifted for the next step.

    Bibra Lake, Western Australia

    Nikon D800E, Nikon 80-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 AF-S, focal length 400 mm, 1/3200, f/9, ISO 400, handheld

    Photo Credit: Melissa Zappelli, Western Australia

    Peek a Boo

    Yellow-footed antechinus, Antechinus flavipes

    This mardo or yellow-footed antechinus (Antechinus flavipes) was busy running around the woodland floor. It ran up a fallen branch and into a small hollow and as I pulled up it poked its head up to check me out.

    Dryandra woodland, Western Australia

    Canon EOS 5D Mk III, Canon EF 100-400 mm f4.5-5.6L IS, focal length 400 mm,1/400, f/ 7.1, ISO 400, handheld, exposure bias -0.3 step

    Photo Credit: Rob McLean, Western Australia

    Blue Ribbon Eel

    Ribbon eels, Rhinomuraena quaesita

    Ribbon eels (Rhinomuraena quaesita) are a species of moray eel that are sequential hermaphrodites. Starting out male, juveniles are black with a yellow dorsal fin. Adult male eels (the subject of this photo) are bright blue with a yellow mouth and dorsal fin. Eventually they become females and turn entirely yellow.

    Lembeh Strait, North East Sulawesi, Indonesia

    Canon EOS 7D Mk II, Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 Macro USM, 1/250, f/16, ISO 200, Inon Z240 strobe, handheld, backlit with a narrow beam of light produced by using a Retra Pro Light Shaping Device fitted to the strobe.

    Photo Credit: Ross Gudgeon, New South Wales

    The Eight Legged King

    Crab spider, Diaea sp.

    Spiders: the ultimate predator of the garden, the king of all insects. I came across this crab spider perched perfectly upon the mouth of the orange mokara orchid. As I looked closely, the shape of the orchid mouth appeared as its throne with its imaginary crown floating above it.

    Kimbe, West New Britain, Papua New Guinea

    Olympus E-PM1, 14-42 mm, 160, f/11, ISO 400, flash, handheld

    Photo Credit: Tiana Reimann, Queensland

AG Nature Photographer of the Year 2017: Animal portrait shortlist

By AG STAFF | June 2, 2017

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 (11 August to 24 September) and the Australian Museum in Sydney (11 August to 10 December)