SNOW PETREL

    SNOW PETREL
    Pagodroma nivea

    From a clifftop I watched a snow petrel darting to and from a nest below. The sparkling ocean backdrop was too bright for me or my camera autofocus system to ‘see’ the white bird. I pre-focused instead when the background was land and continued tracking and shooting by instinct to get this shot.

    Devil Island, Antarctica

    Canon EOS 7D Mk II, EF 100–
    400mm, f/4.5–5.6 L IS II USM,
    1/2000, f/7.1, ISO 400, handheld

    Photo Credit: Andrew Peacock, Queensland

    OL’ BLUE EYES IS BACK

    STRIATE ANGLERFISH
    Antennarius striatus

    With an aesthetic combination of both ‘beauty and beast’, this black hairy anglerfish catches human attention as well as prey, with the pink feather-like lure attached to the end of its rod. It carefully watches with the bluest of eyes.

    Tweed River, New South Wales–Queensland border

    Nikon D810, Nikon 60mm, f/2.8, 1/100, f/22, ISO 320, YS250 PRO with Retra light shaping device (Snoot)

    Photo Credit: Andy Wingate, Queensland

    CRADLE MT POSSUM

    COMMON BRUSHTAIL POSSUM
    Trichosurus vulpecula

    Taken behind a cabin, I only had one flash and a remote which I used through the window. I pointed the flash at the cabin wall and used it to bounce and spread the light over a large area. The possums were already interested in our dinner so I rubbed a little juice from the pan into the moss to get the brushy where I needed it.

    Cradle Mountain, Tasmania

    Nikon D850, Nikon 24–70 f2.8, 1/80, f/5.0, ISO 3200, Nikon SB5000, RRS TVC33 tripod, BH55 ball head

    Photo Credit: Charles Davis, New South Wales

    PEEKABOO

    COMMON WOMBAT
    Vombatus ursinus

    I was lucky enough to encounter this mum that was waddling and dragging
    her large pouch across the grassy terrain. I could see why she seemed to be struggling – this baby wasn’t ready to leave home and looked snug, with a
    perfect and safe view of the world from Mum’s pouch.

    Cradle Mountain National Park, Tasmania

    Canon EOS 5D Mk III, Canon 70–200mm, L series, f/2.8,
    200mm, 1/200, f/5.6, ISO 640, handheld

    Photo Credit: Deb Sulzberger, Tasmania

    FATHER OF DRAGONS

    WEEDY SEA DRAGON
    Phyllopteryx taeniolatus

    Shortly after descending into the chilly depths of the Tasman Sea, I encountered this magnificent weedy sea dragon. This male will carry fertilised eggs on his tail for up to eight weeks, when his brood could produce up to 250 hatchlings. Weedy sea dragons are endemic to Australian temperate marine waters.

    North side of the Lanterns, Cape Hauy, Tasmania

    Canon 5D Mk IV, EF 16–35 f2.8 L 11 USM, 1/125, f/14, ISO 500, Nauticam
    underwater housing, twin INON Z240 underwater strobes

    Photo Credit: Jenny Stock, United Kingdom

    THE REEF WANDERER

    GREEN SEA TURTLE
    Chelonia mydas

    While snorkelling in the lagoon late one afternoon I crossed paths with this endangered green sea turtle. I took this photo using a slow shutter speed to capture the movement of the wind-swept ocean surface and contrast with the calm below as the
    turtle gracefully and effortlessly glided along.

    Lady Elliot Island, Queensland

    Canon EOS 5D Mk IV, Canon EF 15mm f2.8 fisheye, 1/10, f/11, ISO 125, two INON Z-240 strobes, AquaTech Elite 5D4 water housing, handheld

    Photo Credit: Jordan Robins, New South Wales

    IN THE LIGHT

    LITTLE CORELLA
    Cacatua sanguinea

    My backyard birdbath is popular with wild birds and one hot summer afternoon I noticed a little corella on the bath with the sun shining on its face.

    Perth, Western Australia

    Canon EOS 1DX Mk II, Canon EF 500mm f4 L IS II USM, Canon 1.4x III teleconverter, 1/2500, f/5.6, ISO 250, handheld

    Photo Credit: Lea Scaddan, Western Australia

    BRIDE IN THE BATH

    TERMITE
    Unidentified species

    Storms finally broke the dry grip of drought, creating perfect conditions
    for termite nuptial flights. Making the most of their small window of time,
    some were lucky, but others were not – like this termite alate. Entranced
    by the reflective surface, it was trapped by the pond. Serenely beautiful

    Mt Perry, Queensland

    Nikon D610, Tamron 90mm, 1/125, f/5.6, ISO 250, handheld

    Photo Credit: Melissa Christi, Queensland

    DOLPHIN GAZE

    COMMON BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN
    Tursiops truncatus

    Calm and serene as the sea of Spencer Gulf in South Australia, this common bottlenose dolphin showed the grace and skill of aeons of ocean dancing.

    Spencer Gulf, South Australia

    Nikon D300, Nikkor 18–200mm f3.5–5.6, 1/3200,
    f/5.3, ISO 2500, handheld

    Photo Credit: Micheline Jenner AM, Western Australia

    ARCHER FISH

    SEVENSPOT ARCHERFISH
    Toxotes chatareus

    The hunting archerfish fascinated me. I wanted to take a photo of this activity from their perspective, in water, so I lay on the bank holding the housing under water. The archerfish were curious, attracted to their reflection in the dome port and they came in close. In turn, they reflected off the surface.

    Lawn Hill National Park, Queensland

    Nikon D700, Sigma 15mm, 1/500, f/10, ISO 640, Subal housing

    Photo Credit: Neil Vincent, New South Wales

    JUST PASSING BY

    DWARF MINKE WHALE Balaenoptera acutorostrata

    This minke whale approached at speed, surfaced, exhaled and made eye contact as it passed by our whale research vessel (part of a world  minke satellite tagging expedition). The minkes seemed to enjoy surfing in the south-east trades, gracing us with a curious glance as they sped by.

    Ribbon Reefs, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland

    Canon EOS 1D Mk IV, Canon EF 100–400mm f4.5–5.6 L IS USM 170mm, 1/100, f/10, ISO 1600, handheld

    Photo Credit: Pam Osborn, Western Australia

    RING OF FIRE

    PINNATE BATFISH
    Platax pinnatus

    Adult pinnate batfish are large, beige fish that school in the open ocean. However, the young live on coral reefs where there are many more predators. The juvenile batfish mimic a toxic flatworm, which predators avoid. The small fish is almost identical in colour to the flatworm and swims in the same exaggerated manner, enhancing the masquerade.

    Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia

    Nikon D800, Nikkor 105mm macro, 1/125, f/11, ISO 100, twin INON Z240 strobes, handheld, Subal underwater housing

    Photo Credit: Richard Smith, United Kingdom

    DECORATOR CRAB

    DECORATOR CRAB
    Achaeus spinosus

    Typically, decorator crabs attach pieces of sponge and seaweed to themselves to camouflage and hide from predators (which makes them very poor photographic subjects). However, Achaeus spinosus attaches stinging hydroids to itself to ward off potential predators (making it a very
    attractive subject for photography).

    Lembeh Strait, North East Sulawesi, Indonesia

    Canon EOS 7D Mk II, Canon EF 100mm, f/2.8 macro USM, 1/250, f/16, ISO 200, INON Z240 strobe with Retra Pro light shaping device, handheld

    Photo Credit: Ross Gudgeon, Western Australia

    The AG Nature Photographer of the Year Awards are sponsored by Coral Expeditions.

    Photo Credit:

AG Nature Photographer of the Year 2019: Animal portrait shortlist

By AG STAFF | June 27, 2019

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 from Friday 16 August until Sunday 10 November 2019 and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney from Friday 16 August until Sunday October 20