When it comes to Australian culture, this country has an ongoing and inexplicably profound connection to the USA’s ‘King of Rock and Roll’, Elvis Presley.
From slinging babies to the ground to giving birth to live young, insect parenting is seriously wild.
Conservation organisation Aussie Ark has returned 50 endangered eastern quolls to a protected, wild sanctuary in the Barrington Tops, NSW.
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Praying mantis (Mantodea)
Port Kembla, New South Wales
My camera is never far away when I am in the garden. You never know what you might find, as was the case with this praying mantis, suspended elegantly on this red spear. I appreciated its willingness to strike a pose, the green on its body contrasted greatly with the spear’s red.
Canon EOS 5D Mk III, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L macro IS USM, 1/160, f/8.0, ISO 4000, handheld
Leafy seadragon (Phycodurus eques)
Second Valley, South Australia
Leafy Seadragons hide in the thick kelp to camouflage themselves to avoid predators. The vibrant flamboyant adults blend perfectly with their surroundings. At night the backlighting on a Leafy seadragon accentuates their features and the delicate bodies that appear translucent.
Olympus OMD EM1 Mk II, 60mm macro, 1/250, f/22, ISO 100, Olympus strobes, underexposed to highlight details in the appendages
A white-capped at sunset
White-capped mollymawk (Thalassarche cauta)
Foveaux Strait, Stewart Island, New Zealand
White-capped mollymawks aka white-capped albatrosses, mainly eat squid, fish, krill, salps, and offal from the ocean surface. They rarely dive for food. Their largest threat is now longline and trawl fishing, especially in the seas off southern Africa. Please eat less fish and buy only MSC certified produce.
Nikon d750, Nikon 80–400mm f/4.5–5.6, 1/640, f/7.1, ISO 800, handheld
Cryptic forest dragon (Lophosaurus spinipes)
Springbrook National Park, Queensland
The cryptic forest dragon is my favourite reptile to photograph. Although common, this species is rarely seen. The forest dragon is often overlooked due to its effective camouflage and slow-moving nature. These dragons are sexually dimorphic, coming in a range of colours.
Nikon D850, Tamron 15–30mm f/2.8, 1/200, f/11, ISO 125, off camera flash, handheld
Common stargazer (Kathetostoma laeve)
As night falls, the stargazer, a fish about a foot in length, emerges from beneath the sand to ambush its hapless prey. With the naked eye, it blends in seamlessly, however, I was using special techniques to show off its biofluorescence; the fish glows an eerie neon yellow.
Nikon D850, Nikon 105 mm VR with yellow blocking filter, 1/160, f/13, ISO 640, dual INON strobes with ‘excitation’ filters, Nauticam underwater housing, handheld on scuba
Snake eel (species unknown),
Periclimenes shrimp (Periclimenes sp)
Lembeh Strait, Sulawesi, Indonesia
Snake eels bury themselves in the bottom substrate and move easily through the sand, exposing only their head during the day, then coming out to hunt in the open at night. This eel is being cleaned by periclimenes shrimp, removing dead skin and parasites from its body.
Nikon D700, Nikkor 60mm micro, 1/250, f/20, ISO 500, 2 x Ikelite D160 underwater strobes, handheld in Subal housing
Regent of the rainforest
Regent bowerbird (Sericulus chrysocephalus)
Lamington National Park, Queensland
A truly exotic species, the regent bowerbird features high on any bird photographer’s bucket list. In late 2020, I made a short trip to the Gold Coast’s Lamington National Park, a stronghold for this most striking of birds, and was happy to come away with this image.
Nikon D500, AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED, 1/320, f/5.6, ISO 800, handheld
Eastern fiddler ray (Trygonorrhina fasciata)
Cabbage Tree Bay, Manly, New South Wales
Fiddler rays cover their beautifully marked bodies with sand to help prevent detection. I saw the eyes of this one protruding rather obviously and was amused by its comical appearance. Its misplaced confidence in its own camouflage allowed me to approach closely and photograph the ‘masked hero’.
Sony NEX7, Sony E 10–18mm f/4 OSS (focal length 13mm), 1/100, f/9, ISO 200, twin Inon strobes (external), handheld
Rufous fantail (Rhipidura rufifrons)
Mount Macedon, Victoria
Mt Macedon on a cold, wet, windy, overcast day. I saw a couple of rufous fantails enter a large clump of ferns with a lichen-covered branch at the edge and waited until one came out to look at me briefly.
Nikon D500, Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f5.6E PF ED VR Nikon TC- 14E III 1.4X teleconverter, 1/1000, f/8, ISO 12800, handheld
Howling at the moon
Eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus)
I spotted some eastern grey kangaroos on the headland. I had to crawl through long grass downhill from them to try and get close enough to backlight one against the rising full moon. As I took a few shots my model tilted its head back and opened its mouth slightly.
Canon EOS 5D Mk II, Canon EF 70–200mm f2.8L IS USM, 1/60, f/2.8, ISO 4000, handheld, manual exposure and manual focus
Now You See Me
Striate anglerfish (Antennarius striatus)
Nelson Bay, New South Wales
The striate anglerfish is a master of disguise. They are very poor swimmers yet highly predatory. They wait motionless for prey. When I found this one, I had the wrong lens to make a captivating portrait of it. I swapped lenses for the next dive, hoping it was still there.
Nikon Z7, Nikkor 8–15mm f3.5–4.5 E ED fisheye, 1/200, f/22, ISO 200, 2 x Sea & Sea YS-D3 flashed, Aquatica AD6/7 underwater housing
Powerful owl (Ninox strenua)
Sydney, New South Wales
The late afternoon sun caught the eyes of this powerful owl while it was roosting along a creek line, giving it an intimidating look!
Canon 5D Mk IV, Canon 500mm f4L IS II + 1.4X, 1/125, f/8, ISO 800, Gitzo tripod and Mongoose gimbal head
Kea with a View
Kea (Nestor notabilis)
South Island, New Zealand
The kea is the only parrot species in the world that can be found in the alpine environment. I came across this particularly inquisitive individual who was more than happy to pose on a rock for me with the beautiful Lake Wakatipu in the background.
Nikon D7200, Sigma 17–50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM, 1/640, f/4.0, ISO 100, handheld
Checking me out
Australian fur-seal (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus)
Jervis Bay, New South Wales
A playful Australian fur-seal swimming by me for a closer look. These mammals are seriously nimble swimmers, using their powerful flippers to shoot through the water.
Canon EOS 5D Mk IV, Canon 35mm f2.0, 1/1250, f/2.0, ISO 100, Ikelite housing, handheld
Home Topics Wildlife AG Nature Photographer of the Year 2021: Animal portrait shortlist
Koalas have been listed as an endangered species in NSW with government acknowledging there is a significant risk the marsupials could become extinct.
Perfect for long car trips or just quiet time our mazes are out of this world.
This book is packed with of hundreds of outdoor and camping activities you can enjoy as a family when camping, visiting your local park…or even just in your own backyard!