• Black Swan

    Black Swan.   Photographer: Con Boekel

  • Pink-eared Duck

    Pink-eared Duck.   Photographer: Glenn Pure

  • White-breasted Woodswallow

    White-breasted Woodswallow.   Photographer: Con Boekel

  • Australasian Gannet

    Australasian Gannet.   Photographer: Emmy Silvius

  • Australasian Grebe

    Australasian Grebe.   Photographer: Adam Higgins

Winner: Black-shouldered Kite - James Harrison (Image ID 16860)

This photo impressively shows the wonders of flight and a fascinating interaction between two birds. To photograph this moment the photographer has shown knowledge of the birds’ behaviour and the ability to act quickly. Critically, the shutter speed is fast enough to render the birds perfectly still - motion blur in the wings, for example, would likely distract from image. This has also allowed there to be clear visual separation between the talons of the left birds’ feet. The mirrored poses of the birds and the fact they are on their sides, provides symmetry and balance. Stunning.

Black-shouldered Kite - James Harrison

Highly Commended: Australian Hobby - Bill Harris (Image ID 22307)

A stark reminder of both the advantages and perils of flight. The photo is sharp where it needs to be – on the hobby’s beak and the budgie. This depth of field helps keep potentially distracting elements (like the hobby’s tail) nicely blurred. There is a nice illusion of stability created too – the tight composition makes it appear the bird is hovering motionless. The photo could benefit from a slight increase in contrast, and selective sharpening around the hobby’s face. As an alternative composition, including the wings of the hobby would emphasize the role of the wings in the hunt, and likely frame the budgie well.

Australian Hobby - Bill Harris

Commended: Cockatiel - Kristina Bernard (Image ID 18350)

A lovely timed photograph. The shutter speed has allowed the wings to be sharp right to the tips. The dry red sand provides context and also a nice contrast of textures to the moving water. The water’s edge creates a dominant line from the bottom left of the frame, and this is intersected nicely by the tail-to-wing line of the bird, which runs from the opposite corners of the frame. The ‘X’ created by these lines enhances the dynamic nature. A slightly more side-on view may have yielded a slightly stronger photo, as the bird here is veering away from the viewer (to its left).

Cockatiel - Kristina Bernard

Commended: Pied Currawong - Phil Marley (Image ID 22335)

A fantastic image of a fleeting moment, highlighting the sheer size mismatch between aerial predator and prey. The timing is spot on, visually the insect has no room to escape, and the viewer then knows the outcome. The photographer has also done well to ensure that the potentially distracting branches do not overlap with the birds wings. These branches could be cloned out if one was so inclined, allowing the viewer to solely focus on the bird. A slightly faster or slower shutter speed could also have been chosen, allowing the blur of each wing to match.

Pied Currawong - Phil Marley

Commended: Curlew Sandpiper - Peter Bennet (Image ID 22141)

The strength in this photograph is the collective it depicts. The placement of the birds in the frame leads the viewer’s eyes smoothly across the frame, and creates the impression they are following a single path through the sky. The reflections, though rippled, provide just enough detail to complement the curve and form of the birds in the sky. There is a slight overexposure of the water to the top right of frame that have benefited from stopping down the shutter/aperture a stop or two. The photo would also benefit from adjusting the overall levels/contrast, and slight sharpening to isolate the birds better against the water.

Curlew Sandpiper - Peter Bennet


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