The winner of the prestigious Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year has been announced. Taking the first prize is Matthew McIntosh’s “Piercing Headache.”
The winner of the competition’s 12th year is a photo of two mosquitoes feeding on an orange-eyed tree frog at Cedar Bay National Park in Queensland taken while on a road trip from Townsville to Cooktown. The photo won the photographer $10,000 and a $25,000-trip for two to the subantarctic islands with Heritage Expeditions.
“During the trip, we stopped to investigate a chorus of orange-eyed tree frogs calling from foliage around an old car tyre filled with water from recent rain, with numerous males vying for the attention of nearby females,” says McIntosh. “With my headlamp light failing, I managed to take just one photo of uranotaenia mosquitoes, also affectionately known as ‘frog flies’, happily feeding from a frog’s head. Luckily, it turned out more or less as I intended.”
The competition’s judges thought this image was a striking one with bold colors. It demands the viewers to take a second look.
Piercing Headache will be displayed at the South Australian Museum in Adelaide, SA on August 18 to October 13 and at the Australian Museum in Sydney from August 19 to October 9. The works of other competition finalists will also be shown alongside the winner.
The late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin’s son, Robert Irwin, was a runner up for the Junior category. His “Toothy Grin’” photo is of a big saltwater crocodile.
Other winners include:
Portfolio prize: Georgina Steytler
Animal portrait: Wade Hughes “Red Whip Ambush”
Animal behavior: Matty Smith, “Glaucus atlanticus”
Animal habitat: David Westcott, “Well, hello!”
Botanical subject: Julie Fletcher, “Aligning Planets”
Landscape: Julie Fletcher, “Desert Patterns”
Monochrome: Charles Davis, “Winter’s Path”
Interpretive: Dianne Galbraith, “Swaying”
Our impact: Doug Gimesy, “The Killing Field”
Threatened species: Bret Charman, “Palm Grove Dingo”
Junior: Ryan North, “Rockpool”