Wilderness Photographer of the Year 2021
Winner, Places Category, 2021: 'Lifting the Veil' by Tony Brown
Judge's comment: "The image jumped out to me as soon as I saw it. The drama, beautiful light, colour and composition all work incredibly well together, to create an image that is as captivating and dramatic as it is just visually beautiful. The low hanging cloud to the right of the frame, seeping into the shot adds a sense of serenity, and the stunning light, glancing off of the snow-covered peaks draws the eye through the frame. The viewer can't help but think of the circumstances and work involved that led to the photographer creating this image. Did it involve an alpine climb, potentially in the dark? I would assume so, and that just adds to the story. It's an all-round fantastic image" – Ryan De Dominicis
Runner-up, Places Category, 2021: 'The Rock' by Vivienne Noble
Judge's comment: “The use of side light just touching, and highlighting and defining the edges of the rocks works beautifully. It sets the tone to a strong image with a striking and soft colour palette. I like the contrast between the still foreground and the rougher surf in the back of the shot creating an element of drama as you look into the image. Nice composition with your eye taken into the large rock at the back, my tip though is to crop that foreground (two rocks left and right) as they are distracting and to balance that crop the top of the sky a little bit and you will have an even stronger composition. Remember less is more. Overall though a cracker of an image. – Julie Fletcher
Places Category, 2021: Top 10
Tony Brown: "'Snow Laden' was taken not far from Thredbo on a day trip. Snow gums look their best when either wet or covered in ice and snow. To get them covered in ice and snow in the mist you need to be prepared to be walking around, at least part of the time, in a whiteout.”
Melanie Sinclair: “I photographed these beautiful snowgums in late autumn at Dead Horse Gap, Kosciuszko National Park, southern NSW.”
Kerry Lorimer: "On a freezing-to-the-bone, wet-to-the-skin day, this felt like a glimpse into Coleridge’s Xanadu: a secret forest as ‘ancient as the hills...’. Tasmania has some of Australia’s greatest walks. This was along the trail to Nelson Falls."
Peter Keepence: "Kakadu was photographed at the top of Nawurlandja lookout. Nawurlandja Lookout offers world-class views over Burrungkuy (Nourlangie Rock) and the Kakadu escarpment. A must-see tourist attraction in Kakadu. A photographer's dream. This photo is Kakadu. Wild and untouched."
Robin Moon: "The Great Empty Quarter Desert in the UAE spans as far as the eye can see. Compressing with a zoom lens the windswept blended grains and occasional scraggly bushes revealed a textured beauty this author had never experienced before. When life is full, we crave finding beauty in simplicity and I saw that 'nothing' was in fact 'everything' – a true wilderness."
Mark Daffey: "Taken at Port Davey in Tasmania’s wild southwest, during a photo shoot for Tasmanian Boat Charters. After wrapping up the photo shoot, we circled again and again in the dinghy, trying to anticipate when and where the dolphins would surface. I was standing, with my feet apart as far as possible, trying not to topple into the water. I couldn’t have got the shots without the expert driving of my guide."
Robert Davis. "This image was one of a series of these two penguins taken while kayaking with my wife in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica. We watched the two gentoos repeatedly scanning the water and us, as they waddled to the edge. No leopard seals seen, we kept still, hunger won and the timing of the shot worked. The remaining gentoo dove in shortly after. It was a gorgeous experience in an amazing location."
Lia Oliver: "This photo was taken at a lookout for Uluru in Central Australia after a light rain drizzle. After watching an amazing transformation of colour in the sky, the rainbow came out. I hope to share the simple beauty of Central Australia with more people."
Winner, People Category and Overall Winner, 2021: 'Gentle Waters' by Michael Kenny
Judge's comment: "I was immediately drawn to the magical qualities in the rays of light coming through the surreal forest and touching the moving water. The person looks part of the landscape, at ease in, and a part of, the beauty of nature surrounding them." – Mike Edmondson
Runner-up, People Category, 2021: 'Sapphire Coast Wharf to Wharf Walk' by David Rogers
Judge’s comment: “I love this photo – from the floating mist to the two bushwalkers who look mesmerised by the magic of the moment! The earthly colours are a lovely contrast to the walkers' clothing, making the two people 'pop' out of the image. The power of any photo is one that makes me want to be there and this photo taken on the Sapphire Coast in southern NSW does just that. Also, there's a stillness to the image that I really love. Two people are experiencing the beauty of a sunrise and normally at that time of day, it's quiet and calm, and this stillness is translated through the image. Well done, David!” – Brent McKean
People Category, 2021: Top 10
Lachlan Gardiner: "Southwest Dawn – On a rare clear morning, Anaya Mayne overlooks Lake Pedder in the rugged Southwest of Tasmania / Lutruwita. This composition just always makes me happy. Hopefully it also invokes in others that freedom one feels after waking up in a tent, atop remote mountain, surrounded by vast wilderness."
Bruno Carrillo: "The image was taken in the early morning along the Kings Canyon Rim Walk. It captures what I love best about hiking in Australia: being a tiny speck in a wild, limitless landscape full of ancient history."
Casey Eveleigh: “The beautiful colours of the Warrumbah Bluff canyons in Queensland’s Carnarvon gorge. The further you ventured inside the narrower the walls got.”
Mark Daffey: "Taken at Lake Tyrrell, just north of the Mallee farming town of Sea Lake. I was lucky to get a brilliant sunrise, though it was brief. Ten minutes later, it was raining and the colour had drained from the scene. Because of the reflections, and because of how the surrounding landscape is so flat, the scene looks endless, like it stretches to infinity. Having a person in the scene enhances that sense of space."
Gavin Kellett: “I took this shot approaching Fairview Lookout on Lake Louise, Canada. I love the intensity of the water colour, the defined lines of the pines, and the illusion of how the kayaks appear as if they are flying.”
Jillian Brady: "'Into Thin Air' accentuates our place in nature – tiny in the immense landscape, privileged to walk in the presence of awe. Taken at high altitude near Mt Blanc in France, watching climbers and paragliders on the ice ridge of the glacial cirque."
Lachlan Gardiner: "'Girraween Dawn' – Stef Palmer and Kai Pantano walk across one of the huge domed granite formations found in southeast Queensland's Girraween National Park. I love how the early morning fog mixed with haze from nearby bushfires makes for an ethereal scene. Creating a unique perspective of a fairly recognisable landscape."
Gigi Williams: "‘Big Daddy’ in Namibia, is one of the highest sand dunes in the world at about 325m. I had arrived at dawn to photograph the area and as I glanced up I saw these intrepid hikers tackling the arduous climb. I loved the early morning light on the sand and the vivid colours of Africa with these tiny little ‘ants’ on the ridge of the dune."