The winners of the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year 2019 (NPOTY) have just been announced. A photo competition organized by the South Australian Museum in collaboration with the Australian Geographic magazine. The main theme of the competition is the fauna, flora, and landscapes of the ANZANG bioregion, an area that includes Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica, and New Guinea.
Among the many images in competition, the overall winner was Mat Beetson, a photographer with more than 20 years of experience, who managed to capture with his drone DJI Phantom 4 the surreal image of a common whale beached in Albany (Western Australia), surrounded by sharks.
“Despite seeing millions of nature photographs over the decades, we have never seen anything that remotely resembles this image. Unique and exciting, it reveals incredible beauty in death. Rather than being an inanimate scene, the image is given life by the circling shark, which in turn reminds us of the ecological function of the dead whale, providing food and energy to the living organisms around it. The image surprises by revealing such a shocking scene in a beautiful setting, and speaks volumes of the new dimension the latest technology has opened up for photographers.“
In addition to Mat Beetson’s, the winning photos of the other 10 categories in the competition have also been nominated and can be seen in full on the contest page.
The Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition is produced by the South Australian Museum. The institution takes care of a large collection of treasures of national and international importance, accumulated over more than 150 years, which include fossils from the first known life on Earth to pieces of Martian meteorites. These resources are used daily in scientific and cultural research.
The museum hosts a public exhibition with all the finalist photos from August 16 to November 10, 2019. The same exhibition will be presented at Powerhouse (MASS) in collaboration with the Australian Museum from August 16 to October 20, 2019.