blp shabash 430x45

  • Scarlet Robin

    Scarlet Robin.   Photographer: Bill Harding

  • Australasian Grebe

    Australasian Grebe.   Photographer: Adam Higgins

  • Malleefowl

    Malleefowl.   Photographer: Mal Carnegie

  • Australasian Grebe

    Australasian Grebe.   Photographer: Adam Higgins

  • Australian Wood Duck

    Australian Wood Duck.   Photographer: Con Boekel

As defined in the pre-amble for this competition, "the object is to achieve a well-exposed capture of the subject without blowing out the white areas of the bird’s plumage, whilst ensuring that there is detail in the black plumage and /or bare parts, and without excessive noise in the blacks".

This is not an easy achievement given the dynamic range of even the latest camera sensors will not attain the perfect exposure for the blackest blacks and the whitest whites in the one exposure. For this reason alone, this competition is possibly one of the most difficult assignments a photographer can undertake.

Once again, I really enjoyed judging these entries, as there were so many lovely images to choose from. At some point in the future, it’s clear that a competition solely for Pacific Black Ducks will have plenty of entries!

By the nature of this particular competition’s species, there were understandably a great many images “on the water”, and the quality of light and reflections, the depth of colour, and the graphic nature of the reflections, can greatly enhance the impact of the image.

This was a very difficult competition to judge, as there were so many images demonstrating a similar level of technical merit, which then brings it down to my subjective opinion on the individual aesthetic qualities to determine the final selection of 6 images. My sincere congratulations to all who entered, and at the end of the day what really matters is if you are suitably pleased with your own Best of 2016 entry, and look forward to raising the bar even higher in 2017!

There were a great number of very impressive images submitted, making the final selection very challenging. Many of these images would not have been out of place in the Advanced Level competition. Interestingly, a significant proportion of the 95 entries featured a (usually small) bird in very sharp focus, perched, with the background completely dropped out of focus. This is a highly effective means of keeping the viewers’ attention on the bird,

Winner: Australian White Ibis - RA35GT (Image ID 21913)

The feeling of awe at watching birds glide high above is wonderfully conveyed here. The light through the bird’s wings highlights the extended wing feathers and tips, allowing the viewer to focus on the form and function of the different feathers and of the bird itself. The mottled blue and white sky provides a background that complements the bird, adding to the dreamy atmosphere.

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.


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The Our People page, in the About Us section, contains email links to each of the committee members.