blp shabash 430x45

  • Rock Dove

    Rock Dove.   Photographer: Con Boekel

  • White-winged Chough

    White-winged Chough.   Photographer: Emmy Silvius

  • Australian Wood Duck

    Australian Wood Duck.   Photographer: Richard Smart

  • Australian Ringneck

    Australian Ringneck.   Photographer: Bill Harding

  • Golden-headed Cisticola

    Golden-headed Cisticola.   Photographer: Harry Charalambous

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.

Winner: Australian Brush Turkey - Leonard Ezzy (Image #21440)

Lovely light sets off the beauty of this photograph. Colours are vibrant and clear. Focus is spot on showing all the fine hairs and the detail in the eye is lovely. The contours of the skin and beak are well- defined with beautiful detail. The depth of field is also spot on as the slightly out-of-focus neck concentrates the gaze onto the birds head nicely. Background is soft and even and compliments the bird beautifully. The stare captured is intense and the fine details around the eye and in the iris itself are wonderful.

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