blp shabash 430x45

  • Hoary-headed Grebe

    Hoary-headed Grebe.   Photographer: Andrew Browne

  • Gouldian Finch

    Gouldian Finch.   Photographer: Bill Harding

  • Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

    Sharp-tailed Sandpiper.   Photographer: Andrew Browne

  • Australian Reed-Warbler

    Australian Reed-Warbler.   Photographer: Glenn Pure

  • Gang-gang Cockatoo

    Gang-gang Cockatoo.   Photographer: Emmy Silvius

I found the Entry Level images in the Cockatoo competition particularly difficult to judge, as there was such an eclectic mix of strengths amongst them.  Cockatoos are such an expressive group of birds, and there were a number of entries which reflected this aspect, the playful Little Corella, Image ID 20054, being a prime example. The quality of light, harsh or soft, warm or cool, can have a significant impact of the overall strength of an image, and this was reflected in my final selections.

The minimum requirement for an acceptable image at this Level is that the bird must be in focus and reasonably well exposed. I am pleased to see that most of the images passed this hurdle although some images were a bit ‘soft’. The problematic performance of the Sigma 150–500 mm zoom at 500 mm was to blame in some cases and I saw little evidence that photographers understood the need for output sharpening.

Winner: Eastern Yellow Robin - Glenn Pure (Image #19270).

This image of a juvenile Eastern Yellow Robin is exquisite. The bird’s concentration is apparent and the way the feathers of the head and neck are raised adds an element of interest not always seen in robin images.

Winner: Mulga Parrot - Gunther Frensch (Image #19168).

The sharpness, lighting and engaging pose of this Mulga Parrot combine to create an exquisite image that would not be out of place in a higher category. An added feature is the way the background colours complement the colours of the parrot.

Winner: Eastern Great Egret - Karen Emery (Image #18715).

A striking image of an Eastern Great Egret with its dinner, executed sharply against a clean background. Perfect composition. The vignetting has maximised attention on the bird and the fish. However, if anything, I would reduce it slightly to create a more natural effect.

Winner: Eastern Rosella - Glenn Pure (Image #18560)

This is a stunning image of a beautiful bird in an interesting pose. It engages the viewer. There is an even light across the bird and each feather is sharply defined. The background is blurred making the bird stand out. The only drawback is that the image is tightly cropped and would benefit from having more space.

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