2019 Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Winners
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2019 Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Winners

The South Australian Museum has announced the 2019 Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year and also shared the winning images from each of the ten categories offered in this year’s contest.

In total, 2,219 images were submitted and judged by Justin Gilligan, Glenn McKimmin and Tui De Roy. In the end, the 2019 Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year award was handed out to Mat Beetson of Western Australia for the above image of a beached Fin Whale being circled by sharks on Cheynes Beach in Albany, Western Australia. The winning image was captured with a DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone, marking the first time a drone-captured photograph has won the competition.

‘It was unreal, arriving at a peaceful coastal town with a pristine beach and then seeing this huge whale not even five metres from shore – we then noticed the thrashing close by and realised that a few sharks had also stopped by,’ Beetson told the Southern Australian Museum about the capture. ‘I launched the drone to see the aerial view and captured a sequence of photographs, this shot was one of the last ones I took and I was very lucky that the shark came back for a look.’

Beetson received a $10,000 cash prize as well as a Coral Expeditions cruise for winning.

The remainder of the images in this gallery are the ten winners in each of this year’s categories.

You can find out more information about the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition and the South Australian Museum by visiting their respective websites.

Above Image:

Overall Winner

Fin Whale, Balaenoptera physalus

The fin whale is sighted regularly in this region; seeing one beached, however, is rare. The whale sits less than 5m from shore and 100m from residential homes, giving whale researchers access to an unusual occurrence for this species. Bronze whalers and great whites feasted over the remains before removal.

Location: Cheynes Beach, Albany, Western Australia

Gear: DJI Phantom 4 Pro Drone, 24mm, 1/500, f/5.6, ISO 100, 118m high, filmed with permission DPAW

Photographer: Mat Beetson, Western Australia


Photo credits: Images owned by their respective creators, used with the permission of the South Australian Museum.