Photographer of the Year 2021

Australian Photography Magazine holds a competition each year to find the Photographer of the Year and it’s the largest competition for amateur photographers in the Southern Hemisphere.

There are a number of categories to enter including landscape, animal and nature, people, aerial and black and white and these categories require you to submit four images as a portfolio.

The portfolio of photographs are then judged by a panel of leading professional photographers and industry experts, which is all a bit daunting to think about before entering a competition like this, but sometimes you just have to have faith in your ability and only by entering can you get a feel for your standard and make improvements.

With that, I’m thrilled to say that I received a commendation for my entry which was a series of photos taken of a white bellied sea eagle in flight which I took when we were on holidays in the Northern Territory mid-way through 2021.

We were so lucky to be staying with friends in Darwin and being mad keen fishers (as most Territorians are) they took us out for a day’s fishing at Corroboree Billabong. Corroboree is part of the Mary River Wetlands and as well as being an iconic waterway for Barramundi fishing, it’s teeming with birdlife, has incredibly beautiful waterlilies in patches and it’s also said to have the largest concentration of saltwater crocodiles in the world.

And yes, I can confirm experiencing all of those things while we were out there.

The day started early, VERY early, as we wanted to be on the water before sunrise, which meant that with about an hour’s drive from Darwin we had to be up at around 4.30am. Let me tell you, that arriving in the dark at a billabong known to be full of crocs is a little daunting but we were safely in the boat prior to getting anywhere near the water so it was all good.

Watching the sunrise while powering along in the tinny ‘Rusty Hooks’, was absolutely breath-taking and then the views only got better. Our friends and guides Peter and Tina gave us the best experience ever with all the fishing and tackle laid on, Peter got us to exactly where we needed to be to catch Barra and also Saratoga and although unfortunately they were all too small to keep, just being out there was magic!

As well as fishing, I of course had my trusty Canon camera on board and the photo opportunities were just incredible. Gorgeous water lilies, brolgas and other water birds, the awesome white bellied sea eagles and of course the crocs. Thanks to Peter for getting us to all the spots to be able to see all these amazing sights.

This day was an absolute highlight of our NT trip and gave me the photos for my entry to the competition.

If you don’t have mates in the NT, there are wetland tours you can take to Corroboree Billabong and even houseboats to hire which would be a fantastic experience too.

At the end of a day’s fishing, there’s no better way to celebrate than by stopping in at the Corroboree Park Tavern for a cold one or two. Thanks to our awesome friends (who have the best toys) for giving us a memorable day out.



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