Townsville photographer Harrison Warne has won The Nature Conservancy Australia’s 2017 Photo Competition, with his image, Eye Bath, which shows an Eastern Spiny-tailed Gecko licking its eye.
Harrison beat over 4900 entries from across the country, with the judges unanimous in awarding the 21-year old photographer the major prize.
‘It’s a truly beautiful image,’ said judge and nature photographer Michael Snedic. ‘Great composition, nice use of depth of field, important features (especially the eye and tongue) are pin sharp and there’s lovely lighting on the subject. And the timing is perfect, capturing the moment the gecko licked its eye.’
Harrison, a zoology and ecology graduate, said he wanted to photograph the gecko for some time.
‘The night was quite cool and so the gecko was inactive. Every few minutes it would lick both of its eyes, which is how they clean and keep their eyes moist since Australian geckos don’t have eyelids,’ he said. ‘I then set up the frame and waited for the gecko to once again clean his eye.’
Harrison won more than $5,000 in prizes.
TNC Australia Director Rich Gilmore was impressed by the array and standard of the 2017 entries.
‘We live in such a beautiful country and these incredible images are the perfect way to remind everyone about the diversity of the environment, the vast array of wildlife and the spectacular scenery.’
Harrison’s photograph, which also won the Wildlife category, will be featured online and in a 2018 edition of Wild, Australia’s longest-running outdoor adventure magazine, along with the other category winners.
The other category winners were:
Landscape – Geoff Hutchinson, Wentworth Point, NSW
People in Nature – Liam Byrne, Newman, WA
Urban Nature – Emily Williams, Birkdale, Qld
Water – Marlee Currie, Coolum Beach, Qld
Wacky Wildlife – Donna Rondeau, Cairns, Qld
People’s Choice – Nitin Jayanand, Queanbeyan, NSW