Australian photographer Scott Portelli has won the overall title of Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year for 2021
Forced to improvise in his work because of an enforced COVID lockdown, NSW-based underwater and aerial photographer Scott Portelli took this year’s winning photograph of a Leafy Seadragon while diving in Second Valley, and staying at a small campground on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula.
“I am a little obsessed with Seadragons,” he said.
“So I became quite acquainted with the resident dragons of Second Valley, and this is how I managed to get the shot.”
Having been a professional for over twenty years, and a previous winner of various categories in this award, Portelli said he was ecstatic to win.
“This is one of my proudest moments."
“Navigating a COVID year has been difficult for many photographers, but it has taught us that we live in one of the most incredible natural wonders in the world. Australia’s coast, deserts, reefs and rainforests hold a plethora of subject matter to discover, not to mention the diversity of wildlife above and below the surface.”
Here is the full list of winners on display at the South Australian Museum in Adelaide until October 31. For more information check out samuseum.sa.gov.au/npoty/
Winner: A White-capped at Sunset, Doug Gimesy (VIC)
Runner-up: Howling at the Moon, Mike George (NSW)
Winner: Next Generation, Tammy Gibbs (WA)
Runner-up: Dreaming, Franco Tulli (Italy)
Winner: A Tree Dreaming, Christian Spencer (VIC)
Runner-up: Stilted Reflections, Georgina Steytler (WA)
Winner: Ghost Mushrooms, Callie Chee (NSW)
Runner-up: Swamp Secrets, Paula McManus (SA)
Winner: Forest on Reflection, Hayden Cannon (WA)
Runner-up: Beneath the Surface, Ashlee Karas (WA)
Winner: Incoming, Jeff Freestone (VIC)
Runner-up: King of the Cape, Matt Wright (QLD)
Junior (photographers under 18 years of age):
Winner: You Can’t See Me, Georgia McGregor (QLD)
Runner-up: Cockatoo, Aidan Cimarosti (NSW)
Our Impact (depicting human impact on nature):
Winner: Bound, jammed inside, and posted, Doug Gimesy (VIC)
Runner-up: Single-use Drifter, Justin Gilligan, (NSW)
Threatened Species (threatened, rare, vulnerable or endangered species):
Winner: Declining Species, Scott Portelli (NSW)
Runner-up: In the Shadows, Tom Svensson, Sweden
Portfolio Prize (best portfolio of six or more images):
Tim Wrate (NSW).