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South Coast photographer wins prestigious award

March 2, 2023 1:19 pm in by
Wallagoot Gap - Bournda National Park

A South Coast photographer has won a prestigious award with an awe-inspiring photo of a local spot in the Bega Valley.

The image of Summer Solstice Sunrise at Wallagoot Gap, in Bournda National Park by David Rogers AND Deep Space, Warrumbungle National Park by Ben Heaton were joint winners in the Landscapes and Vistas category of the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service’s inaugural photo competition.

Describing the five winning entries as simply awe-inspiring, the Head of National Parks, Atticus Fleming, said more than 8,000 entries were received, an overwhelming response to the competition in its first year.

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“The fact that we had so many entries representing hundreds of different species of plant and animal, and more than 250 national parks, just reinforces how much the community love our parks,” Mr Fleming said.

“We received entries from amateurs and professionals, and all showed us their appreciation for our protected areas and the native plants and animals that call them home.

“Due to the huge number and high calibre of entries in our most popular category, Landscapes and Vistas, we decided to award joint winners and both are so very deserving of the accolade,” Mr Fleming said.

Rogers said he was thrilled with the win one of the highlights of his career.

“To be chosen from 8,000 entries is pretty amazing,” Rogers said.

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“I sat at Wallagoot Gap the morning of the summer solstice (December 22) and the moment just came, which was great seeing as we hadn’t had many great sunrises.”

The five winners were selected across four competition categories by a panel of talented guest judges, Chris Bath, Edwina Bartholomew, Rae Johnston and James Valentine.

“The winning photographs have a wow factor that inspires you to visit national parks. They give you a sense of the beauty of the Australian bush and the vastness of nature,” Ms Bath said.

“It was a difficult task for the judging panel as there was such an incredible selection of photos. The winning photographers captured the joy and wonder of being in national parks, and a unique place or moment in time,” Ms Bartholomew said.

“My favourite entries are genuinely breath-taking, capturing so much energy. Just like the locations themselves, they are striking and stunning,” Ms Johnston said.

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The winners will receive prizes valued up to $2,100 each for a holiday in one of the superb cabins and cottages in a NSW National Park.

To stay up to date with next year’s competition, join our Naturescapes mailing list via the NPWS website.

Click here to see all the winning and highly commended entries.

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service photo competition promotes sustainable visitation to our national parks and an appreciation for the diverse landscapes, plants, animals and cultural histories we protect.


Landscapes and Vistas

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Joint Winners: Summer Solstice Sunrise at Wallagoot Gap, Bournda National Park by David Rogers AND Deep Space, Warrumbungle National Park by Ben Heaton

Highly commended: Balls Pyramid, Lord Howe Island by Ava Kirkby

Animals and Plants

Winner: Breakfast with Friends, Wollemi National Park by Allan Cronin

Highly commended: Hitchhiker, Willi Willi National Park by Anthony Murphy

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Enjoying Nature

Winner: Love under the Milky Way, Yuraygir National Park by Lisa Russo

Highly commended: Ascending Crater Bluff, Warrumbungle National Park by Gavin Kellett

Remote Country

Winner: Mountain Spa, Mount Kaputar National Park by James Hastings

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Image: David Rogers Photography

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