Scott Portelli wins Australian Geographic photography competition

Scott Portelli is based in New South Wales and took the winning photograph in March 2020 shortly after the announcement of COVID-19 restrictions impacted his year long journey around Australia. “The nation-wide lockdown was declared and we were stuck for six weeks at a small campground in the Fleurieu Peninsula. This ended up being a blessing in disguise,” Mr Portelli explained. “Over the course of the six weeks I had the opportunity to dive regularly, becoming familiar with the terrain, getting to know the dive site and spotting a few individual Seadragons. I became acquainted with the resident dragons of Second Valley and this is how I managed to get the shot.”

A captivating photograph of a Leafy Seadragon camouflaged in the shallow reefs of the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia has won the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition in 2021. “Leafy Night” by Scott Portelli captures the wonder of this mysterious dragon of the ocean.

Photo by Scott Portelli. Overall Winner

“The Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition is produced by the South Australian Museum”

Competition 'Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year 2021'

Photo by Scott Portelli. Threatened.  Species winner

“The Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition is produced by the South Australian Museum”

Competition 'Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year 2021'

“After several encounters with one particular Seadragon it appeared to become unperturbed by my presence and I was able to compose a shot that tightly captured its eyes, features and appendages front on,” Mr Portelli added. Mr Portelli has been a photographer for over 20 years. When asked how it felt to be named the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year 2021, Mr Portelli said: “Winning the 2021 Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year is a highlight of my photographic career. Being awarded in one of the most prestigious and respected nature photography competitions in Australia is an honour and a privilege. This is one of my proudest moments.

Humbled to be named the 2021 Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Mr Portelli reflected on the message behind the image. “The photograph shows the intricate details of the Leafy Seadragons in a different way, I wanted to capture the essence of this delicate and vulnerable species that are only found in the South of Australia.” “The more we understand the ocean and its inhabitants the more people will feel connected and take action to protect our ocean creatures,” he added.

As Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year, he receives a cash prize of $10,000 and a Coral Expeditions holiday.

The South Australian Museum produces a public exhibition featuring all finalists from Friday 27 August until Sunday 31 October. The Australian Museum in Sydney will also host the exhibition from October 2021 until January 2022.

Winner Gallery

TAGREE, I love the cultural work you do, I donate to show you my sincere appreciation:

or become a reader with a TAGREEplus+Pass for unlimted access

Respect Copyright!