A Lennox Head photographer has taken out first prize in Moscow’s Golden Turtle awards.
Craig Parry’s popular photograph of white humpback whale Migaloo has won the Underwater World category from more than 10,000 other entries.
“It was highly contested – it was one of the (biggest) categories they had there,” he said.
Mr Parry took the photograph – which he named after the rare animal – in 2016 and said he felt the shot was the best image he had ever taken and deserved recognition.
“I always knew that Migaloo was an award-winning image,” he said. “Not so much because of the lighting or composition, (but) more so because of the experience and rarity of the image itself.
“Having such an amazing, unique animal approach you and let its photo been taken was a really exciting moment in my life.
“I work really hard trying to get an amazing shot and it presented itself and I am extremely happy with it.”
Mr Parry got an indication he had won last Friday, when competition organisers contacted him requesting a video of him accepting an award.
“It was an anxious weekend of waiting and because of the different times – when I sleep, they wake – I was up all night to see the results,” he said.
The Golden Turtle Festival has been running for 11 years and its awards is one of the biggest nature competitions in Russia.
“The Golden Turtle Festival actually celebrates the environment and they are actually trying to connect their population with the environment more,” Mr Parry said.
“Vladimir Putin has announced (that) Russia this year is for the environment and so they really pushed hard on that.”
Mr Parry said for this reason his photography was a good fit for the competition.
“It has always been my ambition to connect humanity to nature,” he said. “For me it is a stepping stone. I haven’t won a competition in four years and it not only motivates me but it makes me feel that what I am doing, I am doing for a good cause.”
Mr Parry will now travel to Norway to continue his work in underwater photography.
“I will be off to Norway to swim with the orca whales and also the humpbacks (who) will be feeding at the same time,” he said.
“After that I will be going to Iceland to work on an aerial photography project with my drone.”
Read the full story as reported by Samantha Poate at The Northern Star here.