Your Best Shot April-May 2024: The winners!

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Your Best Shot is a photo competition open to Australian residents. There's a different theme every couple of months, and a selection of the winning shots will be published in AP mag and online. 

Each issue, AP's Editor Mike O'Connor will choose six images to be published both in print and online, with both a winner and a runner-up selected. Our winner will also receive an amazing prize thanks to Blonde Robot, the Australasian distributors of Peak Design, 3 Legged Thing, and Angelbird.

You can find out all the details for entry and the themes for 2024 here.

April/May 2024

Theme: Flight

One of the most satisfying moments you can have in photography is when you realise you can use shutter speed to freeze a moment – and perhaps the ultimate test of this is capturing a subject in flight.

This issue, we wanted to see images that explored flight in all its creative ways, and with a huge number of entries (more than 120!) you didn’t disappoint us. These were our picks.

This issue's winner

Ross Duncan, Feeling insignificant

Ross Duncan, Feeling insignificant

Editor’s comment: What made Ross Duncan’s shot a winner is it shows more than just a plane or object frozen in the sky, but also some of the environment around it – something that’s often difficult to capture when shooting up against a sky.

He tells us the image was captured while hiking along the famous Via Francigena in Northern Italy, following the path of an ancient glacier.

Image: 3lt

“I could hear a buzzy little engine somewhere, straining at its task, when suddenly out of the deep shadows a tiny plane bobbed into view, the backdrop of the Italian alps putting us all in our place.”

The result is an image that’s got a real feeling of story – the little plane dwarfed by the mountains as it surges up into the sky.

If we were to offer one bit of feedback it would be to allow some of the texture of the mountain lost in the crunched blacks to show through, but otherwise, this is a fantastic image.

Technical details

Fuji X-T1, 18-55mm lens @ 55mm. 1/1000s @ f14, ISO 320.

Highly commended

Glenda Gore, Breakfast Spotted

Glenda Gore, Breakfast spotted

Editor’s comment: You know that thing we said in the intro about freezing the moment – well, this is what it’s all about! At a ferociously fast 1/16000s, Glenda captured this striking photo of a Caspian Tern as it dived for its breakfast.

As she tells us, photographing these birds is challenging, not only for their speed, but for their white wings which can easily come up as overexposed.

Luckily that’s not the case here, and you’ve done brilliantly to capture the full span of the wings too, a split second before they narrow for the dive.

Technical details

Canon R7, Canon RF400mm F2.8 L IS USM lens. 1/16000s @ f3.2, ISO 800.

Special mentions
Di Lymbury, Pacific Black Take Off

How I did it: I spend many moments at a local pond and many waterbirds frequent it. One of my favourites to photograph is the Pacific Black Duck and I am always hoping to capture a flash of the brilliant fluorescent greenish blue under the wings.

This Pacific Black was captured at lift-off. Armed with a low camp stool and using a Canon camera handheld, I selected a high shutter speed to capture the splashes of the water.

Technical details

None provided.

Ronald Fritz, Flying to the sun

How I did it: Captured at the Avalon Air Show 2023, and shot directly into the sun. I only saw the airplanes once I processed the photo in Lightroom!

Technical details

Nikon Z6, NIKKOR 24-200mm f/4-6.3 lens @ 175mm. 1/320s @ f9, ISO 100.

Penelope Robertshawe, Untitled

How I did it: I’m a street photographer and my subjects usually feature people in the urban environment. But people aren’t the only creatures roaming the streets, birds are also prevalent everywhere I go.

I took this shot in Haymarket, Sydney. It was late in the day when the sun casts long shadows. Seagulls were looking for pickings in the near empty street. I kneeled on the ground to frame the scene and shot on continuous into the light. This frame caught one of them in flight with its wings backlit.

Technical details

Nikon Z7 II, NIKKOR Z 24 mm lens. 1/400s @ f10, ISO 250.

Steve Genesin, Counter measures

How I did it: A RAAF Hercules aircraft on a slow pass at the Pacific Airshow lets loose the flares as part of its defence mechanisms. I, along with thousands of other spectators, watched and snapped away with our cameras trying to capture the action!

Technical details

Olympus OM-1, Olympus 100-400mm lens @ 100mm. 1/1000s @ f9, ISO 200.

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