The winners of the prestigious Memorial Maria Luisa Photo Contest have been announced, with Australia nature photographer, Andrew Peacock, winning the Biodiversity category for his image, Raft of Penguins.
While aboard the ‘National Geographic Explorer’ on an expedition to Antarctica, Andrew got up early and shot his image of a waddle of Adelie penguins drifting on an ice floe.
‘In the background under a brooding early morning sky rises the distinctive volcanic cone of Paulet Island, where we landed that day on Zodiacs (inflatable boats) to spend time photographing and learning about the large breeding colony of about 100,000 pairs of these charismatic flightless birds.
‘The ship provides a great platform from which to view and photograph the wildlife and landscape of Antarctica and I distinctly remember wondering in disbelief that morning why nobody else was up early on the bow as we approached the island because the lighting was dramatic and the ocean calm. Post-processing the RAW file in Lightroom involved some contrast enhancement and darkening the sky a little. All the ingredients to make an interesting image were there but you had to be up and present to simply press the shutter button!’
Andrew was working for Lindblad Expeditions as a photo instructor and naturalist when he shot the image with a Canon 5D Mk IV, a 24-105mm f/4 L lens, at 1/1000 sec at f5.6 and ISO 400.
The Memorial Maria Luisa Photo Contest is an annual Spanish-based international photo contest, focussed on celebrating mountain, nature and adventure photography for over 30 years. There are 15 categories, with an overall award going to Canadian photographer, Daisy Gilardini, for her photo In The Pack Ice.
Andrew was also Highly Commended in the Plant World category, and another Australian photographer, Scott Portelli, was Highly Commended in the Biodiversity and Black and White categories.
Click here to visit the website. Here’s a gallery of winning images.
Photo contest criteria
Organising group: Memorial Maria Luisa
Status/Objective: Commemorate Spanish mountaineer, María Luisa Alvarez Alvarez, by promoting natural/adventure photography.
Entry fee: 22 euros to enter pictures in all categories, free for young photographers.
Prizes: 3000 euros for top prize, 300 euros for all category winners.
Sponsors: Numerous Spanish-based sponsors.
Judges: Undisclosed, but selected by contest founders each year.
Number of entrants/submissions: 16,000 photos, and 161 documentaries videos, from photographers in 89 countries.
Categories: 15 categories across nature/mountain/adventure sports.
Exposure: Promoted by Memorial Maria Luisa at an awards ceremony, printed in a photo book, tours in an exhibition, and online publicity.
Affiliations: None to note
Transparency: The contest website is Spanish language, with an English translated version. Despite an English language barrier, it’s extremely transparent,
Communication: Contest organisers contact details are easily available.
Estimated Gross Revenue: Undisclosed.
Copyright standards: Entrants retain copyright. Entries may be used to promote the contest.
Overall rating: A gold star contest with no areas of concern. Attracts a high-calibre of specialty photographs with the goal of celebrating the life of María Luisa Alvarez Alvarez. How nice!