A 16 year old from Wagga Wagga is among three Australian photographers honoured in the 2011 Oscars of nature photography – the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, opening at the Australian Museum on 10 December 2011.

First time entrant Jack Salzke’s image of a tiny honeybee entering the great white cup of a magnolia flower took out the 15–17 year old category of the prestigious photographic competition.

Other Australians acknowledged include Marc McCormack (QLD) who was commended for his spectacular images of Migaloo, the only known all-white humpback whale in the world, and Kah Kit Yoong (VIC) who was commended for his stunning image of reef starfish glowing in the early morning sun.

Now in its 47th year, the 2011 competition attracted almost 41,000 entries from 95 countries.

A panel of industry experts took three months to review the entries and Mr Salzke said he was thrilled for his image to be chosen amongst the winners.

“The photo was a result of me testing a new piece of equipment. If I hadn't received extension tubes for my birthday, I wouldn't have been out shooting, and wouldn't have gotten this shot,” he said.

“I’m just grateful the bee landed in such a beautiful location for me to capture.”

The exhibition at the Australian Museum features 108 of the best images from the 2011 competition.

From playful polar bears to agile cheetah cubs and misty sunsets, the unique photographic collection celebrates the beauty and fragility of the world in which we live.

Photographers inspired by these images will have from 5 December – 23 February 2012 to submit their entries for next year’s competition. For details, see www.nhm.ac.uk/wildphoto.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is FREE with general paid entry at the Australian Museum from 10 December 2011 – 18 March 2012.

After its Australian debut in Sydney, the exhibition will travel to Newcastle Regional Library, Auckland Museum and Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Tasmania.

Editors Note

  • Wildlife Photographer of the Year is owned by the Natural History Museum, London and BBC Wildlife Magazine must appear clearly in the editorial copy.
  • [Photographer’s name]/ Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2011 must appear clearly alongside all images.
  • Up to a maximum of seven images can appear within a publication or website.
  • The images may be not be cropped, overprinted or altered in any way without prior consent.