turtle swimming
Against All Odds A Green Sea Turtle hatchling cautiously surfaces for air to a sky full of hungry birds. © Hannah Le Leu/TNC Photo Contest 2021


Baby turtle takes the cake in The Nature Conservancy’s 2021 Photo Contest

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South Australian photographer Hannah Le Leu has taken out the grand prize in The Nature Conservancy Australia (TNC)’s 2021 Photo Contest with her stunning shot of a Green Sea Turtle hatchling. Titled Against All Odds, the fantastic picture captures the exact moment the hatchling surfaces for air to a sky full of hungry birds.

This year’s competition saw great participation, with over 10,300 entries.

“I took the picture during hatchling season at Heron Island in February 2021,” said Le Leu. “A tropical storm had just engulfed the island with pelting rain, thunder and lightning. The storm brought out thousands of birds, making this hatchling’s journey to survive even more challenging.”  

TNC Australia Managing Director Alison Rowe said Le Leu’s picture of the turtle hatchling showed how important timing was to capture the perfect shot. “With the hatchling emerging from the bright turquoise ocean to a grey sky full of threatening birds, there is such a dramatic atmosphere to the picture. What an incredible way to convey the vulnerability of the hatchling.”

For her impressive image, Le Leu has won her share of $16,000 in prizes, including a Sherpa gift voucher, a Camera Electric voucher and a one-hour tutorial session with professional photographer and photo contest judge Adrian Alford.

Alison Rowe said there was something special about the 2021 photo contest.

“This year particularly, people have taken the time to reconnect with nature and the environment. Often in challenging times, nature and wildlife provide comfort and distraction. It looks like many photographers have gone out to the great outdoors to find just that and in the process, found inspiration,” she said.

“Australia has such a splendid and diverse environment, with spectacular landscapes and unique wildlife. These wonderful images are a great reminder of the raw and quirky beauty of the place we call home, but also of its fragility.”

Winners include:

Overall Australian winner – Hannah Le Leu, SA, Against All Odds

Landscape category – Scott Portelli, NSW, Life Colour

Wildlife category – Harrison Warne, QLD, The Dragon and the Hopper

People and Nature category – Scott Portelli, NSW, Mating Season

Water category – Lewis Burnett, WA, Manta Entourage

To see the winning entries, visit natureaustralia.org/photo.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organisation dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we focus on getting things done efficiently and with the greatest positive impact for conservation. We’re a trusted organisation working in more than 70 countries and territories around the world on innovative solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. To learn more about The Nature Conservancy in Australia, follow us on Facebook.