Entry for the 2018 competition is now closed. Go to the galleries to view all the wonderful entries.

Atlas of LifE: Coastal wilderness

2018 photo competition

It's that time of year again! Let's celebrate the wonder and beauty of our region's biodiversity. 
Send us your best photos of wild nature from across the Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness region.

Your entries create a gallery of great images for us all to share and enjoy.

Entry is simple – and there are great prizes on offer too!

"am i eligible to enter?"

Entry is open to all ages, and to residents and visitors alike. The only requirement is that you are a registered contributor to the Atlas of Life NatureMapr database. [not registered yet? click here]

All images must have been taken within the Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness region. Indeed, we urge all entrants to ensure that their photos are also recorded as sightings on our NatureMapr database. 


"what are the categories?"

Main categories

Nominate a single Main Category for each image

  1. Birds

  2. Terrestrial vertebrates (excludes birds)

  3. Invertebrates

  4. Plants & Fungi

  5. Marine & intertidal species

Special categories (additional)

Nominate up to two Special Categories for each image, if relevant

  • Ecological interactions (involving more than one species)

  • Entrant aged under 13 years

  • Entrant aged 13 to 17 years

Images will be judged in each of the eight categories above. Overall winning entries will then be selected from among the category award winners.

Note: please only enter images of wild nature. For example, a photo of a pet snake, a caged bird, a cultivated plant, or a feral animal cannot be accepted. 


"How many images MAY I enter?"

Up to 3 images per Primary Category, and up to 10 images in total.

Note: Photos taken prior to 2018 are eligible for entry. However, images entered in previous years' Atlas of Life Photo Competitions are not eligible for re-entry.


"what are the judges looking for?"

The judges are all keen nature photographers, and contributors to the Atlas of Life. They will be judging images against the following criteria:

  • Interest and appeal: is the image visually interesting and 'eye-catching'?

  • Composition

  • Technical qualities: lighting and exposure, clarity and focus

In addition, they will be looking for images which capture the 'nature' of nature. For example: the growth of a fungus; the structure of a flower; the behaviour of an animal; the adaptations of a species to its environment.

key dates

Entry opens 1st August 2018, and closes on 30th November 2018*. Winners will be announced at a celebratory event in Merimbula (date to be confirmed).

 *in response to requests for more time, we’ve extended the date from 31st Oct to 30th November

Exhibition and prizes

All images will be displayed as a Gallery on this website. The winning images will be highlighted in the Gallery, and will also be printed and displayed – first at EyeQ in Merimbula, then at various libraries and other public venues around the region.


Overall first prize is two nights in a luxurious Tanja Lagoon Camp safari tent. There is also a $150 voucher for Wheeler’s Seafood Restaurant , kindly donated by Jacqui Smith, and a $100 gift voucher for third place.


All of our judges are keen photographers themselves, with many years of practical experience. They are experienced in nature photography and know what to look for in identifying outstanding images. And, as members of our broader Atlas of Life community, they have kindly offered their support to this year's competition.

1: David Gallan
2: Paul Whitington
3: Christa Drysdale & Dawn Wood (special guests from the Atlas of Life: Budawang Coast region)
4: Belinda Rosenbaum (special judge for age-specific categories)

Here are a few of the entries submitted so far …

select entries from 2017

The Atlas of Life thanks the following organisations for their ongoing support of this competition: