Winter is an exciting time in South Australia’s inshore waters, and this winter the avid marine life photographer can chase a reward even greater than the satisfaction of capturing a beautiful image of a rare, endemic or iconic species.
Not only do the Giant Australian Cuttlefish gather en masse near Point Lowly in Upper Spencer Gulf in a mere 3-6 metres of water, but some true giants also make their way to our shores from Antarctica this time of year. I’m speaking about Southern Right whales (Eubaleana australis) of course , which make extended visits to several key bays along South Australia’s extensive coastline from May through to October.
One bay so blessed is Encounter Bay, on which the town of Victor Harbor is situated. The town’s origins date back to the 1800s, when whales were hunted there for their oil and bones. Today, the Southern Right whale is one of the Encounter Bay area’s iconic species, is dearly beloved and as numbers continue to increase year after year, increasingly photographed.
Enter the Prints of Whales photography competition- an initiative of the SA Whale Centre and several Fleurieu tourism partners. The competition was first held in 2009, and returns in 2014 not only as a celebration of the challenge and art of whale photography but also a celebration of the region’s winter wildlife.
Marine Life Society of SA members (those in possession of thick skin or thicker wetsuits) may already have underwater images eligible for entry into this competition. Photographic entries must have been taken this winter, and for the purposes of the competition, the Fleurieu Peninsula is considered to start at Southport (south of Adelaide) and extend to the Lower Lakes and Coorong, to the southeast of the Murray Mouth.
Lucky for us, this region includes some of South Australia’s most popular dive sites- namely Rapid Bay jetty, Second Valley, HMAS Hobart and The Bluff. Each entrant is limited to 3 images, and modest entry fees for the competition apply. The cost is $10 for the first image, and $3 each for an additional two images. Up for the winning are over $3,000 in cash and prizes, exhibition opportunities for your photos, elevated profiles for our amazing marine life and potentially further publication.
If you are seeking dive buddies or some company to plan a shoot to shoot some entries for the competition, we encourage you to visit our Facebook group for financial members and discuss it further. Entries close on September 12. Full details and entry forms are available at http://printsofwhales.com.au