Crocodilian images which reveal fascinating stories told from a visual perspective.






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And the winner is...

For the 2003 Pic of the Month competition, there were 16 judges who were able to submit a vote: Brady Barr, Paul Bodnar, Erin O'Brien, Adam Britton, Chris Dieter, Ruth Elsey, Mason Meers, John & Penny Pomeroy, Mark Read, Jamie Robertston, Bruce Shwedick, Ralf Sommerlad, Colin Stevenson, John White, Katisha Wilson and Kent Vliet.

Each judge voted for their top 3 images, which received 3 (1st), 2 (2nd) or 1 (3rd) points. The months of January and February were excluded as they did not contain competition entries. When the final total was calculated, the top three were ranked as follows:

1st - John Brueggen - Dwarf crocodile (28 points)

1st place - John Brueggen

2nd equal - Baz Kanda
Indian gharial (15 points)

2nd place - Baz Kanda
    2nd equal - Bill Wagner
Australian freshwater crocodile (15 points)

2nd equal place - Bill Wagner

The winner of the best Pic of the Month submitted in 2003 was John Brueggen with his up-close and personal shot of a hatching dwarf crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis) still sitting coiled inside its egg. Most of the judges singled this picture out because of the character of the crocodile - a tiny package of crocodilian engineering just as impressive as its parents. Kent Vliet summed this up best: "Technically nicely composed, good depth of field and proper exposure. But the compelling element of the photo to me is the face of this croc so filled with personality even as it hatches from the egg.". John, curator of reptiles at the St Augustine Alligator Farm, has won this competition before - it seems he has an eye for the essence of things crocodilian. Congratulations John!

To be honest I found it difficult to judge the competition this year, as there were so many excellent and varied entries. This is apparent from the runners up, both tied with equal points. Baz Kanda's picture of the gharial was extremely unusual, focussing on its more unusual attributes. And Bill Wagner took what might just be the perfect picture of an Australian freshwater crocodile in its natural habitat. Well done to both of you. Here are a few other comments the judges made:

Scutes and Scales (June) by Mike Allard - "Crocs have such amazing patterns woven into their bodies - be it on the tail, back, feet or of course jaws. I like this shot, as the crocodilian back is strikingly beautiful, strong, and menacing. It makes a great subject, but this pic was also taken with some skill as well!" Colin Stevenson

View from Below (August) by Glenn Baker - "So many crocodilian shots look alike it is nice to see something out of the ordinary." Kent Vliet

Alien (November) by Baz Kanda - "At first I felt that more of the animal should be in focus but then I began to like the composition because it really emphasizes the long snout of these animals. An interesting perspective and an unusual one for crocodilian shots." Kent Vliet

Thanks again to everyone who sent photographs during 2003, whether they made the Pic of the Month or not. This section of the website is one of the most popular, and it works because of your enthusiasm for crocodilians. Keep sending me those pictures for 2004, and I'll be including them here in the months to come. And remember, if it catches the attention of our judges come next January, you may very well win a prize!

Speaking of prizes, John Brueggen wins an Ilfochrome print of a crocodilian for his top entry. Baz and Bill both win Northern Territory crocodile postcards.

Our first Pic of the Month for 2004 will appear here at the start of February. Don't miss it!

Would you like to enter your best photograph as a potential Pic of the Month? Send it to me and I'll include the best here each month. Each year I run a competition where the best photograph each year is awarded an Ilfochrome print. The only criteria for submitting a photograph is this: it must capture the attention.


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