Sunshine Coast photographer catches a perfect wave

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Community Creative Arts

Aqua Ninja © Marlee Currie

Coolum Beach snapper Marlee Currie has won the Water section in The Nature Conservancy Australia’s 2017 Photo Competition for his image, entitled Aqua Ninja.

With  more  than 4,900  entries arriving  from  across  the  country,  the  judges  of  this  year’s competition  were  overwhelmed  by  choice.

Marlee’s  image,  however,  caught  theeye  of competition judge and nature photographer Mark Seabury.

“To  me  this  is  a  fantastic  representation  of  mother  nature,  where  we  have  this  tiny  wave snapped  frozen  in  time  creating  an  unusual  pattern  of  water  that  pops  out  in  front  of  a  very vibrant twilight sky,” said Mark.

Marlee has spent  his  whole  life  around  the  ocean  and when  he  took  up  photography  three years ago it was a natural progression to capture its beauty.

“This photo came about from a lot of patience and a fair bit of luck,” he said.

“I’d had the image in my mind for some time, but having everything line up with such a small wave and beautiful sunset was just unreal and very lucky.

“My main goal with this was to focus on capturing the beautiful but often fleeting in - between moments that I saw when surfing and try to relay those moments of stoke in an image.”

TNC  Australia  Director  Rich  Gilmore  was  impressed  by  the  array  and  standard  of  the  2017 entries.

“The competition is a great opportunity for people who love photography to get into the great outdoors and flex their creative muscles,” he said.

“We live in such a beautiful country and these incredible images are the perfect way to remind everyone about the diversity of the environment, the vast array of wildlife and the spectacular scenery.”

Marlee’s photograph will be featured online and in a 2018 edition of Wild, Australia’s longest-running outdoor adventure magazine, along with the other category winners, the overall winner–taken by Harrison Warne–and the recipient of the People’s Choice Award.

The other category winners were:

  • Wildlife – Harrison Warne, Townsville, Qld
  • Landscape - Geoff Hutchinson, Wentworth Point, NSW
  • People in Nature - Liam Byrne, Newman, WA
  • Urban Nature – Emily Williams, Birkdale, Qld
  • Wacky Wildlife – Donna Rondeau, Cairns, Qld
  • People’s Choice – Nitin Jayanand, Queanbeyan, NSW

To see the winning entries, visit

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