Congratulations to Walter Baliero of Santiago, Chile. He won our Photo of the Week Contest for May and June with his picture of an Austral Pygmy-Owl. He shot the photo in August 2013 in the Batuco’s Hills near Santiago, and we featured it the week of June 16.
British photographer Krystyna Szulecka was our judge. Her terrific shot of an Atlantic Puffin appears on the cover of our August 2014 issue.
“The image of the Austral Pygmy-Owl coming in to land in the Batuco’s Hills fulfills all of the requirements of a captivating nature photograph,” Szulecka says. “It beautifully illustrates the bird in action, taken just before its feet touch the lichen-covered branch, with its eyes focused on the target. The image is sharp and well lit, showing the feathers and talons and texture of the branch in great detail. The background at first looks monotonous but close inspection reveals the subtle variations in color of the distant hills that enhance the subject.”
We’ll publish Baliero’s photo in our October 2014 issue.