Photographs of the week

The aftermath of the Taal volcano eruption, bushfires in Australia, refugees on the island of Lesbos and Greta Thurnberg in Davos – the best photography in news, culture and sport from around the world this week. —by Jim Powell

Mullengudgery, Australia
A child runs towards a dust storm in New South Wales. Damaging winds produced by thunderstorms have whipped up dust storms that turned daytime into night in some towns
Photograph: Marcia Macmillan/HO/AFP/Getty Images
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Batangas, Philippines
An aerial view of the mud-covered houses at the foot of the Taal volcano
Photograph: Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images
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Kangaroo Island, Australia
A wallaby is seen on burnt bushland
Photograph: Tracey Nearmy/Reuters
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Antarctic
Endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh swims under an ice sheet. Pugh, 50, swam for 10 minutes and 17 seconds in the river underneath the melting ice sheet in an attempt to raise awareness of the climate crisis at the poles
Photograph: Lewis Pugh/PA
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Wuhan, China
Excavators at the construction site of a new hospital being built to treat patients infected with the new coronavirus strain that was first detected in Wuhan. The city at the centre of the outbreak has begun the ambitious task of building a 1,000-bed hospital in just 10 days
Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
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Photographs of the week
more at The Guardian

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Splendid protection

Kept safe by a quarter of a century of World Heritage listing, the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia are an unparalleled glimpse into an ancient wilderness.
Photographer Drew Hopper

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Splendid protection
more at Australian Geographic

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Chasing storms in Australia by Dale Sharpe

As a landscape photographer I’ve travelled to most countries in the world, and I’ve photographed everything from Ice Caves and the Aurora in the north, the autumn colours in Patagonia in the south, and even the sandy deserts of the Middle East.

But when it comes to real challenges, storm chasing stands alone as a true test of my ability to capture nature’s fury in a fast paced and ever-changing environment.

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Chasing storms in Australia by Dale Sharpe
more at Australian Photography

2018 Nikon Surf Photo and Video of the Year Winners Announcement

In partnership with Surfing Australia, we’re excited to announce this year’s winners of the 2018 Nikon Surf Photo and Surf Video of the Year Awards.
This year’s awards have again shown the calibre of surf photography and film production in Australia, which made the judging process a very tough one.

Nikon Surf Photo of the Year 2018 Winner
The Nikon Surf Photo of the Year Award is a prestigious award that recognises the ‘best of the best’ of Australian surf photographers.

Congratulations to Trent Mitchell, winner of the 2018 Nikon Surf Photo of the Year award for his photo ‘Unbound’.
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Finalist – Peter Jovic
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Finalist – Craig Parry
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Finalist – Jamie Scott
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Finalist – Philip Thurston
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2018 Nikon Surf Photo and Video of the Year Winners Announcement
more at My Nikon Life

Australia’s drought – the cancer eating away at farms

From ground level, Australia’s drought looks like a featureless, brown dustbowl, but from the air it transforms into an artistry of colour and texture as the land cracks under a blazing sun.

Circular dry plough tracks resemble the concentric circles in Aboriginal dot paintings that tell of an ancient mythology, starving cattle queuing for feed look like an abstract painting and their black shadows stretching across the land a surrealist image.

But for farmer Ash Whitney, there is no such beauty, just blood, sweat and tears as he struggles to feed his cattle, cutting the drying branches of Kurrajong trees – a last resort during the worst of droughts.

“I have been here all my life, and this drought is feeling like it will be around a while,” says a despairing Whitney, whose property near the town of Gunnedah is on the Liverpool Plains, a usually fertile area now withered having received the lowest average rainfall in nearly 30 years.

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Australia’s drought – the cancer eating away at farms
More from David Gray
at Wider Image

Australian photographer of the year award winners – in pictures

The winners of Australian Photography magazine’s Australian photographer of the year awards, the largest amateur photography competition in the southern hemisphere.

Kristyn Taylor’s portfolio was the result of an extraordinary month-long trip to the Ladakh region in northern India in April 2017. Here, a shepherd leads his camel while framed by a mountain peak. Part of the winning portfolio in the travel category.
Photograph: Kristyn Taylor/Australian Photography
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Canberra teenager Nikolay Miroshnichenko started taking photos in 2015. He says his portfolio, which won the junior (under 18) category, is his way of showing the demons young people face.
Photograph: Nikolay Miroshnichenko/Australian Photography
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Jordan Robins, 24, from Jervis Bay took out the overall award of photographer of the year with a series of wildlife images captured at the Great Barrier Reef.
Photograph: Jordan Robins/Australian Photography
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Surfers line up for the perfect wave in Timothy Moon’s photo of the year-winning image captured at his local beach in Sydney.
Photograph: Timothy Moon/Australian Photography
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New Zealand’s North Island was the subject of Tim Fan’s portfolio, which won the landscape category. Pictured here are New Plymouth’s Three Sisters.
Photograph: Tim Fan/Australian Photography
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Australian photographer of the year award winners – in pictures
more at The Guardian

Through the lens of Australia’s best offroad photographers

Chasing light tends to become a way of life. It is part of the search, part of the yearning that burns with flickering and roaring flames within us all. When you look into someone’s eyes, and you almost catch a glimmer, that’s the yearning you’re seeing. Like all other artforms, it is infinite in its demands. Each day beckons, never to be repeated. And even if the days went on in perfect symmetry forevermore, it would be no less of a challenge to capture the beauty of the natural world, to transmute what we see into the gold on the page. In that way, every man, woman and child holding a camera is a kind of alchemist, seeking to transform their souls into something purer. And if there’s one thing I know for sure, everything in the world is already gold, including our souls. You just have to find the right perspective.

Some days the fire burns brighter, some days we only have embers: Moreton Island, Qld. – Carlisle Rogers
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There’s treasure everywhere, and gold covers the earth: Kimberley, WA. – Sean Scott
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Perspective is everthing. What is hidden is visible, and what is visible is hidden. -Sean Scott
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Roaming the chewed edge of the continent in technicolour: Cape Leveque, WA. – Sean Scott
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Give ‘em hell, survive. That’s the spirit of the desert breathing. – Carlisle Rogers
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Through the lens of Australia’s best offroad photographers
more in 4WD Touring Australia – Photo Annual