A kangaroo channeling Jimi Hendrix wins Comedy Wildlife Photography Award 2023

Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023
Air Guitar Roo - Overall winner of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023 (Image credit: Jason Moore - Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023)

A photo of a kangaroo channeling its inner Jimi Hendrix has been crowned the winner of the Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards 2023. Taken by Australian photographer Jason Moore, Air Guitar Roo was up against over 5,000 entries from 85 countries but the perfectly timed capture was unanimously voted as the judge's top pick. 

Landing him not only the overall prize but the Creatures of the Land category too, Jason’s kangaroo shoot was completely unplanned. His winning image was taken after a disappointing morning trying to shoot waterfowl at a nearby lake. On his way home Jason pulled over at a spot he knew was popular among a mob of Eastern Grey kangaroos so crouched down in the tick-infested grasslands to capture the roos and joey's. 

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Sometimes it’s the unexpected shots that turn out the best and looking back on that day Jason remarks, “The shoot turned out to be a great session and I am quite fond of several images that I captured. Not many people know that kangaroos are normally fairly docile and even a bit boring most of the time if I’m honest. However, when I saw this roo striking the air guitar pose it immediately brought a smile to my face and I knew that I had captured something really special.”

He took the shot on his Sony A1 with an FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS telephoto, with a 1.4x teleconverter. The exposure was 1/1000sec at f/5.6, ISO 2500.

In total six category winners were recognized for their wildlife capture including Vittorio Ricci who claimed the Creatures of the Air award for her image Unexpected Plunge showing a striated heron falling out of the sky and into water. A photo of a charming Ballerina Otter taken by Otter Kwen in Singapore won the Under Water category while Timea Ambrus won the portfolio award for his series of four images taken of a ground squirrel launching into the air. 

Ballerina Otter - Winner of the Under Water category (Image credit: Otter Kwek - Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023)

The video category was awarded to Lily Bernau for her brilliant film ‘Too Cold’ which documented a penguin refusing to jump in the sea while the young photographer award went to Jacie Stankiewicz for his photo of two green finches engaged in an “argument”. Titled Dispute, the photo also won the public vote in the Affinity Photo People’s Choice award marking the first time it’s been won by a young photographer.

Tom Sullam, co-founder of the competition describes seeing the immense talent combined with humor as one of the greatest pleasures that he and co-founder Paul Johnson Hicks get to experience. “This year’s People's Choice Award winner is like the cherry on the cake. To have a junior entrant win this major prize is extremely rewarding for us. We want more juniors to enter, we want to take our conservation message and our love of photography to the younger generation and this result proves that tongue photographers have as much of a chance of winning as anyone else.”

Unexpected Plunge - Winner of the Creatures of the Air category (Image credit: Vittoria Ricci - Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023)

Dispute - Winner of the Young Photographer category and People's Choice Award (Image credit: Jacek Stankiewicz)

The Happy Turtle - Highly commended (Image credit: Tzahi Finkelstein - Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2023)

Monday Blahs - Highly commended (Image credit: John Blumenkamp)

The Rainforest Dandy - Highly commended (Image credit: Delphine Casimir)

Alongside the winning mages, 10 entries were also highlighted and commended including a shot of a very fed-up owl, a monkey showing you the way and my personal favorite, a happy turtle with a dragonfly resting on its mouth. 

Jason Moore, this year’s Comedy Wildlife Photographer of the Year wins a one in a one-in-a-lifetime safari to the Masai Mara, Kenya with Alex Walker’s Serian plus a unique handmade trophy from the Wonder Workshop plus two stylish Retrospective camera bags from Think Tank. To view the full gallery of winning and highly commended images head to the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards website.

If you want to get into capturing animals in their natural habitat, the best cameras for wildlife photography will help you on your way

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.