green-backed heron fishing

Green-backed Heron Fishing, by Hennie van Heerden

The lovely photograph above grabbed top prize in the Professional Birds Category of the 2011 National Wildlife magazine’s photography competition. Captured by Dutch photographer Hennie van Heerden, the photo shows a Green-backed Heron hunting for fish in a flowing river at Mala Mala Game Reserve, South Africa.

By using a slow shutter speed while keeping the camera steady, Hennie cleverly portrays water flowing over the rocks in soft, beautifully muted colors, while keeping the heron sharp.

Hennie’s wildlife and nature photographs are outstanding — you can view more of her work and read about her rise to prominence as a wildlife photographer on her website, Hennie van

Hennie’s winning image was just one of nearly 27,000 entries in this year’s National Wildlife photography competition that covered the following categories: Connecting People and Nature, Backyard Habitats, Landscapes and Plant Life, Birds, Mammals and Other Wildlife, plus a popular new category, Baby Animals. In addition, there were three levels of photographers: professional, amateur, and youth.

Winning photographs in the various categories can be viewed in the slideshow below:

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