Merimbula photographer’s eye-licking gecko image wins grand prize

EYE BATH: Harrison Warne's award winning photograph of an Eastern Spiny-tailed Gecko.
EYE BATH: Harrison Warne's award winning photograph of an Eastern Spiny-tailed Gecko.

Merimbula photographer Harrison Warne has won the grand prize in The Nature Conservancy Australia’s 2017 Photo Competition. 

His spectacular image, Eye Bath, showcasing an Eastern Spiny-tailed Gecko licking its eye was selected out of more than 4900 entries from across the country.

Competition judge and well renowned nature photographer Michael Snedic commented that the image was truly beautiful.

 “Great composition, nice use of depth of field, important features (especially the eye and tongue) are pin sharp and there’s lovely lighting on the subject. And the timing is perfect, capturing the moment the gecko licked its eye,” Mr Snedic said.

Since graduating in zoology and ecology at James Cook University, Harrison Warne, 21, mentioned that he has wanted to capture the stunning colour and patterning in the eye of the species for sometime. 

 “The night was quite cool and so the gecko was inactive. Every few minutes it would lick both of its eyes, which is how they clean and keep their eyes moist since Australian geckos don’t have eyelids. I then set up the frame and waited for the gecko to once again clean his eye.”

For his impressive image, he won $5000 worth of prizes and will have his photograph featured in the 2018 edition of Wild, Australia’s longest-running outdoor adventure magazine.  

To view Mr Warne’s photograph alongside other contestants winning images click here.