WPY 2011

Photograph Details

Highly commended 2011

Animals in their Environment

Kah Kit Yoong, Australia

Dawn stars

'Of the many beaches I have photographed in the world,' says Kah Kit, 'this one is my absolute favourite.' He had gone to Paparoa National Park, on New Zealand's South Island, with a particular composition in mind, drawn to the multicoloured rocks and stacks that make the coast so distinctive and hoping to photograph them lit up at dawn. But the blazing sunrise he had envisaged didn't happen. Instead, while exploring the beach as the tide went out, he found another source of colour. Set against the blue of the early morning light, the reef starfish almost glowed. 'A long exposure captured the swirl of an eddy in the rock pool, suggesting some primordial world from which these strange creatures had emerged.'

Technical specification

Canon EOS 5D Mark II + 16-35mm f2.8 lens; 4 sec at f13; polarizing filter + neutral-density graduated filter; ISO 100; Gitzo Explorer tripod.


Paparoa National Park, New Zealand: latitude -42.0948, longitude 171.45 Paparoa National Park, New Zealand: latitude -42.0948, longitude 171.45

Paparoa National Park, New Zealand

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Kah Kit Yoong, Australia

  • Southern swell