Feature Image by: Shot by Sean Scott

Outstanding Professional Photographs to Make You Feel Better About 2016

Last year saw its fair share of ups and downs, and downs, and downs. But, one thing we can luckily draw optimism from are the eye-widening bounty of images created by professional Canon photographers.

These men and women consistently dig deep to deliver absolutely incredible shots which make us stop, and think, and cry, and smile, and gasp. See what we're talking about below, with some of the best images from 2016. 

Aerial view of Arnhem Land

"What I like about this image is the three-dimensionality you see, where the discordant colours and textures seem to lift off the screen."

Arnhem Land Tidal Flats by Peter Eastway

Shot with Canon EOS 5DsR and Canon EF 35mm f1.4L USM.
f4 | 1/8000" | ISO 800 

Image of white mammal in snow

"After sitting for days through the freezing arctic winter conditions of Iceland, I finally got the opportunity to photograph the white morph of an Arctic Fox. He was patrolling the edge of his territory during a heavy winter snowstorm. It's very evocative of the incredibly harsh environment in which these animals survive. Able to withstand cold better than any other mammal, the Arctic Fox heads headlong into the blizzard in temperatures below -20º Celsius."

Arctic Fox Winter Blizzard by Joshua Holko

Shot with Canon EOS 1DX and Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS Mark II
f7.1 | 1/500" | ISO 800

image of new mother in hospital bed with twins in incubator on either side

"To finally hold your baby in your arms, after a 9 month pregnancy, is all a new mum wants. So to have TWO babies so close – yet so far – is torture. 
This new Mum reached out longingly for her twin girls, touching their humdicribs as though she was touching them herself, and waiting patiently to hold them for the first time. As a birth photographer I love that I can document precious moments such as these and help new parents relive the emotions that they experienced on the days that they welcome their precious new family members – it’s something special indeed!"

Longing for a Hold by Selena Rollason

Shot with Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L II USM.
f2.8 | 1/125" | ISO 5000 

image of Cronulla Shark's Andrew Fifita scores the match-winning try

"The Cronulla Shark's Andrew Fifita scores the match-winning try, during the 2016 NRL Grand Final between the Cronulla Sharks and Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium. The game was in the balance and when that's happening you are always waiting, wondering and anticipating when the winning moment is going to come, and when it finally does you are expected to get the picture. It's always nice when you capture the big moments that matter in sport."

Andrew Fifita Scores by Phil Hillyard

Shot with Canon EOS 1D X Mark II and Canon EF 400mm f2.8L IS II USM.
f2.8 | 1/1600" | ISO 3200 

Sunrise image of Harbour Bridge

"I was shooting a sunset that appeared to be pretty bland until this cloud formation lit up in a pretty unique way. As I was at one of my favourite spots on the harbour, near Milson's Point, I knew this puddle would be a great way to enhance the image. I dropped the camera down to water level and fired off a few shots at 11mm, which gives for a very unique field of view. I like the image because there’s a nice balance between man made structures and the beauty of nature."

Sydney Harbour by Matthew Vandeputte

Shot with Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Canon EF 11-24mm f4L.
f4 | 1/60" | ISO 200

Underwater image seals

"This image was taken at the start of my Australian road trip in Tasmania. I had four weeks to explore and photograph some of the most amazing landscape scenery Australia has to offer. On this day I headed out to the Island of Seals – it was such a spectacular coastline with large caves and dramatic scenery. The seals were all in the water splashing about (apparently thats a good sign that there are no sharks around). I quickly got my gear ready and jumped overboard. I found myself alone amongst hundreds of seals and they really started to react with me."

Ile Des Phoques (French for Island of Seals) by Sean Scott

Shot with Canon EOS 1D X and Canon EF 16-35mm f4L.
f5.6 | 1/500" | ISO 1000 

Image of Defqonator

"I was shooting a reportage series at the Defqon.1 music festival and remember climbing up onto one of the several stages packed with hardstylers jumping to thumping tunes. As I forced my way through the crowd, I came across the ‘Defqonator’ and used hand signals to get the ok to shoot him. Grabbing a piece of white cardboard, that happened to be on the ground next to me, I bounced light onto the Defqonator from an overhead spotlight whilst directing and shooting a few captures. I like this image for its powerful simplicity; encapsulating visually what a Defqon.1 hardstyle music festival is all about."

Defqonator by Urs Buhlman

Shot with Canon EOS 1D X and Canon EF 16-35mm f4L.
f5.6 | 1/100" | ISO 800

Image of bear in water

"No matter how many times you’ve had large brown bears calmly stride right past you, it’s another feeling entirely to stare though your lens as one appears to make eye contact from 50 meters away and starts charging full-pace through the shallows directly towards you. I was really hoping there was some tasty salmon, somewhere in front of me, which the bear had locked onto, and not me."

Bear Charge by Chris Bray

Shot with Canon EOS 5DsR and Canon EF 200-400mm f4 L IS USM
f/4 | 1/3200" | ISO 1250

Image of surfer in sunset

"I’m not usually that impressed with sunset pictures, to be honest. But this image – taken on one of my endless roamings around Cronulla, of a longboarder surfing under a sky that for a few moments looked to be on fire – worked for me. The image is a part of an ongoing documentation of Cronulla, a coastal suburb in the Sutherland Shire of Sydney Australia where I live. It is basically observations of the people who live at and frequent Cronulla their interaction with and affinity for the ocean and beach life."

Cronulla Sky by Craig Golding

Shot with Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8
f5 | 1/250" | ISO 800 

Image of three men on
street corner

"The photographs that have the most impact for me when travelling are the portraits that I make along the way. For this reason I almost always have a camera around my neck, ready to shoot. I quickly walked down the street to get in front of these three characters, when they saw me they stopped and in sign language they allowed me to photograph them. Five seconds later they were gone.

I enjoy the direct eye contact where people meet one another through the lens. The story telling, where all the element within the frame have significance and finally the exchange of energy that portraits bring."

Nanggarze Locals, Tibet (a small town near the Karola Pass South West of Lhasa) by Jackie Ranken 

Shot with Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and Canon EF 35mm f1.4L II USM.
f2.2 | 1/250" | ISO 100

Image of a prayer wheel reflection

"I made this photograph of the reflection in the giant prayer wheel in the forecourt of Trandruk Monastery near Tsedang, in Eastern Tibet. This image manages to combine both the written Tibetan prayer script as well as the scene of where the prayer wheel was located. It tells the story of the dry dusty environment and the mud brick of all the buildings, all reflected in the gold leaf of the prayer wheel. I managed to hide my reflection in the bright ruby gem stone in the middle of the image so as not to visually intrude into the scene."

Prayer Wheel by Mike Langford

Shot with Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and Canon EF 16-35mm f4L.

f8 | 1/320" | ISO 320

"As an adventure photographer, many athletes I work with become close friends as it's important to develop a strong trust while working in challenging scenarios. This was my first shoot after breaking my ankle in a skiing accident and getting back on the horse working again. I teamed up with Steph Davis on the outskirts of Moab, Utah to shoot her climbing 'The Joker 5.12.' It's an amazing feeling to work with friends but also who are my idol at the same time."

Steph Davis by Krystle Wright

Shot with Canon EOS 5DsR and Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L II USM.
f3.2 | 1/1250" | ISO 250

teenager on makeshift podium playing with phone

"I was at my first kart racing night in south-west Sydney when I saw this kid scrolling lazily on the winning blocks. There was only time for one frame between me noticing him and his moving on. It’s a really simple moment with a lot of quality ingredients: crisp flood lights, pale greys, bright blues. I had no time to compose so I was pleasantly surprised by the elements that had fallen into place: shade sails casting triangles of black to frame the scene, and a mixed message of ambition and apathy."

Ambition and Apathy by Lyndal Irons

Shot with Canon EOS 5D II and Canon EF 40mm f2.8 STM.
f10 | 1/160 | ISO 2500

"Late 2015, and into 2016 I directed an 8 episode documentary on concussion for Samsung Australia. The doco followed the efforts of Samsung bringing a product designer together with a concussion specialist. Together they developed a wearable headband that could measure concussive forces in contact sport. 

As part of the final episode, I interviewed Israel Folau and asked him to put the headband through its paces. We had a hectic schedule of shots to get over the day, to make full use of Izzy’s involvement, including tracking shots, drones shot and high frame rate dramatic slow-motion. Next to where I interviewed Izzy, I set up a photo studio and found about 5 minutes to put him through some paces for stills.While I was still finessing the lighting, Izzy began going through some warm ups and stepped too close to the top light. As a result the light fell off him quite dramatically, lending the image to some dramatic treatment, as I later discovered when editing the images later.

The shot captures him in an authentic moment of action, but he also looks strong and athletic. I gave the image a bronze duotone so he would feel a bit like a bronzed statue. 

 The documentary went on to win awards at most of the international advertising festivals, so I have a fond connection with this image."

Israel Folau for Samsung by Chris Ireland

Shot withCanon EOS 5DsRand Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II USM.
f11 | 1/125" | ISO 200

"I can't really explain why I like this image the most from 2016. I think it could be the spontaneity - the unexpected gust of wind that ensured the obscurity of the model almost blending into the background. Or maybe it is the free feeling of a beautiful summer. Or the colours of the late afternoon against the blue of the silk dress…. oh I don’t know???? But somehow this photo came about as a lovely mistake. It turned out much better than what I had wanted it to look like. That's so rare that it needs to be celebrated."

Pyjama Party by Georges Antoni

Shot with Canon EOS 5DsRand Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L II USM.
f5.6 | 1/640" | ISO 320

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