Australian Lady Bird Photographer Georgina Steytler Creates High-Key, Soft Light, and Dramatic Stunners … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Australian Lady Bird Photographer Georgina Steytler Creates High-Key, Soft Light, and Dramatic Stunners ...

A Very Difficult Chore

All are invited to leave a comment listing no more than three of their favorite images created by the quite amazing Georgina Steytler. Be sure to let us know why you made your choice or choices. I will share my three favorites here in a day or three.

Remember that looking at (and evaluating) great imagery is one of the very best ways to improve your own photography …

What’s Up?

After two days off, I made it down to the lake on Friday morning. The two growing-more-every-day crane chicks foraged cooperatively in stands of yellow tickseed before the sun came over the one very tall cloud on the eastern horizon. I spent a lot of time doing critiques in the Avian Forum on BPN where the work of the boys and girls keeps getting better and better. I will be featuring some of those images here soon.

Today is Saturday 8 May 2021. It is 4am and Anita North and I are in the car and headed down to Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray, FL. The forecast is perfect: clear skies with a wind from the east. Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, I hope that you have a great day.

This blog post took about eight months and 1 1/2 hours to prepare, and makes 135 consecutive days with a new one. Please remember that if an item — a Delkin flash card, or a tripod head, for example, that is available from B&H and/or Bedfords and is also available in the BAA Online Store, it would be great if you opt to purchase from us. We will match any price. Please remember also to use my B&H affiliate links or to save 3% at Bedfords by using the BIRDSASART discount code at checkout. Doing either often earns you free guides and/or discounts. And always earns my great appreciation.

Image #1: Three Galahs. Image courtesy of and copyright 2018: Georgina Steytler

Learning About Georgina

BPN-friend, retired Arena Football League star Brian Sump alerted me to Georgina’s fine work with this e-mail on 9/8/20:

She won the portfolio award for BPOTY in the last contest. She is extremely creative. I love her work. You can see some of her work here.

Note: If you are half as impressed with Georgina’s images as I am, you can learn a ton and smile a lot by checking out her galleries. And to learn a ton about Georgina the person, read this very honest and interesting interview article entitled “The Life and Laughs of Georgina Steytler” by Wayne Harrington here. It details her life-saving transition from corporate lawyer to photographer/conservationist.

Image #2: Red-necked Avocet. Image courtesy of and copyright 2018: Georgina Steytler

Making Contact

On 14 Sep 2020 I e-mailed Georgina as below.

Hi Georgina, Hope that you are well and safe. My friend Brian Sump from BirdPhotographer’s.Net sent me a link to your site. You work is fabulous. Congrats on the recent portfolio honors. I have looked at your galleries several times and shared them with friends. I am not sure whether to call you the “Queen of High Key” or the Queen of Light.” I think that your high key stuff is amazing. I would love to feature some of your images in a blog post if that works for you.

with love, artie

Image #3: Red-capped Parrot on Bottlebrush. Image courtesy of and copyright 2018: Georgina Steytler

Georgina Replies

Hi Artie!

OMG yes! I would absolutely be honoured to be featured in your blog. I think I have all of your books! I am a bit embarrassed as I haven’t updated my website for a while. Please let me know what you would like from me. I am very excited!

Hugs, Georgina

ps: sorry for short reply but on the move in outback Australia! Hoping to photograph budgies tomorrow 🙂

Image #4: Pacific-Gull flapping. Image courtesy of and copyright 2018: Georgina Steytler

The Request

On 9/16/20 I wrote back:

I grabbed some screen caps from your website. It would be great if you could send me sharpened 1200 pixels on the long side jpegs for each of the images below (less than 395KBs) and a few more if you like.

Image #5: Pacific Black Duck preening. Image courtesy of and copyright 2018: Georgina Steytler

Dropping the Ball …

Not sure why, but life got in the way and I never got around to publishing Georgina’s fine work. Until today. It was well worth the wait and you guys are the lucky ones.

Image #6: Red-capped Plover on the run. Image courtesy of and copyright 2018: Georgina Steytler

Why Lucky?

I love Georgina’s style, her creative vision, the simplicity of her images, and her use of soft, high key, and often dramatic light. Many of her images look like watercolors. Over the years, many have scoffed at me when I say that I prefer photographing in cloudy bright rather than sunny conditions. It looks as if not one a single one of the images that I chose for today’s post was created in full sun. Well done, young lady.

Image #7: New Holland Honeyeaters. Image courtesy of and copyright 2018: Georgina Steytler

About Georgina by Georgina

I am a nature photographer with a passion for birds, ethics and conservation. I grew up on an orchard in Donnybrook, a small country town in Western Australia, where I developed a love of nature.

My interest in photography became a passion over ten years ago when I quit my corporate job and began volunteer work with BirdLife WA. Since then, I have been working to produce images for use by conservation organisations across Australia (for free), as well as teaching the art and ethics of bird photography through workshops, talks and articles.

The highlight of my photographic career was in 2018 when I became the first Australian woman to win a category (Invertebrates: Behaviour) in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the world’s foremost nature photography competition. My other major achievements include Bird Photographer of the Year (Best Portfolio and Creative Prize), Grand Prix Winner of EAAFP Waterbirds Photo Contest, Australian Photography Awards (Wildlife) and Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year (Portfolio Prize).

I currently live in Albany with my husband and a beautiful — if a little demanding, Belgian Shepherd.

Image #8: Magpie Lark banking in flight. Image courtesy of and copyright 2018: Georgina Steytler

Georgina’s Blog

Georgina does not post quite as often as I do (who does?), but you will find some very interesting stuff here along with a slew of great images.

Image #9: Great Egret abstract. Image courtesy of and copyright 2018: Georgina Steytler

Georgina’s Gear

Georgina used Canon gear — primarily a 600mm f/4 lens with a variety of bodies, for the majority of her bird photography. More recently, she has been playing around with some Olympus stuff, the E-M1 III and Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm f/4 IS PRO Super Telephoto Lens (and the MC14 Teleconverter). And loving it.

Image #10: Christmas Island Pigeons. Image courtesy of and copyright 2018: Georgina Steytler


Most folks use their FB pages to show off. Kudos to Georgina for using it as a teaching platform. You can visit (and learn) here.

Thanks, Georgina!

Thanks, Georgina for allowing me to share your work with the boys and girls here on the BAA Blog.


With all blog posts, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors.

18 comments to Australian Lady Bird Photographer Georgina Steytler Creates High-Key, Soft Light, and Dramatic Stunners …

  • Thank you so much for this feature, Artie, absolutely amazing images, all of them! I really love #5, the colors are stunning and I really love the reflection!

  • avatar Donnette Largay

    I choose #4. The bird’s eye through the translucent feathers.

  • avatar Phill Bird

    Thanks for introducing us to Georgina’s work, Artie. Lot’s of fantastic images and the standout for me is the Red-capped Parrot. The parrot’s beautiful coloring standing out in the misty lighting and inclusion of the quintessentially Australian Bottlebrush in the composition appeals greatly to me.

  • avatar Pat Fishburne

    I loved all of Georgina’s images, but my favorite was the New Holland Honeyeaters. I also liked the unusual great egret image. Moreover, it was fun seeing species that we don’t have here in the U.S.A.

  • Georgina has been my hero and mentor for the past few years. Her work is amazing and her use of light inspiring. I am so glad you have featured her on your blog.

  • avatar Kevin Hice

    Thanks Artie so much for posting Georgina’s work. Amazing and so inspirational.
    Went to her page and so many amazing shots and the light is fantastic. Gives one hope and different perspective of shooting outside the box. I have appreciated some of the great Photographers that you have on the blog. I remember well Dr. Greg Gulbransen and his photos on his site. That is one of the reasons I belong to BPN is to see others amazing work. It is looking at others amazing photos that you can learn and take your photos to the next level hopefully. I have people all the time comment on my photos and I tell them thanks but so many amazing photographers around the world. You are one 100% correct about looking at others work and learning. Thanks again for sharing and have a great day. Kevin

  • avatar George Welch

    Her fine imagery shows that it’s the photographer that’s most important, not the equipment used.

  • avatar Bill coote

    I am aware of Georgina, a very creative photographer, who shares and educates where there is an opportunity.
    I really like all the images, the galahs are so Australian, I will go with them.

  • avatar Jeff Walters

    I’m an instant fan! I like ’em all with the pigeons being least favorite. Thank-you both for sharing.

  • avatar Steve Schiff

    I see that Georgina opposes the use of bird calls to attract birds for photography. How does she feel about baiting wild birds with food?

  • avatar Adam

    My top three are 5,7,9 for their artistry.

  • avatar Linda Holloway

    Thank you for introducing us to Georgina Steyfler. Her work is amazing.

  • Gorgeous work. Truly outstanding.

  • avatar Margaret

    Well, that was a hard task. I’m familiar with all these birds except the Christmas Island Pigeons. All wonderful shots. I finally decided on the Red-capped Plover because of its minimalist purity.

    Nitpicking, Artie. Galah with one ‘l’.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      You are correct, sir! I fixed my spelling error. So not at all nitpicking. Many thanks for your help.

      Where do you live?

      with love, a

      • avatar Margaret

        I’m in Perth, Western Australia.

        I was already aware of Georgina’s astonishing work and the ethics behind it.

        PS. The Galahs thank you.

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