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And just to show how not bitter we are, here are the 8 best animals featured in the Head On Photo Festival 2022 exhibitions – ranked completely objectively by cuteness.

Best of all they are all being exhibited at Bondi Beach right now! 

8. This very majestic horse – In the world but not of it; The Hutterites, Tim Smith

The horse is no stranger to being a photographic subject. In fact, the first known form of the moving image was of a man riding galloping horse.  

Half-submerged, this horse looks regal as it carries its Hutterite-born rider across the stream. The Hutterite people prefer such traditional forms of transport. 

Tim describes; Hadassah Maendel takes Kahlua for a swim in the pond at Baker Colony at sunset on a warm August evening. 

See it at Bondi Promenade

Tim Smith

7. A very sneaky cheetahTiàWùK, Gabriele Cecconi

Probably the most out-of-place animal you will find in any of our exhibitions. This prowling cheetah trapped within the white walls of a modern house perfectly sums up the hyper-reality of Kuwait amidst its extreme economic expansion. 

Gabriele says: After raising a lion for three years, the owner now takes care of two cheetahs that roam freely around the living room of his house. Although it’s now illegal to own wild animals, many Kuwaiti citizens still want them as a form of ostentation and status. 

See it at Bondi Promenade

Gabriele Cecconi

6. This trout – The Grand Scheme, Chris Round 

Three words: really big fish. 

This image comes from Chris Round series exploring the effects and legacies of the Snowy Hydro Scheme, he explains; The Big Trout resides in the small trout-fishing town of Adaminaby. It weighs 2.5 tonnes and holds the illustrious title of the world’s biggest trout. Thanks to a long exposure, the trout seems to be leaping in the air to catch a fortuitously placed star trail. Trout fishing is a popular pastime in the waterways of the Snowy Mountains. 

See it at Bondi Promenade

Chris Round

6. Many, many, many starlings – Murmurations, Johannes Bosgra 

Look, it’s a lot of birds. Please don’t ask me how many. But the way this murmuration moves together is incredible, forming mesmerising patterns and shapes – this one looks like a cat, so extra points. 

See it at Bondi Promenade

Johannes Bosgra

4. This friendly chicken – We are Rohingya, Rohingyatographer 

You can find companions in the most unlikely of places. This young girl, named Samia, found hers in a chicken, a bright spot in her days live in the Cox’s Bazaar refugee camp. 

See it at Bondi Promenade

Sahat Zia Hero

3. This Goat (who is maybe plotting something) – Feta, Erica Williams

I can’t really decide if this goat is cute, or a bit sinister… Nope, it’s cute, definitely cute. 

The student photographer behind this portrait says it was inspired by Tim Flach’s portrait studies – brilliant! No wonder Erica’s image was a runner-up in this year’s Head On Student Awards!

See it at Bondi Promenade

Erica Williams

2. A gecko just chilling Sandstone specialist, Kieran Wardle

A very talented student photographer, Kieran Wardle, captured this little guy – a very cute highlight amongst the amazing Head On Student Awards.

Kieran says: The Broad Tailed Gecko (Phyllurus platurus) is a species of rock dwelling gecko endemic to the Sydney Basin. These cryptic geckos retreat to deep sandstone caves and crevices during the day before they emerge to forage the rock faces of a night. This female was walking along some rocks at the base of a sandstone outcrop, I got a quick photo as she checked out my camera before she left on her way on the hunt for crickets.

See it at Bondi Promenade

Kieran Wardle

1.Dogs, of course – Dogs and the city, Kristie Lee

Who else could take out the top spot? 

Kristie Lee’s series Dogs and the City celebrates the pets who call the world’s largest cities their home. You can see the pet owner’s personalities mirrored by their canine companions (or is it the other way around?) in every image – giving us a very adorable insight into how these furry good-boys live and love in their concrete jungles. 

For each photograph Kristie added need-to-know information about the featured dog, like Beau here: 

Beau loves being out on the   

town with mum and dad,   

any excuse to dress up. He   

is known for his butt wiggles.   

His cheeky habit is stealing slippers.    

Sydney, Australia 

See it at Bondi Promenade

Kristie Lee

Get down to Bondi Beach before 4 Dec to see all these critters for yourself!

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Head On Photo Awards 2024

Entries to the Head On Photo Awards 2024 open in May/June.

Image detail: Gary Ramage