Scientists take stunning photographs

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A stunning close up photograph of a rare, bright yellow and blue aquatic creature has been voted the winner of this year’s public choice category of NIWA’s photography competition. The psychedelic sea slug was photographed by scientist Rachel Boschen at the Poor Knights Reserve and was one of hundreds of entries in NIWA’s hotly-contested annual competition.

The competition is unique for the diversity of images entered by NIWA scientists for whom a typical day 'at the office' can mean anything from being under water, on top of a mountain range, somewhere in the Southern Ocean or on the ice in Antarctica.

This year entries including panoramic scenic shots, rare wildlife and unusual phenomena captured in their natural environment.

There are five categories and the winners were judged by a panel of professional photographers.

The judges commented on the extraordinary variety of work carried out by NIWA staff which offered unique photographic opportunities. NIWA was widely known for the excellence of its imagery, they said.

The five category winners are:  

Biosecurity diver

Taken by Crispin Middleton, principal technician marine ecology, which won the Our People Award and showed an underwater biosecurity inspection of pontoons in Auckland's Viaduct Harbour during a six- monthly survey for marine pests.

Taken by Crispin Middleton, principal technician marine ecology, this photo won the 2014 Our People Award. It shows an underwater biosecurity inspection of pontoons in Auckland's Viaduct Harbour during a six- monthly survey for marine pests.

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Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis shows a research vessel sailing through Antarctic sea and was taken by hydrodynamics scientist Alison Kohout. It won the Our Work category. The competition judges loved the line created by the ship and the vastness of the scene.

Aurora Australis shows a research vessel sailing through Antarctic sea and was taken by hydrodynamics scientist Alison Kohout. It won the 2014 Our Work photography category. [Credit Alison Kohout]

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Tongan fish trap

Chief fisheries scientist Rosie Hurst was the photographer behind “Tongan fish trap” which won the Our Places award and the Special Award went to Fabrice Cantos for “Fly Me I’m Famous”. The judges said it showed the photographer’s stunning technical ability in capturing a difficult shot to keep in focus.

Chief fisheries scientist Rosie Hurst was the photographer behind “Tongan fish trap” which won the 2014 NIWA photography competition Our Places award.

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Psychedelic sea slug

The colourful nudibranch, Tambja verconis,​ is the sea slug at Poor Knights Reserve captured by Rachel Boschen. It proved immensely popular on our social media channels during public voting. 

The colourful nudibranch, Tambja verconis,​ is the sea slug at Poor Knights Reserve captured by Rachel Boschen. It proved immensely popular on our social media channels during public voting during the 2014 NIWA photography competition.

[Credit Rachel Boschen]

Research Subject: 

The colourful nudibranch, Tambja verconis,​ is the sea slug at Poor Knights Reserve captured by Rachel Boschen. It proved immensely popular on our social media channels during public voting during the 2014 NIWA photography competition. [Credit Rachel Boschen]