NIWA photography awards show off scientists' work

Ak Our People Winner - Crispin Middleton, Biosecurity DiverCrispin Middleton

When you think of scientists and research you don't usually automatically think outstanding photography and photographic awards. Scientists of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) are changing that assumption with the stunning images they have taken while out in the field researching, all entered in the NIWA's annual photo competition.

Documenting their “typical day at the office”, the scientists have captured certain situations like being on top of a mountain range, getting up close to underwater sea slugs, and even showing a research ship sail through the Antarctic sea. The images are incredible not only for the quality of image, but they're also a real eye-opener as to what it takes to protect our environment on a daily basis.

The competition consisted of five categories and the entries were judged by a panel of professional photographers who also appreciated the variety of work the scientists undertake daily, leading to opportunities for some incredible shots to be taken. 

The category winners consisted of the following entries:

Biosecurity diver
Crispin Middleton, principal technician marine ecology, won the Our People Award with the image displayed above. It illustrates an underwater biosecurity inspection for marine pests of pontoons in Auckland's Viaduct Harbour.

Aurora Australis

Ch-Our-Work-Winner---Alison-Kohout,-The-Aurora-Australis-sailing-through-Antarctic-sea-iceAlison Kohout

Hydrodynamics scientist Alison Kohout won the Our Work category with this image of a research vessel sailing through Antarctic sea.

Tongan fish trap

Wn-Our-Places-Winner---Rosie-Hurst,-Tongan-fishtrapRosie Hurst

Winning the Our Places award was Rosie Hurst, chief fisheries scientist with his shot of a Tongan fish trap.

Psychedelic sea slug

Wn-Our-Work-Runner-up---Rachel-Boschen,-Psychedelic-sea-slugRachel Boschen

This Tambja verconis (sea slug) was a popular choice when it came to social media voting. Rachel Boschen captured this shot at Poor Knights Reserve.

Flight me I'm famous

Wn-Special-Award-runner-up---Fabrice-Cantos,-Flight-me-I'm-famousFabrice Cantos

The Special Award went to Fabrice Cantos for his shot named Flight me I'm Famous.

Other entrants in the competition can be seen below:

Alvin Setiawan

Craig Stevens

Rachel Hay

Jeremy Rutherford

Chris Woods

Ryan Evison

Carolyn Lundquist

Tracey Burton

Gregor Macara

Henrich Schafer