Biologist’s photo wins
It may be a denison of the deep but the posing little ’’Madonna’’ squid melted judges hearts. Taking out the Special Award for Niwa staff in their annual photography competition, marine biologist Crispin Middleton has managed to turn a love of marine life and photography into a career. Middleton spotted the squid on the way out to the Poor Knights.
‘‘They’re extremely rare. But if you look in the right places, you can find some amazingly rare and beautiful critters, right on your doorstep,’’ he said.
Normally found in ocean water more than 200 metres deep, the squid Ancistrocheirus lesueurii grows up to 250mm and is named after its habit of striking a pose with out stretched tentacles. The judges – photography professionals Ross Giblin of Stuff and Gerry le Roux from Science Lens - said the squid looked like ballet dancers on stage. Also winner of the wildlife section of New Zealand Geographic‘s photographic awards last year with his image of a flying fish, Middleton has managed to combine his expertise behind the camera with marine research. Based at Niwa’s Bream Bay aquaculture centre for more than 10 years, Middleton’s research has taken him from the Kermadec Islands to the Sub Antarctic Islands, although most is around Northland, Auckland and the Bay of Plenty.
Crispin Middleton’s image of the Madonna squid has taken out the Special Award at NIWA’s annual photography awards.