Photo contest encourages fun, beauty at work

Photographs submitted for the 2014 AOSS Photo Contest are now on display outside the Schwerdtfeger Library.

  • Slide 0

    1st Place

    Berry Frosting, Frautschi Point, Madison, Wisconsin. 21 December 2013.

    Photo by Fred Best

  • Slide 1

    2nd Place

    Sand storm, Monument Valley, Navajo Tribal Park, Utah/Arizona. 26 August 2014.

    Photo by Paolo Veglio

  • Slide 2

    3rd Place

    Ice formations on shore of Lake Michigan, Cave Point, Door County, Wisconsin. 1 January 2014.

    Photo by Grant Petty

  • Slide 3

    Honorable Mention

    Feathery frost on a garage window, Island Lake, Boulder Junction, Wisconsin. 26 January 2014.

    Photo by Hank Revercomb

  • Slide 4

    Honorable Mention

    Ropeout of strong tornado, Sandford, Kansas. 18 May 2013.

    Photo by Alex Goldstein

  • Slide 5

    Sunset over North Bay, Door County, Wisconsin. 30 June 2014.

    Photo by Sam Batzli

  • Slide 6

    Adventure Island in the fog, Door County, Wisconsin. 26 December 2014.

    Photo by Sam Batzli

  • Slide 7

    Sunset reflected in window, Sand Island Lighthouse, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin. 2 August 2014.

    Photo by Sam Batzli

  • Slide 8

    Hard rime on trees, Rhön Mountainous National Park, Germany. 1 December 2014.

    Photo by Denis Botambekov

  • Slide 9

    Hard rime on trees, Rhön Mountainous National Park, Germany. 1 December 2014.

    Photo by Denis Botambekov

  • Slide 10

    Cloud formation, Grand Canyon National Park.

    Photo by Anne Sophie Daloz

  • Slide 11

    Cloud formation, Grand Canyon National Park.

    Photo by Anne Sophie Daloz

  • Slide 12

    Patagonian lenticulars, Patagonia, Chile. November 2014.

    Photo by Ed Eloranta

  • Slide 13

    High precipitation supercell, northwest Wisconsin. 3 September 2014.

    Photo by Alex Goldstein

  • Slide 14

    Decaying supercell, eastern Wyoming. June 2014.

    Photo by Alex Goldstein

  • Slide 15

    Fog, Hoyt Park, Madison, Wisconsin. 22 October 2014.

    Photo by John Lalande

  • Slide 16

    Lunar eclipse over Madison, Wisconsin. 15 April 2014.

    Photo by John Lalande

  • Slide 17

    Lunar eclipse over Madison, Wisconsin. 8 October 2014.

    Photo by John Lalande

  • Slide 18

    Morning frost on kitchen window, Madison, Wisconsin. November 2014.

    Photo by Elin McIlhattan

  • Slide 19

    Apostle Island Ice caves on the shore of Lake Superior, northern Wisconsin. 5 March 2014.

    Photo by Elin McIlhattan

  • Slide 20

    Ice formations, Apostle Islands, Lake Superior, Wisconsin. 5 March 2014.

    Photo by Elin McIlhattan

  • Slide 21

    Snow in the desert.

    Photo by Paul Menzel

  • Slide 22

    Rayleigh light scattering.

    Photo by Paul Menzel

  • Slide 23

    Polar vortex sunrise, Madison, Wisconsin. 7 January 2014.

    Photo by Margaret Mooney

  • Slide 24

    Clouds reflected in Fallison Lake, northern Wisconsin. August 2014.

    Photo by Chris Niendorf

  • Slide 25

    Sunrays and clouds during sunset over Crystal Lake, northern Wisconsin. August 2014.

    Photo by Chris Niendorf

  • Slide 26

    Hoar frost on shore of Lake Michigan, Cave Point, Door County, Wisconsin. 1 January 2014.

    Photo by Grant Petty

  • Slide 27

    Rime ice needles, Picnic Point, Madison, Wisconsin. 13 January 2011.

    Photo by Ilya Razenkov

  • Slide 28

    Noon at the top of the world, Buffin Bay, Ellesmere Island, Canada. 27 October 2010.

    Photo by Ilya Razenkov

  • Slide 29

    Northern lights, Barrow, Alaska. 17 October 2014.

    Photo by Ilya Razenkov

  • Slide 30

    Arctic ice in Chukchi Sea, Kozebue Sound, Bering Strait, off western Alaska. 24 March 2014.

    Photo by Hank Revercomb

  • Slide 31

    Zenith cloud contrasts, Island Lake, Boulder Junction, Wisconsin. 28 September 2014.

    Photo by Hank Revercomb

  • Slide 32

    Windy day at Lake Michigan, Grand Haven, Michigan. 31 December 2014.

    Photo by David Santek

  • Slide 33

    Fog hiding limestone karsks, Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam. Fall 2013.

    Photo by Walter Sessions

  • Slide 34

    Icicles in a cave, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Lake Superior, Wisconsin. January 2014.

    Photo by Walter Sessions

  • Slide 35

    Ice formations, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Lake Superior, Wisconsin. January 2014.

    Photo by Walter Sessions

  • Slide 36

    Sky above green-laser lidar on SPARC trailer, Madison, Wisconsin. September 2014.

    Photo by Jarek Sromovsky

  • Slide 37

    Pacific sunset, Costa Rica. July 2014.

    Photo by Dave Stettner

  • Slide 38

    Winter crop circles from a 737. January 2015.

    Photo by Dave Stettner

  • Slide 39

    Growing cumulus clouds, Flavian Amphitheatre / Colosseum, Rome, Italy. 16 September 2014.

    Photo by Samantha Tushaus

Each year, students, faculty, and staff who work in the Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences building are invited to submit their photography of a weather event, anywhere in the world. Uniquely blending art and science, the photos provide a glimpse into a scientist’s view of the natural world.

This year’s blue-ribbon winner is SSEC executive director Fred Best.

“I am an engineer, but like everyone here I am interested in weather phenomena,” Best said. “I love nature, and I’m always out taking pictures.”

Best’s entry depicts a significant weather event from just over a year ago: hoar frost. This somewhat rare type of frost occurs on cold, clear nights when moisture in the air suddenly cools and freezes into ice crystals. The crystals cling to outdoor surfaces, piling up and forming tiny towers of ice. The macro image shot by Best captures the intricate details of these feathery, icy spines.

“There was a dramatic case of hoar frost that day,” he explained, noting how the diminutive size of the berries accentuates the equally delicate ice growths in the photo.

A lifelong photography hobbyist, Best has entered the contest a handful of times in previous years. A photo of lake ice that he entered in 2012 was awarded third place.

“There are a lot of photographers in the Center, and [the contest] is a great opportunity for everyone to share their pictures; it’s fun,” he said. “I think it adds to the beauty and overall environment here.”

The entries will be on display on the third floor for the remainder of the year. Other winners include Paolo Vaglio, in second place, and Grant Petty, in third place. Hank Revercomb and Alex Goldstein were awarded honorable mentions.

All entries from this year are in the slideshow above. Photos from past AOSS photo contests are archived in the Schwerdtfeger Library.

by Sarah Witman