Breathtaking images captured by some of New Zealand's best photographers - including a 16-year-old - featuring stunning landscapes and perceptive portraits will be on display for Aucklanders to pore over this summer.

The photographs from the 65 finalists of the New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year competition are being shown at the Auckland War Memorial Museum from December 15 to February 25.

Herald photographers Mark Mitchell, Dean Purcell, Michael Craig and Mike Scott are among the nominees.

Museum director Dr David Gaimster said the pictures - from news photos to photo essays - showed the "diversity, colour and richness of New Zealand life".

Advertisement

New Zealand Geographic publisher James Frankham said the 2017 Photographer of the Year exhibition would be the largest in the history of the awards.

"The standards have increased year on year, and we've also seen the photography evolve with changing technology and changing visual approaches."

Finalist Cameron McGeorge captured his image of a speedboat's wake making almost a full circle using a drone. He first thought of the idea for the photo when he was 13.

The 16-year-old's friends onboard the vessel had to do 25 donuts before he got the perfect shot - he also had to take evasive action after seagulls tried to dive bomb his drone.

A powerboat spins 360 degrees. New Zealand Geographic / Cameron McGeorge
A powerboat spins 360 degrees. New Zealand Geographic / Cameron McGeorge

A close up of a bee, taken by last year's People's Choice Award winner Murray McCulloch, also features in the exhibition.

A sleepy bumblebee, covered in pollen, resting on a dandelion during a cold Dunedin morning. New Zealand Geographic / Murray McCulloch
A sleepy bumblebee, covered in pollen, resting on a dandelion during a cold Dunedin morning. New Zealand Geographic / Murray McCulloch
An aerial view of Matapouri's popular
An aerial view of Matapouri's popular "mermaid pools" at sunrise in autumn - before the crowds arrive for the summer season. New Zealand Geographic / Lola Wright
Early morning at Stirling Falls in Milford Sound. New Zealand Geographic / Takashi Tsunelzumi
Early morning at Stirling Falls in Milford Sound. New Zealand Geographic / Takashi Tsunelzumi
Krill attracted by an LED light near the surface of the water, shot with a remotely controlled camera. New Zealand Geographic / Darryl Torckler
Krill attracted by an LED light near the surface of the water, shot with a remotely controlled camera. New Zealand Geographic / Darryl Torckler
Local Sea Scouts at Cox's Bay, where storm water overflow pollutes the sea when it rains - meaning they can't practice. New Zealand Geographic / Arno Gastelger
Local Sea Scouts at Cox's Bay, where storm water overflow pollutes the sea when it rains - meaning they can't practice. New Zealand Geographic / Arno Gastelger
Pancake ice over Antarctica's Ross Sea glows orange as the sun sets at 11.26pm during the light season. New Zealand Geographic / Jason Hosking
Pancake ice over Antarctica's Ross Sea glows orange as the sun sets at 11.26pm during the light season. New Zealand Geographic / Jason Hosking
A drop of water on this small jumping spider's head looks like an extra eye. Silver card in the background makes rainbow refraction. New Zealand Geographic / Joanne Ottey
A drop of water on this small jumping spider's head looks like an extra eye. Silver card in the background makes rainbow refraction. New Zealand Geographic / Joanne Ottey
Brad Cameron climbs Sebastopol Ridge in Marlborough. Tom Gilbert belays him. The photographer had to balance to take this photo. New Zealand Geographic / Ben Sanford
Brad Cameron climbs Sebastopol Ridge in Marlborough. Tom Gilbert belays him. The photographer had to balance to take this photo. New Zealand Geographic / Ben Sanford
The sharpear enope squid usually lives 200-1000m under the sea. But this one was found close to the surface. New Zealand Geographic / Paul Calger
The sharpear enope squid usually lives 200-1000m under the sea. But this one was found close to the surface. New Zealand Geographic / Paul Calger

The winners of the Nikon Photographer of the Year, Tamron Young Photographer of the Year and Resene Colour Award will be announced on December 13 and the Panasonic People's Choice in February when the exhibition finishes.