The essence of a Nelson summer was not just captured but fully covered in more than 300 photographs submitted for the Nelson Mail's Summer Snaps competition.
Chief photographer and chief judge Martin de Ruyter said the quality of submissions rose each year, calling this year's crop "outstanding".
"The cameras are improving, and readers learn from seeing the standard of each previous year. They aim higher."
The Mail has run the Summer Snaps competition in various forms for more than 10 years. It published more than 100 pictures over this summer.
Mr de Ruyter was assisted by a panel of 11 judges from the Nelson Mail newsroom. He said the pictures submitted by first prize winner Nicky Crawford and runner-up Bev Hamilton showed a spontaneity that perfectly caught what summer was all about.
"We were after that moment, just something that was a little bit different."
Both shots were taken at Kaiteriteri Beach.
Mrs Crawford, a St Arnaud school teacher who considers photography a hobby, said she captured the winning image of her son Fergus Crawford, 7, on a Nikon D2SLR during a family day out at Kaiteriteri Beach.
"I was sitting on the edge of that little creek at Kaiteri just with my camera and my feet in the water," she said.
"My kids were playing in that creek with some other kids. Fergus has a twin sister, and he was throwing buckets of water at her. I told him to stop doing it and to pour it on himself, and he did and I got a picture."
Mrs Crawford said she captured the action shot using a new 10-24mm Tamron lens that her husband brought her for her birthday and Christmas. It was her only present, and it was "fantastic" that she had been able to put it to good use, she said.
Runner-up Ms Hamilton said the picture of her daughter Charlotte Hamilton, 4, happened when a family friend William Jones-Allan held up a crab he'd found.
"He said, ‘Charlotte, try this'."
Mrs Crawford wins a Fujifilm W3 digital camera and Ms Hamilton a Fujifilm Instax mini 8 camera, both provided by Nelson City Cameras.