A photograph of a blazing red and orange sunrise from Australia’s icebreaker Aurora Australis has earned an Australian Antarctic Division employee the top amateur prize in the 2011 Extreme Environment Photographic Competition.

Marine Technician Robbie Kilpatrick’s photograph “Sunrise RV Aurora Australis” won the $2000 Wayne Papps Prize for the best Antarctic image created by an amateur photographer.

“I took the picture during an 8-week voyage in 2009/10. I wanted to capture the amazing light you get during the Antarctic summer, when you can see the sun set and then rise again without it actually getting dark,” Mr Kilpatrick said.

“My work here at the AAD has taken me to some pretty exotic locations including Macquarie Island, Heard Island and Mauritius, but that voyage to Antarctica was particularly fantastic.”

The $5000 Trafalgar Photograph of the Year Prize for the best image was awarded to Norwegian Lars Andreas Dybvik for his photograph Polarnight.

The international competition, run by the Tasmanian Government as part of celebrations to mark the Antarctic Centennial Year, was open to both amateur and professional photographers.

More than 85 images of extreme polar and sub-polar environments were entered in the competition.