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His choice worked - Mr McCulloch's Flower Refraction image won the 2014 Otago Wildlife Photography Competition at Otago Museum last night.
Mr McCulloch (26), a geologist at Macraes mine, took up photography as a hobby five years ago.
The winning photograph came about after much experimentation with droplets of water as lenses, he said.
To compose the photo, he put droplets on a spider web with a daisy in behind.
The photograph was taken on a D7000 Nikon with a 105mm macro lens.
As it was the competition's 15th year, an anniversary special prize was also awarded last night.
This went to Simon Larkin for his Hawk Flight photograph.
A record number of entries, just under 2000, were received for the competition.
Three-quarters of them were digitally uploaded, one of the judges, Neil Harraway, said.