'The Boy', by Donald Cameron
A dramatic and compelling black and white seascape has won the accolade of Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2013 for photographer Donald Cameron from Perth in Scotland. Donald captured his image, 'The Boy', at Rattray Head in Aberdeenshire. His use of a long exposure technique resulted in a unique interpretation of the physical scene intensified by the shadowy impressions of the figure of a boy on the beach.
Donald said: “I’m thrilled and somewhat taken aback to have won Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year. It’s a huge honour to have been selected when you consider the standard of images the competition attracts. It’s amazing to have received the recognition of such renowned and respected judges, more so because they’ve gone for a shot which is quite far removed from the style of image many would immediately think of as nature photography.
Scotland has some of the finest coastal scenery in the world, perfect for the long exposure monochrome seascapes that I love to create, and this isolated beach scene at Rattray Head in Aberdeenshire is a great illustration of what draws me back to the coast time after time. I’ve been shooting the sea for several years now and can’t think of many more impressive locations than this.”
Judges Colin Prior, Neil McIntyre, Lorne Gill and Niall Irvine selected their winners from 2300 entries to the competition, which this year was extended to eight categories covering different aspects of wildlife, landscape, botanical, abstract and environmental subjects.
Organiser and judge Niall Irvine said: “This is the first year that a photograph from the landscape categories has won the overall winning title and I’m delighted that it was achieved by such an innovative image. The incredible light and the drama of the lighthouse struck us all immediately. It’s a frequently used phrase that a good photograph captures a moment in time, but Donald’s image goes beyond that. By using a long exposure over a period of time, it captures something that the eye wouldn’t have been able to discern on its own.”
'Turnstone' by Gideon Knight
The photographic competition also offers awards for junior photographers (under-18s) and for students undertaking a photography element in their course. Junior Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2013 is Gideon Knight from Ilford in Essex who was 13 years old when he captured his winning image 'Turnstone' at Loch Etive.
Gideon said: “I've been photographing wildlife and nature for a couple of years now, and I write a regular blog on my experiences. Most of my photography is done around urban areas such as London, so I was excited to get the chance to visit Scotland for the first time last year and stay with family in the wilds around Loch Etive.
I came across a flock of Turnstones actively feeding on a spit of land on the loch. Getting to eye level with the birds helped to achieve a more intimate shot and the late evening light brought out some fantastic colours. Although the fading light and rising tide were against me I was determined to get the shot and I am delighted that my persistence paid off. I can't wait until I next get the opportunity to visit Scotland again.”
'Scottish Winter Wildlife' by Daniel Brand
Student Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2013 is Daniel Brand who attends Falmouth University in Cornwall studying for a BA degree in Marine and Natural History Photography. The student award required a portfolio of three images on the theme of weather. Daniel’s submission Scottish Winter Wildlife showed the harshness of winter in the Cairngorms and its effect on mountain hares and ptarmigan.
Daniel said: "I am very excited and surprised to have won this award, as it is the first competition that I have entered. The Cairngorms is a great location for naturalists and photographers to see and explore the beautiful mountainous landscapes and wide variety of wildlife. I hope my images inspire people to visit the area, enjoy the mountains and observe wildlife species in their natural environment.”
An exhibition of the winning images from all the competition categories will tour Scotland from July 2014 and will be published in a Portfolio Yearbook. A full list of winners is at the Scottish Nature Photography Awards website