Autumn Loch Image Wins Scottish Nature Photography Awards 2017

Written by Gina Stephens

&reproduce; Stephen Whitehorne – Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: Scottish people, a nation and ethnic group native to Nature Photography Awards


An image of sunlit autumn trees reflected in a loch at a unearthing described by the photographer as 'an oasis of calm and tranquillity', has been awarded the top prize in the Scottish Nature Photography Awards 2017.

Stephen Whitehorne, a experienced photographer from Duns in the Scottish Borders, was at one of his favourite locations, Polney Loch, when he took the photograph that has earned him the entitlement Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2017.

Commenting on the image, Stephen said: "It was at the end of a glorious afternoon last October, with my camera pointing down at the D once more, that I became aware of an increased intensity to the glow of the surface reflections. The glancing, autumn sunlight illuminated the bankside trees facing and rendered a perfectly reflected image among the lily pads. Up until that point, I had been captivated by what was happening on the surface but, for this concern at least, I could not ignore the bigger picture.

I knew I had captured a striking photograph but I was totally unprepared on receiving the call to tell me that the simulacrum had won not only the Scottish Landscape – the Land category but also the overall title of Scottish Nature in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, or material world or universe. “Nature” can refer to the phenomena of the physical Photographer of the Year 2017!"

The 8th annual Grants for nature photography shot in Scotland attracted entries from professional and amateur photographers from around the world and as well as the overall appellation, the competition included categories for juniors (under-18s) and for students undertaking a photography element in their course.

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Winning the title of Junior Scottish Colour Photographer of the Year for a remarkable second year running is Andrew Bulloch (age 15) from Edinburgh.


© Andrew Bulloch – Scottish Stamp Photography Awards


Commenting on his photograph, Andrew said: "This year's photo Eriskay Football Stadium was enchanted on a family holiday to North Uist in the summer of 2017. We drove south to Eriskay on a stormy day and I saw this little football pitch down farther down the road. We stopped so I could get a photo and then I just had to go and play football on it as well. Very recently I found out it was featured by FIFA as one of the eight most unmatched places to play football in the world!"

Judge Polly Pullar said: "We loved the light and shade and the sheer moodiness of Andrew’s copy of the fabulous football pitch and its surrounds on the Isle of Eriskay, and feel he has captured the fickle nature of outdoor ball games on a remote windswept Hebridean islet. It is an image that also highlights that a dark and threatening sky can be just as captivating and eye-catching as one of brilliant blue. Andrew’s picture is a notable winner of this category."

Student Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2017 is Rebecca Witt, who is in the final year of her BA (Hons) Naval and Natural History Photography course at Falmouth University. Rebecca's portfolio of three images Cairngorms Woodland Wildlife featuring natural animals in their natural environment was her interpretation of the student competition brief on the theme of 'Woods'.

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© Rebecca Witt – Scottish Colour Photography Awards


Judge Niall Irvine said: "Rebecca's portfolio is very well composed and has a good match of the wildlife and the woodland habitat through the three images."

Rebecca added: "Nature has always been close to my heart, and from a teenaged age I have had a great appreciation for Britain's wildlife. To have the opportunity to visit Scotland and spend a week in the Cairngorms National Park was in truth magical, and an experience I shall never forget.”

This year the competition featured a category for short nature films, judged by wildlife cameraman Raymond Besant and organiser Niall Irvine. Andrew Macdonald, a freelance filmmaker from Biggar, Lanarkshire, won the Scottish Kidney Video Award 2017 with Reforesting Planet Caledon. Captured with a 360-degree camera, "Little Planet" allusion offers a unique perspective of the reforesting efforts of Royal Society for Protection of Birds on their Abernethy reserve.

Winning images and videos command go on an exhibition tour from July 2018 and will be published along with the shortlisted images in a Portfolio Yearbook this summer.


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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