2017 Winners


Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2017
(& Scottish Landscape - The Land category winner):


Stephen Whitehorne - Autumnal Birches and Willows reflected among the Water Lilies of Polney Loch, Dunkeld, Perthshire

© Stephen Whitehorne - Autumnal Birches and Willows reflected among  the Water Lilies of Polney Loch, Dunkeld, Perthshire
© Stephen Whitehorne - Autumnal Birches and Willows reflected
among the Water Lilies of Polney Loch, Dunkeld, Perthshir
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Stephen said: "Increasingly, I have been focused more on the details of the Scottish landscape rather than in its grand vistas or distant panoramas. Nature’s mysteries and ambiguities are what intrigue me most, with distortions and abstractions through reflection becoming recurrent themes. Polney Loch, an unassuming, relatively unspectacular expanse of water near Dunkeld, is an oasis of calm and tranquillity among the trees and where the elements I seek in a composition seem to come most perfectly together. The loch has become one of my favourite locations.

"It was at the end of a glorious afternoon last October, with my camera pointing down at the water once more, that I became aware of an increasing intensity to the glow of the surface reflections. The glancing, autumn sunlight illuminated the bankside trees opposite 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 moment 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 image had won not only the Scottish Landscape – the Land category but also the overall title of Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2017! In my 30 years as a photographer I had not, until 2015, entered any photographic competitions. Therefore, it was all the more surprising to have achieved this prestigious accolade now, especially following on from winning the top award for a Photography Portfolio (also depicting Scotland’s trees) at last year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show."

Judge Andy Hall said: "The strength of this image is in its dramatic lighting. It evokes a sense of serenity which is compelling in its autumnal colour and balanced composition."




Junior Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2017:

Andrew Bulloch (age 15) - Eriskay Football Stadium

© Andrew Bulloch - Eriskay Football Stadium
© Andrew Bulloch - Eriskay Football Stadium

Andrew said: "I was extremely shocked to discover I had won the Junior category of the Scottish Nature Photography Awards, and even more so since it was the second year in a row! It is quite an honour. I was 15 years old when I took this photo but had been taking landscape images for a couple of years, in fact since I was first shortlisted in the competition in 2015.

"This year’s photo was taken 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 below 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 unique places to play football in the world!"

Judge Polly Pullar said: "We loved the light and shade and the sheer moodiness of Andrew Bulloch’s image 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 island. 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 worthy winner of this category."



Student Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2017:

Rebecca Witt, BA (Hons) Marine and Natural History Photography, Falmouth University -
Cairngorms Woodland Wildlife Portfolio

© Rebecca Witt - Cairngorms Woodland Wildlife Portfolio
© Rebecca Witt - Cairngorms Woodland Wildlife Portfolio

© Rebecca Witt - Cairngorms Woodland Wildlife Portfolio
© Rebecca Witt - Cairngorms Woodland Wildlife Portfolio

© Rebecca Witt - Cairngorms Woodland Wildlife Portfolio
© Rebecca Witt - Cairngorms Woodland Wildlife Portfolio
Rebecca said: "Nature has always been close to my heart, and from a young 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 truly magical, and an experience I shall never forget.

"All three images represent the variety of beautiful woodland wildlife that I was able to see during my time in Scotland. Each animal captivated my wonder and awe, and it was wonderful to experience and witness them all in their natural environment.

"It is a huge honour to be selected as the overall winner in the Student Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2017. I am very thrilled, humbled, and thankful to be recognised by such an experienced and well renowned panel of judges. It really is a fantastic way to finish my final year at Falmouth University."

Judge Niall Irvine said: "The winning portfolio is very well composed and has a good balance of the wildlife and the woodland habitat through the three images."


Go to:
Environmental Category
Natural Abstract Category
Scottish Botanical Category
Scottish Landscape The Land Category
Scottish Landscape Sea & Coast Category
Scottish Landscape Urban Greenspace Category
Scottish Wildlife Behaviour Category
Scottish Wildlife Portrait Category
Junior Category
Student Category
Scottish Nature Video Award 2017