Donald said: "Im
thrilled and somewhat taken aback to have won Scottish Nature Photographer
of the Year. Its a huge honour to have been selected when you consider
the standard of images the competition attracts. Its amazing to have
received the recognition of such renowned and respected judges, more so
because theyve 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. Ive been shooting
the sea for several years now and cant think of many more impressive
locations than this.
"The image is actually inspired by a scene from my favourite novel
(and film), The Road by Cormac McCarthy, in which he describes
in the most extraordinarily poetic language a father and son arriving at
a desolate, colourless beach in the aftermath of an apocalyptic event, who
are overcome by the monochrome bleakness of what they find. As soon as I
passed through the dunes and saw the boy standing at the far end of the
beach, I immediately thought back to this story and had to try capturing
it before the boy wandered off. I often take inspiration from literature
and movies as it can add another layer of depth and interest, but ultimately
it has to work as an interesting image in its own right. Hopefully Ive
achieved that here."
Gideon Knight (Age 13) Junior
Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2013
Gideon said: "I've been
photographing wildlife and nature for a couple 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
" 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."
Daniel Brand, Student Scottish
Nature Photographer of the Year 2013
BA Marine and Natural History Photography, Falmouth University
Daniel said: "I am very
excited and surprised to have won this award, as it is the first competition
that I have entered. The trip to the Cairngorms was part of my first year
study for a BA degree in Marine and Natural History Photography at Falmouth
University. 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.
"Tracking the hares and ptarmigan in the snow and harsh conditions
was challenging due to their camouflage and acute senses. In addition the
bright snowy background made exposure challenging and so capturing images
of this quality was particularly pleasing. I am overwhelmed and grateful
that you have chosen these as your winning images."