Johan said: When I
came across this Puffin on Fair Isle, I couldnt resist thinking that
he must have some kind of hidden agenda. He looked so human with the flower
in his bill. Exactly like he had been out doing something he wasn't proud
of and was now on his way home to ask for forgiveness.
I was laughing silently to myself whilst snapping away. Whilst trying
to wipe the smile off my face I realised that this little fellow taught
me a very important lesson: patience and perseverance. Due to thick fog,
the flight from Fair Isle to mainland Shetland was cancelled. After five
days flat on my stomach shooting Puffins from early morning to late evening,
this meant that I got to shoot them for yet another day. Tempted to stay
in, review my images and just relax after a hard week, I decided that the
only right thing to do was to gear up and get out there. This photo was
shot during these last unexpected hours and I think it turned out to be
the most special from this adventure. If I stayed in, I would never have
I am naturally thrilled, proud, humbled and extremely excited to win
Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2014. It is a great honour to be
chosen by such experienced and well renowned judges amongst the stiff competition.
Having travelled a great deal during the years, it is only recently I discovered
the amazing nature and wildlife of Scotland. I have visited four times in
the last two years and I hope to be back very soon. This newly developed
love for Scotland makes this award even more inspirational.
Samuel Hood (Age 17) Junior Scottish
Nature Photographer of the Year 2014
Samuel said: "As a volunteer
Ranger with the National Trust for Scotland's Dumfries & Galloway Ranger
team, I was taking part in a 2 week Whiskered Bat tracking project at Threave
Estate. During my free time before starting the bat tracking one night I
spent the evening walking around the Estate.
"Whilst walking down one of the trails on the Estate I stopped near
a small bridge and soon after a family party of Swallows appeared overhead.The
two juveniles dropped down onto the top of the hedgerow which was full of
berries. With the two young birds separated on different branches I focused
on this bird which was closer to me, gradually making my way closer to the
hedge. I waited until the young bird called, knowing the adult would soon
appear with a delivery of food. The adults didn't hover for long whilst
feeding so it was a great challenge to try and photograph them in flight."
Eleanor Ryder, Student Scottish
Nature Photographer of the Year 2014
BA (Hons) Marine & Natural History Photography, Falmouth University
Eleanor said: "I am
totally delighted to have won this extremely prestigious award and to have
been named as Student Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year for 2014
is simply amazing.
"As a student
of marine and natural history photography at Falmouth University, my inspiration
comes from nature, from being in wild places and observing the impact of
weather and light upon the landscape. This summer I spent a week on Skye,
which was both exhilarating and exciting. It was my first visit to the island
and I was immediately captivated by its uncontrolled beauty. In these images
I tried to capture an impression of wild Skyes mercurial moods; that
fleeting moment when the dynamic of its landscape was transformed by light
or thrown in to stark shadow by gathering clouds. It makes the 4am starts
worth it to experience the beauty and to finally get to share it with people
makes it all the more exhilarating.
"It is very exciting to think that my work will be on display as part
of an exhibition this year and I hope very much that the people who see
it will be encouraged to visit Skyes rugged landscapes and experience
the incredible beauty for themselves.
"Finally, to have my work acknowledged in this way is a huge honour
and I would like to thank the judges for their recognition."