The Categories


We invite entries from around the world, but for all categories, images must be taken in Scotland. In all categories, the judges will be looking for originality, creativity and technique.
The 2016 Photographic Competition categories are as follows:

Scottish Wildlife Portrait Category

In the Scottish Wildlife Portrait category, we are looking for images of wildlife in their natural habitat. Images can be of native, resident or migrant wild species. Wildlife subjects photographed in a studio setting or a captive environment are not eligible. As with human portraiture, a wildlife portrait should convey the character and essence of the individual or group.

Scottish Wildlife Behaviour Category


In the Scottish Wildlife Behaviour category, we are looking for images of wildlife in their natural habitat. Images can be of native, resident or migrant wild species. Wildlife subjects photographed in a studio setting or a captive environment are not eligible. This an opportunity for the photographer to share with the viewer what is often a fleeting moment of behavioural display. The judges will look for images that combine behavioural interest with aesthetic and technical considerations.

Scottish Landscape - The Land Category

Scotland's landscape offers many "iconic" images. From rugged, remote mountains and lochs, to gently rolling farmland and meandering rivers. Many landscapes have become so well known largely because they are so attractive to photographers. The creative aim should be to show new places and new slants on familiar places. Surprise and challenge the judges with your interpretation of the land.

Scottish Landscape - The Sea & Coast Category


Scotland has an extensive, varied coastline - from sheer cliffs to seemingly infinite sandy beaches - not to mention its many islands. Coastal landscapes and seascapes provide quintessential images of Scotland. The judges will be looking for an image that shows the Scottish Sea & Coast at its absolute finest.

Scottish Landscape - Urban Greenspace Category

In Scotland, remote wild land is contrasted with busy centres of population. Nature still thrives in our towns and cities and green spaces - e.g. parks, gardens, woods, rivers and tow paths - are all key parts of the landscape. These green spaces are widely accessible and provide vital opportunities for urban dwellers, workers and visitors to engage with nature. The Scottish landscape isn't just defined by untouched wilderness. Nature is where you live! The judges will be looking for good landscape photography techniques to be applied in an innovative way in the context of urban green space. NB. For the purposes of the competition, we are loosely defining "urban" as populated areas ranging from large village/small town communities to big cities. "Designed" landscapes e.g. formal parks and urban architecture are fine as subject matter, but please remember that the theme of this section is green space, so images of the built environment should only be submitted if they include a strong element of nature within them.

Scottish Botanical Category

Scotland is home to many species of native and naturalised plants and flowers. We are looking for images of native and naturalised plants and flowers in their natural habitat, i.e. growing wild, rather than cultivated.

Natural Abstract Category


The Natural Abstract category will demonstrate how an abstract image of even the most familiar aspects of nature and landscape can transform your perception. The judges will be looking for an image with great impact and one that shows the photographer's talent in capturing something not just that little bit different, but something extraordinary.

Environmental Category

This category invites images of all aspects of the environment and man's impact upon - and relationship with - nature. This category has a reportage element, so the judges will be looking for images that convey a message or tell a story about this broad subject area e.g. natural energy, pollution, conservation, regeneration, land use (agriculture, crofting, aquaculture, forestry etc.), biodiversity, invasive species etc. These are just examples, the environmental topic (with a positive or negative viewpoint) is up to you.

Winners of the above 8 categories will compete for the title of:
"Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2016".

One of our key objectives for the Scottish Nature Photography Awards is to encourage and promote emerging talent. We are again inviting entries for "Student Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year" and "Junior Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year"

Student Category

This category is open to students (full or part-time and over 18 years of age) undertaking a further or higher education course with a Photography element. In this category, we are looking for a portfolio of 3 images on the required nature theme for 2016 which is "Water".

Whether as a wildlife habitat, a scenic waterfall or simple raindrops on leaves, water is a great source of photographic inspiration. This is an opportunity for student photographers to show originality, creativity and technical skill. All 3 images presented should work together to form a cohesive portfolio and to creatively represent the theme.

As with the main categories, wildlife and botanical subjects should be photographed in their natural habitats.

Entry to this category is limited to the portfolio of 3 images. Extra images cannot be entered to this category and portfolios of less than 3 images are not eligible. Students who would prefer to enter the main categories may do so, but only entrants to the Student category will compete for the title of "Student Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2016".

Junior Category

This category is open to young people under 18 years of age on 30th November 2016. Junior entrants may submit up to 5 images, each of which may be on any Scottish nature subject. As with the main categories, wildlife and botanical subjects should be photographed in their natural habitats.

Entry to the Junior category must be with the permission of a Parent or Guardian. Junior (under-18) entrants cannot enter the main categories. Entrants to the Junior category will compete for the title of "Junior Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2016".


Competition FAQs including information on submitting images and image setup

Competition Rules
Enter Competition