Highlands & Islands

Cairngorms photographer swoops on top award

Winning entry by Peter Cairns
Image caption The photograph will feature in an exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC

A Cairngorms-based photographer has beaten more than 25,000 entries to win an international nature photography award.

Peter Cairns beat off competition from 56 different countries to win the top prize run by a nature magazine.

His winning entry features an adult osprey plunging onto a fish in water as its prey struggles to escape the bird's talons.

The photograph will feature at a special exhibition in Washington DC.

Image caption Peter Cairns was in Finland when he took the winning photo

The Windland Smith Rice International Awards were run by Nature's Best Photography magazine.

Mr Cairns, who is based in Cairngorms National Park, captured the photograph while working on an assignment in southern Finland for Wild Wonders of Europe, a project which aims to raise awareness of European wildlife and their habitats.

He said: "It's always nice to have your work recognised especially in a competition that attracts so many top photographers from all over the world.

"I was pleased with the osprey image as it captures an amazing moment in time giving us a privileged insight into the bird's world."

Mr Cairns, who has worked as a full-time freelance photographer since 2000, has won several awards in international competitions over the years.

His successes have included the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year and GDT (Gesellschaft Deutscher Tierfotografen) European Photographer of the Year.

His photograph of the osprey, along with a portfolio of other commended images, will be featured in an exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC from now until September.

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