Highlands & Islands

Wild shots: Scottish nature photography award winners

Roe deer Image copyright Phil Johnston
Image caption Phil Johnston's winning image of a young roe deer

A summer spent photographing a family of roe deer has earned an Edinburgh man the Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2018 award.

Phil Johnston's winning image, Roe Kid Flower, was taken near his home.

He said: "I love nothing more than being out in the sticks with my camera, seeing all the beauty that surrounds me and trying my best to capture those moments in time.

"On this particular evening in early July, I had already spent several hours with the roe family but I had also seen a fox around.

Squirrel Image copyright Kaitlyn Clark
Image caption Kaitlyn Clark won the top junior prize with a photograph of a red squirrel in woods at Lossiemouth

"I decided to try my luck along a narrow track that runs between some hedgerows and farmland where I had seen the fox several times before.

"After an hour or so, I heard a rustling in the long grass and out popped not a fox, but one of the roe deer. It pulled off some cow parsley flowers and started munching away.

Mr Johnston added: "I made three or four frames before it vanished back into the dense grassland. It was a magical moment to see."

Eurasian curlew with shore crab Image copyright Toby Houlton
Image caption Toby Houlton, of Kildary in The Highlands, won the wildlife behaviour award
Allotments in Inverleith Park, Edinburgh Image copyright Andras Sandor
Image caption A picture of allotments won Andras Sandor, of Edinburgh, the urban greenspace prize

The ninth annual awards for nature photography shot in Scotland drew entries from professional and amateur photographers from all over the world.

Judges Raymond Besant, Jamie Grant and Niall Irvine selected winners from categories covering environmental, botanical, abstract, wildlife and landscape subjects.

On the panel's choice for overall winner, Orkney-based wildlife cameraman Mr Besant said: "This picture has that little something extra that you're always looking for in a wildlife image.

"There is so much to like about it. It ticks all the basic boxes that I look for initially - it's sharp, well exposed and a great composition."

Rattray Head Lighthouse Image copyright Wojciech Kruczynski
Image caption Wojciech Kruczynski, from Poland, received the sea and coast landscape award for his image of Rattray Head Lighthouse
Presentational white space
Horsehair parachute mushroom Image copyright Jean Robson
Image caption Jean Robson, from Lockerbie, was the winner of the botanical award
Presentational white space

He added: "However, to speak about it in purely technical terms does it an injustice. Getting close to any wild creature without disturbing it is no mean feat.

"To have an encounter like this is such a privilege, but to see the moment and atmosphere conveyed so perfectly in an image is the next best thing."

Eight-year-old Kaitlyn Clark, from Inverness, won the Junior Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2018 prize.

She is the youngest winner of the award to-date and won it with her image of a red squirrel in woods at Lossiemouth.

Whisky on the Rocks Image copyright Charly Schleder
Image caption Charly Schleder, from Germany, took the best natural abstract image in the awards
Breakfast at Dawn on the Solway Image copyright Roger Lever
Image caption Dalbeattie's Roger Lever won the environmental category
Glas Mheall Liath, An Teallach Image copyright Colin Campbell
Image caption Colin Campbell, of Beauly, won the prize for best land landscape

Kaitlyn said: "I was really happy to get the squirrel picture, they are so cute.

"I named it Peek-a-boo because the cheeky squirrel was actually playing peek-a-boo with me in the branches.

"I love wildlife and I enjoy going out with my parents on wildlife trips. My motto is: 'Enjoy the experience first and photographs second.'"

Judge Mr Irvine said: "Kaitlyn's picture is well composed with the tree branches framing the red squirrel.

"There's a nice side light to the image and a feeling of spontaneity and movement."

Black grouse Image copyright David Perpiñán
Image caption A still from Spanish entrant David Perpiñán's Scottish Nature Video Award-winning film
A View to Unconformity Portfolio Image copyright Martin Gibb
Image caption Martin Gibb, of Luss, won the student category

All images are copyrighted.

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