It seems almost obvious that Scotland would have its own landscape photography competition. With a country so rich in breathtaking landscapes and incredible scenes, it really is a photographer’s paradise. It’s with good reason that photographers will drive (and often fly) for miles just to observe the generous display of rolling hills, expansive lochs and incredible mountains. In fact, the country almost seems to be a rite of passage for any budding landscape photographer.
Back in 2014, the first Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year competition was launched and it immediately saw a plethora of entries from people keen to show off their skills and demonstrate what Scotland has to offer. It’s a competition that’s likely to go from strength to strength, so keep an eye on its website for details of the 2016 competition.
Over the next few pages we’ll take a look at some of our favourite images from the 2015 competition. If you’d like to see the full gallery visit www.slpoty.co.uk.
Overall Winner: Awakening Ben Loyal by Ian Cameron
Ian Cameron was crowned Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year 2015. His image was taken in Sutherland, and was entered into the Portfolio category. ‘This is mid-summer sunrise at the edge of Loch Hakel on a captivatingly still morning,’ says Ian. ‘First light paints the summit of Ben Loyal and a thin band of mist rises from the surface of the mirror-smooth loch.’
Overall runner-up: Clyde Reflections by Nick Hanson
‘On this evening, a perfectly still River Clyde provided perfect conditions to capture reflections of the Clyde Arc bridge,’ says Nick Hanson, who took the Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year runner-up position behind Ian Cameron.
Landscape Winner: Winter’s Light by Jason Baxter
‘This was a dark and exhausting climb on a Scottish winter’s morning,’ says Jason Baxter of this shot. ‘An hour’s patient waiting resulted in a brief, fickle moment of morning light flowing across the landscape towards the Bidean Massif, as it loomed out of the morning darkness.’
Landscape: Autumn on Loch Leven by Dave Bowman
‘This was taken on a beautiful, calm autumn day,’ says Dave Bowman of his shot, which was commended in the Landscape category. ‘The morning sun highlights the autumnal trees, while a lone canoeist makes their way across Loch Leven.’
Landscape: Loch Avon Sunrise by Chris Stuart
Not only did Chris Stuart achieve a highly commended award for this image, but he also bagged the Calumet Choice Award. Chris said it took ‘over two hours walking through darkness, into the heart of the Cairngorm mountains,’ to get to this viewpoint. ‘Eventually the sun rose and lit up the rocks and water in the burn tumbling down to Loch Avon.’ It was a situation that made him feel ‘privileged and alive’.
Seascape Winner: Cows at Laig Bay by Omer Ahmed
‘I discovered this scene on a beautiful autumn day at Laig Bay on the Isle of Eigg,’ says Omer Ahmed of this shot that won the Seascape category. ‘High tide had coincided with a dawn outing, so I returned late morning for low tide. It seems the local cows had the same idea!’
Seascape runner-up: At the End of a Dreich Day by Simon Swales
‘Tucked away below a natural sandstone cliff on the south Fife coast,’ is how Simon Swales describes Dysart Harbour, where this image was shot. ‘Its stone piers, cobbled surfaces, old street lamps and collection of small craft create an atmosphere of a bygone age enhanced by the rain, which had been falling all afternoon.’
Youth Winner: Steam Train Passing Borthwick Castle by Lewis Donaldson
The winner of the Youth category in the 2015 SLPOTY competition was 15-year-old Lewis Donaldson. Here we see Lewis perfectly capture a steam train on its return to the newly opened Borders Railway, which stretches for 30 miles across Scotland. Lewis first became interested in photography when he was 10, but it wasn’t until he was 13 that he got his first DSLR. He photographs his local area, as well as his school and family.
Urban: Tenement Reflection by Graeme McCormack
This is the kind of shot that reminds you there is beauty everywhere you look, particularly when doing nothing more than walking through familiar streets. Graeme McCormack was awarded a highly commended prize for this shot of a Victorian tenement in Govanhill, Glasgow, reflected in a puddle after a rainy autumn day.
Portfolio: Loch Tulla Trees by Scott Robertson
‘Loch Tulla is one of my favourite freshwater lochs,’ says Scott Robertson of this commended image from his Portfolio submission. ‘Its beauty never fails to impress. As dawn broke, first light provided enough warmth to lift the dense mist and reveal two of the numerous attractive trees found around the shore.’
Portfolio: Frozen Glen Coe by Camillo Berenos
This shot by Camillo Berenos was highly commended in the Portfolio category. ‘A frozen lochan lies in front of the snow-covered Stob Coire Raineach, a peak on the Buachaille Etive Beag ridge, partly obscured by low-hanging clouds,’ says Camillo.