asked the 2017 title winners to look back on winning their awards and to
tell us a bit about their current projects.
Stephen Whitehorne - Scottish
Nature Photographer of the Year 2017
Stephen said: "My long-held
passion for Scotlands native trees continually draws me to the woodlands
and forests of Perthshire, Stirlingshire and beyond. So, having won the
Overall Winner award in last years Scottish Nature Photography
Awards with a photograph depicting the unique beauty and eye-catching presence
of a sunlit copse of lochside birch and willow in Atholl Forest, it felt
like a wonderful endorsement for my efforts as a photographer of trees.
"Whilst I cant
really say the award has helped me gain further assignments in my professional
bread-and-butter work as a property photographer (ability and experience
seem to count for little these days, in this sector) it has helped my credibility
in other areas. I have had two or three big assignments this year to carry
out photography on large, forested estates, contracts that were, Im
sure, secured from the kudos that has come from this award as well as one
or two previous RHS awards for my photographs of Scotlands trees and
forests. Furthermore, having run my own photographic workshops for many
years now, in 2018, for the first time, I was asked to tutor on a successful
series of workshops Photographing Trees at the Royal Botanic
"Perhaps most notably however, it seems the award has further enhanced
my reputation as a photographic artist. Certainly, sales of my limited edition,
gicleé art prints at the White Fox Gallery (the art gallery
in Coldstream for which I am co-founder and co-owner) have steadily increased
this year. Apart for a few long-standing customer-favourites
on display at the gallery, framed prints of the image which secured me the
accolade of Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2017 seem to sell within
a day or two of going on the wall! Good to know, therefore, its a
photograph with wide appeal.
"Photography, and teaching photography, has been my profession for
the past 30 years and seems certain to be my future. Ive come to accept
now that Im eminently unemployable for anything else! Lets see
where it goes from here!"
Rebecca Witt -Student
Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2017
Rebecca said: "I can
still remember the very moment when I found out that my portfolio was selected
for Student Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2017. Whilst out on
a shoot for my Red Squirrel conservation project, I could hardly contain
my excitement when I read the email. Winning the competition really spurred
me on to complete my final year university project; a book titled Saving
Britains Native Squirrel.
"Since completing university
I have moved back to my home in Dorset and continued to photograph the wonderful
wildlife and landscapes of the south-west. Looking to the future I hope
to document many more conservation stories and bring awareness to other
Andrew Bulloch -Junior
Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2017
Andrew said: "This is my second year as a winner in the Scottish
Nature Photography Awards and its been no less busy as the first one!
It was lovely to receive the trophy again and the yearbook is looking really
good its always a great Christmas present for my grannies!
"Ive been out
taking more photographs as well. As my National 5 exams were over very quickly,
we took a trip up to the north-west of Scotland in the spring and canoed
in to the middle of Assynt with all the camping and camera gear. The weather
wasnt brilliant but we climbed the iconic mountain Suilven early in
the morning, and spent a couple of days camping in the area while most of
my classmates were still in their exams.
"In May I spent a morning
with Ron McCombe at his wildlife hide in the Borders, which was my prize
for winning the award. Ron was really helpful and gave me lots of advice
on photographing birds close up. I had to borrow a huge 400mm lens especially
for the day, and it was so massive I could hardly hold it up! Later that
afternoon we headed out to the Berwickshire coast with it to look for some
sea birds but the haar was so thick we couldnt see a thing at first.
Luckily, just as we reached the end of our walk, the mist lifted and we
got some stunning views out over the sea.
"In the summer I was
invited to attend a preview of the World Press Photo Awards in the Scottish
Parliament and then the owners of a local country house commissioned me
to photograph some of the activities that happen on their estate, which
even involved me hanging off the back of a quad bike while photographing
the other bikes driving behind us. So its been quite a varied year
in terms of photography!
"Then on the way up
to Pitlochry to see the Enchanted Forest, I finally managed to visit the
SNPA exhibition, literally half an hour before it closed and was taken down!
However it was great to see all the winning photographs framed and on the
walls of SNHs Battleby Centre. I am also just about to head down again
to London for the UK Landscape Photographer of the Year awards, as I was
lucky to have another photograph win in their Urban View Category, taken
when the snow and blizzards hit Edinburgh earlier in the year. The awards
are a great opportunity to meet lots of other photographers and a few famous
last year we have also got a new website and have started selling a few
prints through it. I even sold a framed photo of one of my winning images
to a lady from America who was very complimentary about it. Its strange
to think one of my photos is now taking pride of place on someones
wall on the other side of the world!
to the SNPA for their support and helping me get so many amazing opportunities.
I hope everyone gets their photos in for this year's awards!"
Andrew Macdonald -Winner
Scottish Nature Video Award 2017
Andrew said: "As fellow
SNPA photographer Mr P. McMenemy says...'this is the only competition I
enter', so winning (woop) the Scottish Nature Video Award and seeing my
Abernethy images spinning round on Twitter, Facebook and BBC News was really
quite special, providing a heartwarming boost to my new journey into 360
degree camera work.
"I am looking
forward to sitting down for a weekend very soon and making some entries
for this year's competition. I really love this challenge. Through work,
throughout the year I shoot a lot of footage with nature and landscape as
the subject. The SNVA is a great new excuse to have some fun, experiment
a bit and to try to use some of the footage I have gathered differently,
to try to make some extra wee useful films, as entries.
the start of the summer filming wild and iconic locations around Scotland
for a suite of 360 degree experiences I am beginning to offer for relaxation,
entertainment and promoting Scotland. One user at the National Museum of
Scotland recently commented that my work is, 'at the innovative forefront
of back in time travel'. Another said, 'absolutely the best tour of Scotland
I could have taken without going to the actual places... now I want to come
back to visit them for real!'
later part of the summer I spent geeking out, learning while working with
fascinating, fun scientists from the James Hutton Institute, making 360
content showcasing their remote work investigating peatland restoration
as a climate change mitigation measure. This content was launched at the
recent IUCN Peatland conference, has been touring the country and will soon
be an exhibit in the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh.
SNVA and photography awards are great competitions because they give people
passionate about Nature and Scotland a chance to share a message, locally
and to the world, that all nature is valuable. Like John Muir said, 'People
need beauty, as well as bread'."