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2022 Winners

Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2022
(& Scottish Wildlife Portrait category winner):
Frank Urban - Cucumber Green Spider

Frank Urban - Cucumber Green Spider
© Frank Urban - Cucumber Green Spider

Frank said: "I'm absolutely delighted to have won the Scottish Wildlife Portrait award. I didn't realise until I managed to read the whole email that I had also won the Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year! I am completely astounded and can't believe it's real. Thank you to the judges. It's a real honour.

"I am 63 and retired from work around 5 years ago. I happily fill my days with walking and photography, and find that my local area which includes the Campsie Fells and the Forth and Clyde canal are ideal for both.

"For this photograph though, I had been working in the garden when I noticed this colourful spider on the handle of a garden tool. I knew this was called a cucumber green spider from a previous sighting and thought I would try to photograph it. I was really delighted how well it turned out. I used a blade of grass to move it to a safer spot in the garden.

"Thanks again for selecting this particular picture of a tiny and beautiful cucumber green spider."

Judge Niall Irvine said: "Frank's image draws you into the miniature world of the spider. It's an excellent example of awareness of the proximity of nature in our immediate environment and an appreciation of its beauty. All the judges were delighted to see this win the Scottish Wildlife Portrait category and the overall title."

Junior Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2022
Jessie Morris (age 13) - Rush Hour

Jessie Morris - Rush Hour
© Jessie Morris - Rush Hour

Jessie said: "It came as a great shock to find out that the judges had chosen my image, for which I am extremely grateful.

"Hidden away on moorland north of Berwick, we waited at the edge of a loch for pink-footed geese to arrive. It turned out, however, that the shot of the day was gulls roosting on the water. A low exposure captured them settling down for the night. The busyness of the shot as they squabbled for the best positions reminded me of the hustle and bustle of the evening rush hour."

Judge James Roddie said: "Jessie’s image really stood out amongst the submissions into the Junior category. The other judges and I were really impressed by the creativity shown by such a young photographer. The ability to see beyond the immediately obvious is a skill that often takes a while to develop when you begin your journey with photography, but it has been used to great effect with this photo. A great sense of movement and some lovely light combine to make this a memorable scene, and a well-deserved winner."

Student Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2022
Maria Christidi Physis Portfolio
BA Fine Arts, University of Dundee

Maria Christidi - Physis Portfolio
© Maria Christidi - Physis Portfolio

Maria Christidi - Physis Portfolio
© Maria Christidi - Physis Portfolio

Maria Christidi - Physis Portfolio
© Maria Christidi - Physis Portfolio

Maria said: "Hailing from Cyprus, much of my work explores aspects of Greek history and mythology. I am particularly interested in the relationships between the ancient and the contemporary – how the ancient cultures of the region have evolved and what insights we can gain from their study. Although I consider myself an artist who works across a range of media and processes, I have recently been focusing on lens-based media. My recent works include a series of photographs and films that each focus upon a figure from Greek Mythology. In these works, I have attempted to distill the essence of these characters through contemporary media and settings to create ambiguous images, videos and performance that straddle the ancient and the modern worlds.

I named my photography series Physis. The original etymology of the word according to Aristotle means 'the principle of change or growth in nature'. By photographing subjects of nature in various public parks and presenting them in edited formats rather than their raw forms, I explore our current-day relationship with nature. We view it at the periphery of our everyday life, maybe walking through parks or nature reserves when the toll of our modern hyper-urbanized lifestyle is too much. As a result, nature tends to be viewed as a foreign object that acts to us as a form of escapism. By taking close-up shots which emphasize the unruly characteristics of the natural subjects, the viewer can question their relationship with nature more closely and view it in its true fragility rather than it being solely a source of entertainment."

Judge Dougie Cunningham said: "The Student category is a little different to the others in that we were looking for a portfolio of three images. For this to really work, the photographs had to not only work individually, but as a collection. This meant that there was much for us to discuss as judges! After much deliberation, we all agreed that the award had to go to Maria Christidi’s beautiful abstracts.

Maria has taken a familiar subject and really left her own mark upon it. I think most nature photographers have taken our own pass at similar compositions, but Maria’s processing elevates the images beyond just being a simple study. Combined with strong compositions that bring out different aspects and features in the wood, she has created a collection that works together beautifully. Taking something so familiar and creating something that both demands and holds our attention is no small feat."

Environmental category
Natural Abstract category
Scottish Botanical category
Scottish Landscape - The Land category
Scottish Landscape - Sea & Coast category
Scottish Landscape - Urban Greenspace category
Scottish Wildlife Behaviour category
Scottish Wildlife Portrait category
Junior category
Student category
Scottish Nature Video Award 2022