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"Hall of Fame" Winners Archive

Scottish Nature Photography Awards 2011

Marcus Conway, Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2011

© Marcus Conway - Cheeky Otter

Marcus said: "Scotland is a wonderful place to watch and photograph nature and I am overjoyed to have won this prestigious award.

“I had been on Mull for two weeks enjoying the wealth of wildlife on the island and tracking Otters. I had spotted a family of Otters feeding along the shoreline and decided to set up in the rocks to try to get a group shot. What happened next took me by surprise. The female Otter came onto the exact same rocks I had chosen, enabling me to get this intimate portrait shot as she scented the air. Moments later she was too close to focus on as she continued along the rocks just feet away.

“It was a wonderful encounter with one of Scotland's finest mammals and to have been made Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year has made the moment even more special."

Neil McIntyre, one of the judges, said: "With a huge increase in entries from the first year (double in fact) plus the high standard, it was a tough long job to pick the winning pictures.

“It was going to take something extra special to stand out from so many great shots. However, the winning image of the Otter was a unanimous winner. This iconic, elusive animal was captured brilliantly by Marcus Conway, showing great character and capturing a perfect moment in time. You just can't help but smile when you look at this picture and wish you had been there - a sure sign of a winning image."

2011 saw the introduction of the Junior and Student categories of the Awards

Alessandro Oggioni (Age 13) Junior Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2011

© Alessandro Oggioni - Dolphins

Alessandro said: “I took this photo during a holiday with my family in Scotland. I heard from a local resident about a place near Inverness where it’s possible to see dolphins fishing during the rising tide. When I arrived there, I found a lot of other naturalists and photographers crowded on the beach and I couldn’t see anything. So, to take photos, I had to go into the water up to my knees!

“I’m very glad to have won this important award because during that holiday I fell in love with Scotland.”

Lorne Gill, one of the judges, said: "I have always been a champion of the young nature photographer and I was therefore thrilled to see the quality of the images that have won the top awards in this first ever Junior Category in the Scottish Nature Photography Awards competition. It may be a cliche but these young people are the future for nature photography and I'm delighted to say that the future is indeed a bright one."

Robert Mercer, Student Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2011
HND Photography, Reid Kerr College

© Robert Mercer - Eigg for Breakfast

© Robert Mercer - Lochaber Moonlight

© Robert Mercer - Rocky Rum

Robert said: "I am so very pleased to be receiving such brilliant news, I am absolutely delighted to hear this. It is a great accolade for me personally, and will look amazing next to the images in my portfolio. I think it is quite an achievement, as I'm sure there would have been a lot of great shots submitted for this competition."

Lorne Gill, one of the judges, said: "The Student category gave an opportunity for practising photography students to submit a portfolio of three images into the competition. As expected the portfolios ranged widely with creativity to the fore. It was wonderful to see these young photographers expressing their ideas in such individual ways and portraying their vision of the world around them. All three winning portfolios demonstrated this creativity and are worthy winners."