Charlie Phillips, Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2012

© Charlie Phillips - Up for Air

Charlie said: “To say that I’m thrilled at winning this award is putting it mildly, especially with 2013 being the Year of Natural Scotland. I’m hoping that people seeing images like this will realise and then remember that Scotland has incredible wildlife species, wild and free the way they should be, plus stunning landscapes to enjoy. It’s just a matter of getting out there to look at it, love it and respect it. I am also so honoured that I have been picked out by my peers as overall winner amongst so many talented photographers. Thank you so much.”

Judge Lorne Gill said: "There are quite a lot of things that need to come together in nature photography if a photographer is to capture the perfect photograph. Light, composition, colour, mood, subject behaviour, the decisive moment to name but a few.

"In this photograph of a young bottlenose dolphin breaking the surface of a totally becalmed ocean, we witness one of these moments that happen only very rarely. I'm sure Charlie Phillips' heart must have missed a beat when he reviewed this shot on his computer screen for the first time. I know mine did and I'm sure yours will too."

Sian Venables (Age 16) Junior Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2012

© Sian Venables - Hover

Sian said: "After recently moving back from America I was daunted by the prospects of finding wildlife subjects to photograph in Scotland. On a stroll through my local parkland these flowers offered the perfect opportunity to test out my new macro lens and I was lucky enough to be out on one of the sunniest days since my return.

"The Hoverflies were fast and erratic but I knew that if I stuck around for long enough I'd have some luck. Fortunately it didn't take too long for this one to arrive, land and zoom off again but I got the shot and was happy with the variety of colours. I can safely say I don't worry about finding wildlife subjects to photograph any more."

Judge Niall Irvine said: "The judges were astounded by the overall standard and creativity in the Junior category entry. Sian Venables' winning image was clearly patiently planned and technically accomplished. It's well composed and well executed. You can almost feel the warmth of summer and hear the buzz of insects!"

Peter Ferguson, Student Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2012
BA Fine Art, UHI

© Peter Ferguson - Machair Portfolio

© Peter Ferguson - Machair Portfolio

© Peter Ferguson - Machair Portfolio

Peter said: “This is so exciting and encouraging! Most of the credit needs to go the inspiration of my local environment. I’m currently in my second year of study for a BA in Fine Art with the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) at their Lews Castle College campus in Lochmaddy, North Uist. I didn’t have far to look for the photos as they were all taken from my garden, though at different times of the year! They show the machair land of North Uist: a strip of flat, fertile, sand-blown crofting land which runs along the west coast of the island, with long views down to the sand dunes on the horizon."

Judge Lorne Gill said: "Anyone that has been to the Outer Hebrides will have been struck by how flat the western seaboard and machair grasslands of these islands are and how the sky totally dominates the scene. Peter Ferguson submitted three striking images with mood and contrast that convey that feeling perfectly and that transport the viewer into another world where the land meets the sky."