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
2011 saw the introduction of the Junior and Student categories of
Alessandro Oggioni (Age 13) Junior Scottish Nature
Photographer of the Year 2011
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 its 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
couldnt see anything. So, to take photos, I had to go into the water
up to my knees!
Im 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
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
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."