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Undercover Osprey | © Gordon Rae
Undercover Osprey | © Gordon Rae
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Undercover Osprey Voted Best Scottish Nature Photograph of the Year

Picture of Alex Jordan
Travel Editor
Updated: 7 April 2017
A photograph of a juvenile Osprey taking flight has won first prize at the seventh annual Scottish Nature Photography Awards. The striking image was captured by Gordon Rae, who took the shot at Rothiemurchus near Aviemore.

He said: ‘My winning image came by chance one morning when the light was in my favour really early on. This juvenile bird returning to the Highlands for the first time was having a real problem lifting clear of the water with such a huge fish, and had sat back down to regain his composure.’

Undercover Osprey was selected as the overall winner from categories including wildlife, landscape, environmental, botanical and abstract subjects. ‘The powerful arched wings, the detail in the feathers, the beautiful light and most of all seeing the bright yellow eye just above the front wing, draws my eye to the Osprey’s eye. A great capture and a deserved winner,’ said judge Richard Shucksmith.

Here are some of the other winners from this year’s awards:

Junior Category

Cape Wrath Storm, Sunderland | © Andrew Bulloch
‘Cape Wrath Storm’, Sunderland | © Andrew Bulloch

The competition also accepts entries from amateur, student and junior photographers located around the world. Andrew Bulloch from Edinburgh won Junior Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year for his image of a stormy coastline, taken while on a trip to Sunderland last summer when he was 14.

‘I’d persuaded my mum to take me there so we could stay at Kearvaig Bothy and we had hoped for sunny weather, but the clouds actually made for much more dramatic photos,’ he said. According to judge Andy Hall Cape Wrath Storm stood out ‘as an outstanding example of Scottish landscape photography throughout the judging process.’

Student Category

'Nature's Tears' | © Edgaras Borotinskas
‘Nature’s Tears’ | © Edgaras Borotinskas

Students were asked to submit three images, all relating to the theme of water. First prize went to Edgaras Borotinskas for Nature’s Tears, which shows an upside down landscape captured in a single water droplet.

‘I am so happy and proud of this award. Last year I entered the Student Category and when I was shortlisted, it motivated me to improve,’ said Borotinskas. ‘Passion, motivation and dedication helped to do that. Taking pictures makes me happy and when other people like my work it doubles that.’

Here are the other winners from each category:

Environmental Category

'Firestarter', Heather burning in the Lammermuir Hills | © Alan Johnstone
‘Firestarter’, Heather burning in the Lammermuir Hills | © Alan Johnstone

Natural Abstract Category

'Frost Feathers' | © Jeanette Stafford
‘Frost Feathers’ | © Jeanette Stafford

Scottish Botanical Category

'Light Me Up', woodland near North Berwick | © Alan Johnstone
‘Light Me Up’, woodland near North Berwick | © Alan Johnstone

Scottish Landscape – The Land Category

'Dreams and Nightmares', Glencoe | © Paul Webster
‘Dreams and Nightmares’, Glencoe | © Paul Webster

Scottish Landscape – Sea and Coast Category

'Bow Fiddle Rock', Moray | © Stephen Crossan
‘Bow Fiddle Rock’, Moray | © Stephen Crossan

Scottish Landscape – Urban Greenspace Category

Reflections, Firhill, Glasgow| © Kerstin Gruenling
‘Reflections’, Glasgow | © Kerstin Gruenling

Scottish Wildlife Behaviour Category

Mating | © Andy Howard
‘Mating’, Loch Funzie | © Andy Howard

Scottish Wildlife Portrait Category

Undercover Osprey | © Gordon Rae
‘Undercover Osprey’, Aviemore | © Gordon Rae

The winning images will tour Scotland from July 2017 onwards, and will be published along with the shortlisted images in a book.

Interested in travel photography? Check out these amazing landscape shots by Jin-Woo Prensena, whose daredevil antics make him one of the world’s most interesting photographers.