Skye man scoops Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year

Dumfries-born photographer Nick Hanson, has been announced as this year’s winner of the Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year Award.

Skye-based Nick beat off strong competition from thousands of entries submitted from across the globe to win the prestigious accolade with his magnificently evocative images shot in the Scottish Highlands and Islands.

His evocative winning images were shot in the Cairngorms, Skye and Glen Affric with his Canon digital camera. They included ‘Autumn colours”, a shot of mist dancing around some golden grasses on a cold night by the side of Loch Pityoulish in the Cairngorms National Park; ‘Glamaig Reflection’, capturing the snow-capped peak of Glamaig mountain, reflected in a tranquil loch as the sun started to rise behind the red hills on the Isle of Skye; and ‘Autumn in Glen Affric’, a shot of birches and ferns rendered as a canvas of brilliant colour and subtle movement at one of Scotland’s best examples of the great Caledonian Forest in Glen Affric.

Glamaig Reflection © Nick Hanson
As the sun started to rise behind Glamaig and the red Cuillin, it created lovely soft colours in the sky above, which were also captured in the perfectly still loch.

Autumn in Glen Affric © Nick Hanson
It was a damp day in Glen Affric, which allowed a small amount of mist to form in places, as well as boosting the autumnal colours.

Autumn colours on Loch Pityoulish ©Nick Hanson
Mist dances around Loch Pityoulish after a rather cold night, whilst the grasses on the water start to glow as the sun finally breaks through.

‘Glamaig Reflection’, also received one of the 10 Wild Places Awards, sponsored by the John Muir Trust, which owns and manages Glamaig and the surrounding land.

Nick said: “When I got the phone call informing me of my award, I was shaking in disbelief. I am extremely delighted to have been awarded overall winner this year, it is such a great achievement for me.”

The young photographer of the year title went to 16 year old George Rees from St Andrews for his black white image of ‘East Lomond Rock’ taken in the Lomond Hills in Fife.

George said: “I am delighted to be awarded the Scottish young landscape photographer of the year 2017. I look forward to the opportunities this award has opened up for me.”

East Lomond Rock © George Rees
An early morning monochrome image of the small yet magnificent East Lomond hill.

In addition to the overall title, The Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year competition consists of eleven other categories, including a range of awards sponsored by supporting organisations that include AcademyClass, Formatt Hitech, The Isle of Harris Distillery, Loxley Colour, Caledonian MacBrayne, Scottish Natural Heritage, Historic Environment Scotland and the John Muir Trust.

The competition, now in its third year, is the brainchild of Fife-based landscape photographer, Stuart Low who put it together to promote and inspire photographers of all levels to explore Scotland’s diverse rural, urban and coastal landscapes, and to promote Scotland’s natural, cultural and historic heritage to an international audience. Winning entries will be published in a series of public exhibitions and in a special edition book that will be published on 10th March 2017

Stuart Low, the founder and head judge of the competition said: “The competition goes from strength to strength and this follows on from the incredible success of the first two years.

Last year’s book sold out in record time and we’ve already had pre-orders for this year’s book when it comes out in March. We had major exhibitions like the one at Ocean Terminal that was a huge hit with the public and on the back of that, we’ve been booked up again for this year.

Once again, photographers from right across the world entered the competition. They took to the mountains, the islands, the coasts and the streets, and they captured the most stunning and diverse views of our spectacular country. My congratulations to them all!”

Lagangarbh Cottage, Glencoe © Stuart Lamont
It was a freezing cold morning and I was hoping for a bit of mist, I wasn’t disappointed, however it became surreal when the sun started to rise and light up the scene before me.

Winner – Winter

Bleak Midwinter © Stephen Hinde
A handheld shot from within my car during a heavy snow shower. I was taken by the way the lane disappears into the bleak winter background.

Hebridean Sunrise © Sarah Canton
I suddenly woke at 4am, looked out my campervan window, grabbed the camera gear and sprinted to the top of a sand dune to get this image. Another five minutes and the moment had gone.

Bluebell Carpet © Rod Hanchard-Goodwin

Each year I visit Dalkeith Country Park to photograph the bluebells but in 2016 it was a bumper year and after several attempts I finally got some decent light.

“Raasay & Rhonaigh” © Neil Barr
Loch a’ Sguirr in the Sound of Raasay – with Rona and Isle of Raasay – on a very wet day from up on near the Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye

Winner – Autumn

‘Stand’ © James Roddie
A week of mist and fog coincided with the period of the most vibrant autumn colours in October 2016 in the Northern Highlands.

Runner-up: Landscape

Corrour Bothy © Guy Richardson
Located beneath the Cairngorms highest peaks, Corrour Bothy sits as a refuge for hikers and climbers alike. Bothies are rudimentary shelters with no running water or electricity and are maintained by volunteers.

Sunrise over Buachaille Etive Mor © Dougie Cunningham
The slopes of Beinn a’ Chrùlaiste are the perfect place to watch the sun rise over the “Great Shepherd of Etive”, particularly when a perfect inversion has rolled in from the moor overnight.

Luskentyre Sails © Darren Cole
A heavy vignette greatly simplified this classic view of Luskentyre. This allowed the colours and the boat to stand out creating a dramatic, painterly image.

Overall runner-up

Stormlight © Christopher Swan

Storm clouds and wild waves lit by the setting sun on the west coast of Harris.

Runner up, Seascape

Evening twilight at Crail Harbour © Brian Clark
This beautiful and historic harbour is one of Fife’s jewels. The image was made as dusk descended but before the attractive colour disappeared from the sky.

Calmac Spirit of the Sea Winner © Allan MacFadyen
With McCaig’s Tower overlooking the bay and the constant hum of Caledonian MacBrayne’s ferries coming and going, Oban is the starting point for many an island adventure. On CalMac, getting there is half the fun!

Kilchurn Castle shrouded in morning mist © Neil McDade
Kilchurn castle covered in mist photographed on the banks of Loch Awe in Argyll early in the morning of late April 2016.

Find out more at www.slpoty.co.uk

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