On the 8th February, I received a phone call from The Scottish Landscape, Photographer of the Year (SLPOTY) organiser Stuart Low, informing me that I had been awarded the title of overall winner for the 2016 competition.
Last year I was awarded runner up, which was an amazing achievement in itself, what with it being my first time entering; so to be awarded overall winner this year, well this is on another level, of which words cannot describe.
With this being the third year of SLPOTY, and new categories being added to the competition; the number of entries increased incredibly. With the competition growing each year, I knew the standard of entries this year would be second to none. So, having submitted my own fifteen images, I had my fingers crossed that I would at least get one published in the book which accompanies each years competition.
An email followed the phone call confirming my award, as well as the usual wording which accompanies these type of competitions, informing me that I could not share this information with anyone until the official announcement was made today (22nd February).
It was hard enough last year, not being able to tell anyone, so you can understand how much worse it was this year. The past two weeks have been rather agonising, however I knew that telling anyone could jeapordise my award; so have remained tight lipped until now.
Below are the three images from my portfolio, which earned me the runner overall winner award, along with a little bit of information behind the image.
This photograph was taken in April 2016, whilst doing some location guiding for a client of the Isle of Skye.
The weather forecast for this particular morning was suggesting that there was going to be next to no wind, so with some fresh snow atop Glamaig and the red Cuillin, I knew it would be a great opportunity to get reflections in this loch.
Initially as the sun started to head up to the horizon, all of the colour in the sky was to our left, which left the scene in front of us rather uninteresting; however patience was the key, and all of a sudden these lovely soft colours appeared.
Autumn Colours on Loch Pityoulish
This photograph was taken at the end of October 2016, during a visit to the Cairngorms, in hope of capturing the autumn colours.
Arriving at Loch Garten for sunrise on this morning, I was greeted to rather low temperatures, and a lot of mist hanging over the water. After spending my first hour there, I headed toward Aviemore. As I approached Loch Pityoulish, which is a stones through from the road, the conditions were rather lovely. The mist was dancing above the water, and the sun was managing to break through to light up the grasses coming out of the water.
With this shot I knew at the time of capturing it that I wanted to crop it down to a square to focus in on the grasses and their reflections, with a small amount of autumnal trees out of focus in the background.
Autumn in Glen Affric
This photograph was taken at the end of October 2015, whilst I was attending a one to one workshop with Mark Hamblin.
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.
As we drove through the glen towards Loch Affric, we would keep stopping to photograph various scenes in front of us. Here I was rather drawn to the various colours of the bracken and woodland floor, as well as that of the remaining leaves on the birch trees.