Commended - Outdoor Photographer of the Year

I am extremely proud to have Glamaig Reflection featured alongside so many amazing images from around the world, in the latest Outdoor Photographer of the Year book; a competition run by the UK's Outdoor Photography magazine.

This is an amazing achievement, as the competition had over 17,000 images entered, from over 50 countries, with the book featuring only around 200 images.


Overall Winner - The Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year

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.

Glamaig Reflection


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.

Runner Up - Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year

Last Friday (5 February 2016), I received an email from the Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year (SLPOTY) organiser, informing me that I had been awarded the runner up title for the competition.

This is an amazing achievement, as the title award is based on a portfolio of three images, and I managed to get three images through to the final stage; having previously had six images shortlisted in the initial stage.

Although the competition is only in its second year, it is my first time of entering; and the level of entries will have increased immensely this year. In fact, you only have to see the images from other photographers who have shared their winning, highly commended, and commended images through social media, to appreciate the level of quality.

Below are the three images from my portfolio, which earned me the runner up award, along with a little bit of information behind the image.

Before The Rain


This photograph was taken in August 2015, and looks along the Trotternish Ridge, in the north of the Isle of Skye. I parked my car at the Quiraing car park, and after a steep twenty minute walk, I reached my location for first light.

Unfortunately there wasn't much of a sunrise, so I had to sit and wait and hope that there would be a break in the clouds, which would light up the ridge. Whilst waiting, I also had to fight pretty strong head on winds, and light rain; which meant continually having to wipe the lens, or attach the lens cap.

Luckily, that break in the cloud eventually appeared, which provided some lovely light on the ridge.

Autumn In Full Swing


This photograph was taken at the end of October 2015, during a visit to the Highlands, in hope of capturing the autumn colours.

This is a small loch which is in the Craigellachie National Nature Reserve, that sits just outside of Aviemore. Most of the loch is covered in grasses, so you don't actually see much water; however at this time of the year, the colours of the grasses compliment the colours from the trees and bracken rather nicely.

Finniestone Crane And The Clyde Arc


This photograph was taken at the end of October 2014, whilst I was visiting friends in Glasgow. I had seen the Finniestone Crane in other photographs, and wanted to see if I could capture it myself; so we headed on down to the River Clyde.

Luckily for me, on this particular evening there was hardly a breath of wind, creating a near perfectly still river; which allowed for lovely reflections of the crane, the colourful Clyde Arc, and surrounding buildings.

Highly Commended in Landscape Photographer Of The Year

Back in July of this year I entered several of my images into the Take A View - Landscape Photographer Of The Year competition for the very first time. On the 23rd of July I received two emails informing me that I had an image which had reached the shortlist stage. These two images in question were 'Finniestone Crane and the Clyde Arc', and 'Sea of pink' (below).


To have these images chosen by my peers to reach the shortlist stage of the competition is am amazing accolade. At the time of receiving the emails I was asked not to share this information on social media, hence the reason I have not mentioned it until now.

The winners have now been chosen, with emails going out Friday and Saturday of last week, and are being officially announced today. Saturday evening after following various tweets on social media, where people were saying that the winners were emailed on Friday, with the others being emailed on Saturday; I received an email from the competition organisers. I was a little apprehensive to open it as I thought it was going to be a "sorry you missed out" email, going by the chatter on Twitter anyway. Even it was I had two images shortlisted, and that was an achievement in itself.

The first paragraph of the email read "The judging of all shortlisted images in the Take a view Awards has now been completed and the final results decided.", so I was still in the dark, however the second paragraph was in bold and said "(Please could you keep the fact that you have received this email and information about your success confidential until Monday 19th October & not put it on web pages/blogs etc until then...thanks!)".

At this stage my heart was pounding as one or both of my shortlisted images had been at least commended by the new set of judges, which included professional photographers Joe Cornish and Charlie Waite (the head judge and competition oragniser), two people whos work I greatly admire.

The third paragraph of the email informed me of my final status, which was "We are pleased to tell you that 'Sea of Pink' has been Highly commended by the judges and has won a place in the Awards book and at the London exhibition.".

My heart was now pounding even harder, as this was an incredibly major achievement for me. Although I had been asked not to share the information until today, the email also informed me that there was a possibility of my image being included in The Sunday Times Magazine.

So, yesterday morning I headed round to the newsagent to get a copy of The Sunday Times, and upon returning home, quickly opened up the bag containing the various magazines. Flicking through the pages of the magazine, there it was on the bottom half of page 40, my image in print, along with other amazing images, one of which was the overall winning image.

My image will be part of the exhibition at London Waterloo from 23rd November 2015 until the 7th February 2016.