A juvenile Osprey that appears to be in 'stealth mode' has been revealed as the overall winner of the Scottish Nature Photography Awards 2016. Photographer Gordon Rae, from Lockerbie in Dumfries and Galloway, took the shot at Rothiemurchus near Aviemore.
The judging panel – Andy Hall, Richard Shucksmith and Niall Irvine – chose Undercover Osprey as their overall winner from categories covering wildlife, landscape, environmental, botanical and abstract subjects, awarding Gordon the title Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2016.
Gordon 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.
“I had taken images in the past almost like this but never just quite right, so to find this one in the camera, well you can just imagine the smile on my face. Receiving the call to let me know that it had not only won the portrait section but also the overall title of Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year came as a huge and very pleasant surprise to me."
Judge Richard Shucksmith said: "For me, there are so many images of Ospreys catching fish that it was great to see a different take on a subject that is photographed so much. 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.
The 7th Annual Awards attracted entries from professional and amateur photographers from around the world. There were also Awards for junior photographers (under-18s) and for students undertaking a photography element in their course.
To read more and see all of the winning images visit the Scottish Nature Photography Awards website (click here)
Photos reproduced by kind permission of SNPA and Gordon Rae.
The winning images from all ten categories will tour Scotland from July 2017 and will be published along with the shortlisted images in a Portfolio Yearbook in the summer. Details at SNPA website (click here)