Photographer snaps up top prize

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A Bo’ness photographer snapped up the top prize at the Scottish Nature Photography Awards.

David Queenan submitted a dozen entries to the awards that celebrate nature, wildlife and landscape in Scotland, and he was surprised when he received notification saying some of his entries had made the shortlist.

David said: “You can never predict if your entries will make the cut. With photography being all about opinion you can never be sure how well your photographs will do.”

With four photographs making it to the shortlist, a panel of judges made their decision and David received a phone call telling him the good news.

He said: “The phone call got steadily better. At first I was told I had third place in the Urban Greenspace category, then how my Bass Rock from Seacliff Beach had won first prize in the Scottish Landscape - Sea and Coast category and finally the great news that I had won the overall title of Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2015.

“It was a fantastic surprise and I am really honoured.”

Judge Colin Prior said: “David’s winning photograph works on every level and is an image that will appeal to everyone. It ticks all the boxes – primarily, it has the simplest of compositions which leads the eye through the image from the bottom left, through the Bass Rock and out at the top left.

“What underlies the success of this image is the fact that it makes use of such ordinary and accessible subject matter over which many people will walk. Through his vision and lens, David has transformed the ordinary into the extraordinary.”

The freelance photographer snapped his winning shot after an evening capturing the sunset over Tantallon Castle from Seacliff Beach. He said: “I was on my way back to my car when I spotted the water-formed shapes in the sand leading to the Bass Rock and had to stop for one last shot - thankfully I did.”

David received an engraved award and his work will be in the Scottish Nature Photography Awards yearbook.