April 2021 - Awards and websites

Well... what a month! I was both delighted and amazed to have won the Scottish Nature Photography Awards 2020 which was announced on 30th March. It was for an image of Pink purslane taking root in a nook of a tree along the Water of Leith just outside Edinburgh. I understand it to be the first time that a botanical photograph has won the competition during its eleven year history. I have entered the awards every year since they started so to win the competition is very special and I don’t think it has really sunk in yet! The image can be viewed in the ‘Awards’ section.

This month also marks the launch of my refreshed and updated website with a new look and some different photographs. I had been intending to give the website an overhaul for a while and eventually found a bit of time to do it. The ‘Portfolio’ section (which is a collection of between six and twelve images depicting a subject, place or concept) is one that I am looking to add to and evolve as image collections come together. This month I have started with a collection of flower pictures photographed in the garden during the spring and winter lockdowns, bridges and castles captured around Scotland, and some statues photographed in such a manner to try to bring some life to them. Watch out for more ‘portfolios’ to come!

Much of the month has been spent down on the Water of Leith looking out for the elusive otters. Still no joy in finding these secretive river dwellers but there have been plenty of garden birds, mallards, swans, dippers and goo sanders (see image) to photograph instead. I even managed to capture a kingfisher although it wasn’t the clean shot I would have wished for but, nevertheless, it is a start! The water and vegetation - be it dead winter flower heads or new spring growth - have also given me plenty of interesting material to photograph.

I have just taken possession of a new camera trap system which I am eager to try out in the location of my latest project. This should enable me to leave a camera out for much longer than my previous equipment allowed and I look forward to sharing the images as they are taken. I suspect there will be a n initial steep learning curve but hopefully some decent enough images will soon emerge. Exciting times!

Lockdown has been very restrictive for photographers and has forced us to work our home patches hard. As more people become inoculated against coronavirus, it would be great to think that the country might start to open up again sometime soon. We would be able to spend time in our cottage in the Cairngorms and to photograph in all our ‘Highland haunts’ once again. I would also be able to experiment with the comfort of my vehicle that I have kitted out for overnight stays to capture sunsets and sunrises on location. The future promises much as lockdown starts to ease...