The 2021 Scotland's Photo of the Year competition winner is Victor Soares with his photograph 'Fifty Shades Of Gold'.
The total prize fund for 2021 was £5,859, with 1st place receiving £2000 in cash.
|1||Victor Soares||Fifty Shades Of Gold||12.8%|
|2||Stephen Tomlinson||The Spotlight||12.7%|
|3||Gavin Duncan||The Mighty Herdsman||11.5%|
|5||Alan Bain||A Bridge Too Haar||10.3%|
|6||Peter Rowbottom||Dramatic Frozen Skye||9.7%|
|7||Colin Raeburn||Light on the Rock||8.7%|
|8||Graham Macfarlane||A Magical Misty Morning||8%|
|10||Steve Marson||Stormlight at Eilean Donan||7.8%|
|Merit Award||Andrew MacDonald||Poseidon||-|
Fifty Shades Of Gold
Wins £2,000 cash | Sigma FP Digital Camera + 45mm F2.8 DG lens worth £1850
Some friends and I spent a week on the Isle of Mull, looking to photograph some of the iconic species of the island, mostly otters. During our trips we repeatedly noticed this group of gorgeous highland cows, feasting on the fields near Pennyghael, and exclaimed that we needed to "return to this spot!" Therefore, when we noticed how the sun was setting on a perfect day we unanimously decided that this was the perfect afternoon ... and my oh my were we right! Lustrous, shining golden cows. Soft golden light. A golden experience. Fifty shades of gold.
This image just works. The lighting is superb and it’s been shot really well. There’s a lovely softness to the image but it’s sharp where it needs to be. The lovely smooth background means there’s no distraction from the main subject. And it smacks of Scotland.
Wins £500 cash | Canon Powershot G7 II worth £569
Waking up to an expected covering of snow on the Isle of Skye, I headed to the southern shores of Loch Fada to capture a view of the Old Man of Storr at sunrise. I was welcomed by stunning reflections, followed by some nice colour appearing in the sky and then, to top it all, first light breaking through in just the right place, casting a warm spotlight on the Old Man himself. Foreground interest was hard to come by, but by positioning myself low to the ground and resigning myself to having wet feet for the rest of the day, I was able to include this snow-covered boulder in the frame, hopefully providing some depth to the image and nicely balancing the composition.
For me it’s a combination of the symmetry and also the colour palette. The yellow breaking through to the blue - two colour opposites. And there’s a lovely feeling of tranquility in the shot. It’s a really special picture.
The Mighty Herdsman
Wins £200 cash | Olympus Explorer Messenger Bag worth £140
I had been exploring the area and had ventured down the Glen Etive road during a particularly cold and wintery January. The snow showers were frequent but fleeting and interspersed with periods of bright sunshine. It wasn't until I was almost at this well photographed location that I witnessed the winds whipping up the fresh snow and blowing it from the peak of Buachaille Etive Mor that I rushed over with my camera. I stood freezing, just waiting for a glint of sunshine to light up the side of the mountain. I remember the drive home, happy I had captured a keeper, and excited to print.
Obviously it’s a location that’s been shot many times but the soft pastel colours work very well, the composition is fantastic, the long shutter speed softening the water - it just shouts Scotland.
Wins £50 cash | Merit Award £250 & a Kase Wolverine Magnetic Circular Filter Entry Kit.
This image was captured during sunrise at Seacliff Beach. I was originally shooting a wider composition, convinced I would get no direct light, but the sun started to break through gaps in the clouds and I was mesmerised by the way it was falling on Bass Rock in the distance. It was fleeting, flickering almost like a candle on the moody morning, the bursts of light only lasting a few seconds at a time. I put on my 10 stop filter and captured this 30 second exposure with the aim of calming the sea, capturing the movement in the clouds and keeping Bass Rock as the static, dominant focus in the scene. I left with an image completely different to what I had envisioned that morning, which is something I love about photography.
Judges Merit Award
This is a very simple, tranquil image. It's not the normal image that you would see of Bass Rock. There's not too much in it, it's shot really well and the lighting is fantastic. It's one dimensional but it works. We can see people buying this to hang on their walls. It's a standout picture.
A Bridge Too Haar
Wins £50 cash
I have had a shot in my head for a while with the Forth Bridge emerging from the fog. On the occasion I took this picture I was actually on my way to try and capture something similar from North Queensferry when I decided to drop by South Queensferry. On the road to the Bridge Luckily there was a single car parking space looking out to the Bridge. Due to the moisture in the air and the long exposure I had to try and keep the lens clear by making a makeshift cover with my lens cloth. I had also forgotten my glasses which made focusing and looking at the screen a major issue. After capturing this I drove to North Queensferry where the fog had dissipated, turning to rain soaking me.
This is a very good treatment of an urban subject. The warm light adds to the colour in the bridge itself. It’s the combination of a graphic image which is also softened by the mist and the water that makes the image.
Dramatic Frozen Skye
Wins £50 cash
This image was a real challenge due to the extreme cold conditions, taken on the Isle of Skye, in the middle of a very harsh winter in 2019. I had had to wade through a flooded river, and then use ice spikes on my boots just to get to this location as the ground was so slippery with thick ice everywhere you walked. Once at the location these large slabs of undisturbed ice around the waterfalls really caught my attention, but to shoot them as I wanted to, I would have to get into the freezing water to get close to them. I climbed into the icy water with my camera already set up on the tripod and once I had found as safe a place as possible to stand in the river, I went about setting up the shot. I got low and close to the sheets of ice to really show them off in the shot and by using a technique called focus stacking I was able to get all the scene fully in focus, showing off the ice against the dark and foreboding mountains to the rear, and the snow laden skies swirling above them. Apart from having very cold feet and hands, one of the biggest challenges taking this image was getting sharp shots as large chucks of ice flowing past under the water kept hitting the legs of the tripod, and every time this happened, I had to start all over again to make sure the images weren't blurred by any movement. I certainly had to work for this image.
Its the drama here - the really dramatic skies keeping all the energy in the main part of the composition - the mountains. The use of the ice in the foreground and the ultra-wide angle lens gives impact in the foreground and leads the viewer through to the Cuillin in the background.
Light on the Rock
Wins £50 cash
The Bow Fiddle is a location I have long wanted to photograph. This image was taken on a walk during a trip to the Moray coast in August. When I arrived on the beach the Rock was still in shadow from the surrounding cliffs. I really wanted to try and capture the ‘bow’ shape so, whilst I waited, I took some time working out this framing. After a while, the light finally caught the Rock’s west facing side in the evening sun.
A great combination of light and the soporific effect that the filter has brought into the foreground water and the harshness and graphic nature of the rock has come together to make an image that works really well.
A Magical Misty Morning
Knapps Loch is a small fishing loch near Kilmacolm. One morning in October 2020 saw dense fog and mist with no wind. My first challenge was a socially distanced vantage point, being the second photographer to the scene. Then the challenge became capturing the magical mood of the morning before the sun became too harsh, having burnt through the mist. The optimal conditions only lasted around one minute. Having nailed an image I was pleased with I’d say it was a magical misty morning up there amongst the best of the conditions I’ve experienced.
The softness, the colours and the composition all work really well, with the grass in the foreground leading through to the boats in the background and the reflection of the trees. It just works really well.
Wins £50 cash
On a very cold February morning whilst still dark and with a fresh covering of snow, I ventured to Cromarty Harbour and wandered around. Mine were the only footprints in the snow. Looking over the harbour, the snow covered quay, the buildings and roads of the old town presented a tranquil, endearing winter scene. Suddenly, snow began falling heavily, the flakes appearing to dance on the wind creating a serendipitous scene and my challenge was to capture the movement of the snowflakes crossing the image.
This is an unusual shot with the long exposure capturing the trails of snow. Compositionally it works very nicely with the spherical shape on the left and the linear shape on the right.
Stormlight at Eilean Donan
Wins £50 cash
This was taken on a trip back from Skye and from a viewpoint on a lane above Dornie rather than the usual one at the level of the Castle. As usual it was stormy with driving rain and a difficult image to capture, but there were a few minutes between squalls when the light was just perfect. Unfortunately all my images had rain spots despite my best efforts, but this single shot had one in the periphery that could be disguised with careful processing. I was very wet, but happy that one shot was worth the soaking.
It’s an unusual viewpoint of a familiar subject that makes this work. The composition is good and it’s been shot at the perfect time of day - lovely lighting on this one.
Judge's Merit Award
Wins £250 cash | £150 of Delkin memory cards
An image that stood out to us straight away and made us think just how hard this must have been to capture. We love the colours in the water and the shutter speed used really captured the energy as it burst through the water. Scotland is home to the world's two largest gannet colonies (Bass Rock and St Kilda) and we all agreed it was well deserving of recognition and are pleased to give it our Judges Merit award.