Young photographers invited to enter nature competition

Berwickshire photographer Phil McLean's Seedheads

Berwickshire photographer Phil McLean's Seedheads

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Young Borders photographers keen on nature have been invited to enter a national competition.

The Scottish Nature Photography Awards, celebrating the country’s nature, wildlife and landscape, has several categories, including the junior section, open to young people up to the age of 18.

And organisers, image and design company Perspectives’ Niall and Jacqueline Irvine, are particularly encouraging youngsters to take part and send up to five images taken in Scotland. The winner’s prize includes a one-day masterclass with Scottish Natural Heritage photographer Lorne Gill, who is also one of the judges.

And winning images will be part of a touring exhibition next year and will appear in a portfolio yearbook.

The awards also include eight adult categories open to professional and amateur photographers, including wildlife portrait, wildlife behaviour, land, sea and coast, urban greenspace, botanical, natural abstract, and environmental.

The winners from each category compete for the title of Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year. There is also a student category.

Berwickshire-based photographer Phil McLean, who lives near Berwick, won the Scottish Botanical category last year.

Phil said: “I was very pleased. It was a last-minute decision to enter this particular image and I’m obviously rather glad that I did.

“I believe it to be a hawkweed seedhead, photographed while I was walking my springer spaniel, Ollie, at Edington”

The competition was launched in 2010 to celebrate Scotland as a key destination for nature photographers and to mark the excellence of the photographic work undertaken in the country through awarding the title of Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year.

Judges this year are award-winning Scottish Natural Heritage photographer, Lorne Gill; co-organiser of the awards and also a photographer, Niall Irvine; award-winning wildlife and landscape photographer Neil McIntyre; and renowned landscape photographer Colin Prior.

Entries close on November 30. For more information visit www.scottishnaturephotographyawards.com