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Scottish Nature Photography Awards
The Scottish Nature Photography Awards celebrates nature, wildlife and landscape photography in Scotland, where photographers from all over the world are drawn to and inspired by its natural heritage.
There are ten categories:
• Scottish Wildlife Portrait - In the Scottish Wildlife Portrait category, we are looking for images of wildlife in their natural habitat. Images can be of native, resident or migrant wild species. Wildlife subjects photographed in a studio setting or a captive environment are not eligible. As with human portraiture, a wildlife portrait should convey the character and essence of the individual or group.
• Scottish Wildlife Behaviour - In the Scottish Wildlife Behaviour category, we are looking for images of wildlife in their natural habitat. Images can be of native, resident or migrant wild species. Wildlife subjects photographed in a studio setting or a captive environment are not eligible. This an opportunity for the photographer to share with the viewer what is often a fleeting moment of behavioural display. The judges will look for images that combine behavioural interest with aesthetic and technical considerations.
• Scottish Landscape (The Land) - Scotland’s landscape offers many "iconic" images. From rugged, remote mountains and lochs, to gently rolling farmland and meandering rivers. Many landscapes have become so well known largely because they are so attractive to photographers. The creative aim should be to show new places and new slants on familiar places. Surprise and challenge the judges with your interpretation of the land.
• Scottish Landscape (The Sea & Coast) - Scotland has an extensive, varied coastline - from sheer cliffs to seemingly infinite sandy beaches - not to mention its many islands. Coastal landscapes and seascapes provide quintessential images of Scotland. The judges will be looking for an image that shows the Scottish Sea & Coast at its absolute finest.
• Scottish Landscape (Urban Greenspace) - In Scotland, remote wild land is contrasted with busy centres of population. Nature still thrives in our towns and cities and green spaces - e.g. parks, gardens, woods, rivers and tow paths - are all key parts of the landscape. These green spaces are widely accessible and provide vital opportunities for urban dwellers, workers and visitors to engage with nature. The Scottish landscape isn’t just defined by untouched wilderness. Nature is where you live! The judges will be looking for good landscape photography techniques to be applied in an innovative way in the context of urban green space. NB. For the purposes of the competition, we are loosely defining "urban" as populated areas ranging from large village/small town communities to big cities. "Designed" landscapes e.g. formal parks and urban architecture are fine as subject matter, but please remember that the theme of this section is green space, so images of the built environment should only be submitted if they include a strong element of nature within them.
• Scottish Botanical - Scotland is home to many species of native plants and flowers. We are looking for images of native plants and flowers in their natural habitat, i.e. growing wild, rather than cultivated.
• Natural Abstract - The Natural Abstract category will demonstrate how an abstract image of even the most familiar aspects of nature and landscape can transform your perception. The judges will be looking for an image with great impact and one that shows the photographer’s talent in capturing something not just that little bit different, but something extraordinary.
• Environmental - This category invites images of all aspects of the environment and man’s impact upon - and relationship with - nature. This category has a reportage element, so the judges will be looking for images that convey a message or tell a story about this broad subject area e.g. natural energy. pollution, conservation, regeneration, land use (agriculture, crofting, aquaculture, forestry etc.) and biodiversity. These are just examples, the environmental topic (with a positive or negative viewpoint) is up to you.
• Student - This category is open to students (full or part-time and over 18 years of age) undertaking a further or higher education course with a Photography element. In this category, we ask for a portfolio of 3 images on a single nature theme. For the first time this year we are setting a required theme and the 2013 theme is WEATHER.
• Junior - This category is open to young people under 18 years of age on 30th November 2013. Junior entrants may submit up to 5 images, each of which may be on any Scottish nature subject. As with the main categories, wildlife and botanical subjects should be photographed in their natural habitats.
Each individual image can be entered into one category only. Entries should be RGB JPEG image files that are 1000 pixels on their longest side. If you are shortlisted, you’ll be asked to provide high-resolution TIFF image files. Either digital camera files or scans of slides (transparencies) and negatives are fine. In either case, images should ultimately be capable of meeting the A3 300dpi (A4 300dpi for Junior section) requirement for shortlisted images.
The aim is to achieve a true representation of the subject and therefore images should not be over-manipulated. Digital adjustments including minor cleaning work, levels, curves, colour, saturation and contrast work may be undertaken. This kind of work is comparable to what would be deemed as acceptable traditional photographic techniques.
The competition invites entries of images taken in Scotland by professional, semi-professional or amateur photographers from around the world.
Photographers will be informed if any of their images have been shortlisted in February 2014. The winners will be announced at the end of March 2014.
The winners from the 2013 competition will be exhibited in the Scottish Nature Photography Awards Exhibition which will tour through the spring - winter 2014. The exhibition will feature the 10 category winners (including the overall winning image), along with the 2nd and 3rd place runners-up in each category.