Pausing for breath

Short-listed for ‘Best Wildlife Portrait’ in the 2015 Scottish Nature Photography Awards

The last few weeks have been busy, busier than I’d have liked, but I’ve finally found some time to pause for breath.

I was delighted to receive an email last week telling me that I’d been short-listed for ‘Best Wildlife Portrait’ in the Scottish Nature Photography Awards 2015. The image will be featured in the SNPA Yearbook which will be published in the summer, alongside the other short-listed and winning entries.

I entered a handful of images into the competition, and of all of them I thought this one probably had the least chance of getting anywhere. However I’m very pleased that it is this image that has been recognised, as it holds a degree of personal significance for me and was taken during one of the most memorable wildlife experiences I’ve ever had.

Last year I spent seven months photographing the bottlenose dolphins of the Moray Firth. For many weeks I was at Chanonry Point for several hours almost every day, an experience which I have detailed in this blog post. From the start my goal was to get some images in really exceptional light or weather conditions, and throughout the season the image I really wanted was a dolphin breaching against the light of a sunrise. It took many 3.30am alarms, plenty of failed attempts and a good deal of frustration to finally nail it. Not only did I need a vivid sunrise, I also needed dolphins to be behaving in a particular way in a particular bit of water at exactly the right time. Quite soon I’ll write a separate blog post with an account of the moment it all came together.

2015 was a very successful year in terms of my photography, with many news doors opening up, amazing opportunities presenting themselves, and some long-term ambitions realised. 2016 is proving to be another very busy year and I am already working on some exciting commissions.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been spending a great deal of time up high in the hills working on some magazine commissions. There’s been some good stretches of fine weather so I’ve managed to get the scrambling and hillwalking images I’ve needed in beautiful light and calm conditions. I’ve been in Assynt quite a lot (both on the hills and underground) which has been a total pleasure, and it has been so rewarding to get to know this remarkable place more intimately.

Coire Lagan
My first time ever working on a commission on the Cuillin Ridge. I’ll be spending a lot of time on Skye again this year, as I always seem to. It isn’t long now until my brother Alex and I head over there for a wee adventure, which has also turned into a piece of work as well.

Finally, I’m delighted to say that I’m going to be doing some wildlife photography guiding for Black Isle Hides next winter. I’ll be joining James Moore as a guide on his Winter Wildlife Tours, for which there are still a few spaces available. For more information have a look here


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