June 2019 and after three years of trying, I have finally cracked Gold Standard with the Guild of photographers. Ben Lomond with winter showers EDIT: This image was runner up in the Rural & Landscape category of the 2019 Guild of Photographers end of year awards in early February 2020, a significant achievement for me.
March 2020, a second Gold image, this was Storm Ciara as it cleared the Campsies, taken with the same 25 year old Tokina lens used for my first Gold award
Ben Lomond drift, April 2020 and my third Gold image in what is becoming a very productive period for me : Edit: February 2021, this image won the landscape image of the year with The Guild of Photographers from over 16000 images submitted to their Image of the Month competition over 2020, another significant step for me.
A significant photo for me as this is my first ever Silver award taking my skills to a new level. This is Glenfinnan, probably now best known as being "that" viaduct the steam train in the Harry Potter films crosses over on its way to Hogwarts.
My second Silver award, pleased with this one, Eilean Lubhard from the South Lochs on the Isle of Lewis
Kilchurn Castle. My third Silver award and my first for 2019. A still morning in March 2019.
My fourth Silver award, the second in 2019, an image that was in my "possibles" file for six months finally was submitted seven months after taking the image. This is the panorama from the Campsies of a very snowy January day.
Campsies Dawn shot. My fifth Silver award and third one in 2019, good contrast with this one helped me get this effect
Campsies dawn shot, also from the same shoot, gives me my sixth silver and a completely different look and feel to this one
Last Image of the Month competition saw me gain my seventh Silver award of 2019. At the beginning of the year, in two years of competition, I only had two silvers in total, the end of 2019 saw that had increased to seven. A good sign of consistent quality. This is loch Ard on a very misty morning.
First award for 2020 and it's a Silver of Ben Lomond from the Campsies, now working towards consistency at this level of award
Second award of 2020, Loch Chon on a frosty January morning, another Silver
My tenth Silver award is Stirling Castle and the Wallace monument with the ochills lit by fast moving sunlight in heavy showers
June 2020 and my 11th Silver award, this is from a series of images done in my local Glasgow park at sunrise whilst in Lockdown for Covid 19
Second lockdown sunrise image and my 12th Silver
My thirteenth Silver award and another one from what is turning out to be a highly productive 2020 photgraphically wise. This is another Campsies image
Silver award number fourteen. Arnprior view towards Ben Lomond in changeable weather
My fifteenth Silver award, Ben Ledi
Silver award number 16, Kippen view
Silver award number 17, the view from Stockiemiur
Silver award number 18, Ben Lomond
Nineteenth silver award is another view from Stockie muir
Silver number 20 and last one for 2020 is a favourite location of mine, The Loup of Fintry
The Kyles of Bute. My first "High Bronze", a new category added in 2019 to help photographers judge how close they came to a silver award.
Aberfoyle mist, my second ever High Bronze
My third "High" bronze award. An image of Ben Lomond as seen from the Campsies. You may notice the spin drift at the summit, caused by circulating high winds. Pleased with this one as it was taken with a 20 year old prime lens that is actually missing some of it's elements, most people would have thrown it away, but I kept it for some reason and I have found how to best use it now. Proof you don't need the latest, sharpest lenses to win awards.
My fourth High Bronze at the Loup of Fintry at sunset. I was captured by the gold reflection on moss that only lasted for ten seconds
Loch Ard at 4.30am in Sept 2019. High Bronze for this which is really pleasing as this was the first time I had used this legacy lens for astro work.
Third 2020 award and a High Bronze for Loch Ard mist. High Bronze is a category that indicates this image failed to make Silver grade by one solitary mark
Loch Arklet light, High Bronze, April 2020
Moss, found these trees by accident, High Bronze image, April 2020, taken with a legacy nikkor 50mm F1.2 lens
High bronze for this image of the Loup of Fintry in heavy flow and yes, I did get wet 30 seconds later
Arrochar alps as seen from Strathblane and another High Bronze award for 2020
Third lock down sunrise image and a high bronze, just that one mark off a silver, but very happy with the consistency in these three June 2020 images
Loch Chon on a frosty January morning 2020 gives me another High Bronze award
Taken at sunset during Covid lockdown 2020, this viewpoint was only five minutes away from my house. High Bronze award that I have nicknamed "Flames"
An image from Finnich Glen taken just before xmas 2017 resulted in my first award in 2018. Taken using my new combination of D500 and Sigma 18 - 35mm F1.8 Art lens
Loch Ard in March 2016, mist forming on the Loch as the sun dips behind Ben Lomond. The award is from the prestigious Guild of Photographers, this was my very first photographic award.
Finnich Glen in Stirlingshire. Known locally as "The Devil's Pulpit" in part because of the colour of the peaty water running over the sandstone giving it a "blood" appearance.
Finnich Glen (2), local lore states it was a meeting place for the local Druids at one time.
Castle Kilchurn shot and got the mist nicely with this one.
Lone tree at Kilchurn Castle. First ever shoot at Loch Awe, early morning and on my own.. bliss!
Finnich Glen. An image I couldn't do justice to when I took this photo, my editing skills have now improved to the stage where I had another go and the judges seemed to like what I did
Castle Rigg stone circle in October 2019
The Loup Of Fintry, this is the lower set of falls which was a difficult track even though a fairly short one. This was the first time I had used a variable ND filter and to have got an award with my first attempt was very pleasing
Acharn Falls in Perthshire, this image isn't really possible in the summer as the vegetation covers most of this view so happy to have gone early season.
Loch Arklet on a frosty March morning. The stillness only lasted for ten minutes but I managed to capture it and it was another award winner for me.
Finnich Glen. Really pleased to have captured the light with this ( that lasted 30 seconds max ) and to have done it justice
Fort Augustus looking down to the Kintails. I was taken with the road in this one more than the mountains.
Common Lizard taken on site at Flanders Moss NNR, Stirlingshire. An handheld image sees my first award outside of Landscape photography and into Nature Photography. This little chap was very patient with me.
Red Damselfly, taken on the same visit as the Lizard, again handheld at Flanders Moss NNR.
Four spot chaser Dragonfly, handheld again at Flanders Moss NNR in a session that has turned out to be a very good one for me.
First of two from the loup of Fintry. It had been heavily raining for a couple of days when I shot this and this was just as the clouds broke for a brief second,
The Isle of May, I was concentrating on getting a good shot demonstrating the number of birds present and I got lucky with the incoming puffin.
Loch Drunkie in the Trossachs. This area is just stunning and this particular parking area has some outstanding views, as demonstrated here.
Loch Chon, taken around 6.30am before any wind got up, the ripples you see are from my clumsy attempt to stand at the waters edge but fortunately it hasn't detracted from the image.
Loch Chon frosty reflection
Loch Drunkie from further down the path, the cloud was now rolling in and around a minute later, I was standing in rain.
Isle of may puffin, just one of those "right place, right time" shots.
Finnich Glen. I loved how the light appeared momentarily with this one.
Machrie Moor standing stones. Paid a heavy price in midge bites to get this image
Loup of Fintry and the scene just as the clouds were beginning to break for a brief period of time.
Shot from the Campsies in early new year, this was my second award of 2018. I was lucky with the lighting conditions, strong sun and fast moving clouds
Neist point on the Isle of Skye around 9.30pm. What the image doesn't show you was the other 80 odd photographers in the area at the time.
Dawn at Elgol, Isle of Skye around 4.30am. Early start for me (though we were holidaying on Skye at the time), this long eposure was designed to show the early light.
Seals at Dunvegan Loch.
Luskentyre beach on the Isle of Harris with dramatic clouds.
The view to Loch Tarff. I saw the shape of the road here and it was around six months before I managed to go back and attempt the shot. Pretty happy with this, taken early morning.
Another Loup of Fintry shot, this time from mid august 2017. It had been raining heavily for a couple of days and a brief break in the clouds allowed the sun to highlight the extremely peaty water flowing.
First award with my new Irix Dragonfly 150mm macro lens
Stockie Muir in January 2017. This was actually taken around 1.30pm in the afternoon in a cloud inversion.
First of three shots from Glencoe that won awards
Castle Campbell at dollar Glen
Second Glencoe shot
Third Glencoe shot
Stockie Muir, again from the same cloud inversion though a little "warmer" than the other image.
Loch Drunkie, I set out to use two trees as a frame and I'm happy with the outcome of this.
Last Guild award for 2017 and this was a bit of a surprise as it was one of the first images taken when I upgraded from my D7100 to the D500 and I realised my editing techniques were going to need some refining for the D500.
Loch Lubnaig, taken on a still day
Loch Ard and a winter shot
Loch Drunkie, I liked the leading lines with this
Red Damselfly, taken at Flanders moss NNR
Another handheld image of a Red Damselfy, Flanders Moss NNR
Dawn shot from Gartmore around 4am in summer
Loch Ard and the first image where I have used a colour cast and I got an award for it
Loch Drunkie on a summers day
Four spot chaser from Flanders Moss NNR. Handheld shot, pleased with the definition and contrast with this image
One from my Finnich Glen shoot from the previous December. I remember thinking at the time, this log looked like some sort of creature emerging from the burn
Loch Ard morning mist
Red Kite from Argaty. Good lighting with this, unfortunately, blue skies always mean images can lack a little in context, which is backed up with my Puffin images.
Loch Ard again as the mists cleared.
Isle of May puffin. This was the ultimate type of shot regarding Puffins for me. The wings beat around 400 beats per minute and they reach upto 55mph.
The solitary stone at Machrie Morr at sunset
Capturing the speed
Coming in to land
Probably the closest I physically got to a flying puffin, this was a good test for my recently acquired lens in combination with my D500, it worked better than I dared hoped.
White Tail Eagle (1). One of seven awards I got in Sept 2018 for this shoot from the Isle of Mull in August 2018
White Eagle (2)
Loch Ard with the misyts being aggressively burnt off by the morning sun.
White Tail Eagle (3)
White Tail Eagle (4)
The islands of Pladda and Ailsa Craig, as seen for the Isle of Arran
White Tail Eagle (5), probably my favourite with the water droplets showing well
Loch Ard summer sunrise mists. As ssen by the canoes, I wasn't the only one doing early morning.
White Tail Eagle (6)
White Tail Eagle (7)
The Loup of Fintry again, something different, an experiment with a soft focus that seemed to work well enough for this award
North Third viewpoint. One of the first images I took with my Nikkor 50mm Ai-S F1.2 lens, this one was shot at F1.2 and I love the "painterly" effect this lens produces.
My first award image with a person in it. Loch Ard
Milton of Loch Ard, autumn shot
Another Milton of Loch Ard autumn shot
A different viewpoint from North Third
Loch Arklet with weather moving in.
Campsies sunrise, something diffrent for me and it was good enough for a Bronze award.
The first of 2019's awards, this is Loch Ard taken late 2018 with my legacy Nikkor F1.2 lens
Kippen View of Ben Lomond
The first of four images taken early 2019 at the Campsies with interesting weather and low lying fog in the Glens
Kilchurn castle, with a muted pallette of colours
Doonfoot beach looking out to the Isle of Arran
A quick "Grab " shot at Flanders Moss. I literally pointed and shot this image at a very shallow depth of field, which created the intersting backdrop
Another award for the first ever session I used my Irix Dragonfly 1500mm lens. Really pleased and impressed with this lens
Strathblane sunset, I loved the layers on this.
Misty morning at my local park (about 5am)
Another misty morning image from my local park (taken about 5:15am)