11 Stunning Photos Of The Last Wilderness


There’s a reason the directors of movies including James Bond, Harry Potter and Highlander chose Scotland as the backdrop for their films. Jaw-dropping mountains, often dusted in snow, valley tracks winding their way through the hills above. Yes, Scotland is the landscape photographer’s ultimate playground and the best images of this wonderful country have been celebrated via the annual Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year awards.

This year’s winner was named as Allan Donald, who picked up the prestigious title for this portfolio of image showing the epic scenery of the Scottish Highlands, including the iconic Sgorr a’Choise at Glen Coe. The 48 year-old photographer revealed he had been shooting in the Scottish mountains for 15 years, but only began taking photography more seriously five years ago.

Stob Dubh Sunset, another of Allan’s winning images, which was captured on a Nikon D7100. Image by Allan Donald/SLPOTY.

The competition is now in its fifth year and winning images are exhibited across Scotland, along with featuring in a special edition book. The Youth Category was won by Andrew Bulloch, Edinburgh with his image of Eriskay football pitch in the Outer Hebrides. Andrew captioned his image “I spotted this little football pitch on Eriskay whilst on a family holiday so I photographed the view and then went down to play football on it. I later found out it was featured by FIFA as one of the eight most unique places in the world to play football.”

Andrew’s winning image was taken at Eriskay, Outer Hebrides. Image by Andrew Bulloch/SLPOTY.

Runner-up in the Seascape category was Anthony Robin, who captured this incredible image of Elgol, Isle of Skye using his Fujifilm X-T2, which was paired with a XF 10-24mm lens. Anthony also used a ND8 gradient filter and polariser and the image is made from two RAW files processed in Capture One and Photoshop.

Image by Anthony Robin/ SLPOTY.

It wasn’t just the wilderness of Scotland that was celebrated as Douglas MacKay took the title for the Urban category for his silhouetted image of the National Monument of Scotland at Calton Hill, Edinburgh. Douglas used a Fuji XT-2 paired with a XF 10-24 lens and said; “Calton Hill is one of my favourite locations for photography and on this particular evening the people on the monument were perfect silhouettes for this shot.”

Image by Douglas Mackay / SLPOTY

Winner of the Landscape category was Seán Kerr for this epic image entitled ‘White Islands’, which was captured at Northton Salt Marsh on the Isle of Harris. Seán explained the photo; “A coming together of extremely rare occurrences with snow lying on the often-submerged islands of Northton Salt Marsh, partially frozen seawater, blue tones at sunrise, low tide and a snowstorm over Ceapabhal.”

It’s an extremely rare occurrence for snow to lie on the islands of Northton Salt Marsh on the Isle of Harris. To time it at sunrise and low tide was a coming together of rare factors to create a very special scene. Only 20 minutes later, the ice and snow had started to disappear and the islands were submerged a few hours later. ‘The Beast From the East’, a cold weather storm from Siberia was to be thanked for this! I loved the combination of the ice and flowing water, the blue tones created by the combination of the stormy skies and dawn light contrasting with the brilliance of the snow. If you look closely, there is also a snowfall over the summit of Ceapabhal, the hill in the backdrop.

Seán used a Canon EOS 5DS R paired with a Zeiss Milvus 1.4/25 ZE lens. Image by Seán Kerr/ SLPOTY.

Runner up in the Landscape category went to Ian Biggs for an image entitled ‘Autumn Frost’ and captured at a location called Dunalastair Water. Ian used a Canon 5D MkIII paired with a 70-200mm f2.8L lens.

Image by Ian Briggs/ SLPOTY.

Photographer Vikki Macleod was named winner of the Monochrome category for her image, entitled ‘Thunderous Calm’ captured on the Isle of Harris. Vikki commented; “Watching the storm rolling in and across the salt marshes of Harris, a blast of sunshine briefly illuminates the scene. Light… it really does make all the difference in nature!”

Vikki used a Canon 5D MkIII paired with a 16-35mm f/2.8 lens. Image by Vikki Macleod/ SLPOTY.

Winner of the Seascape category was this spectacular frame by Robert Mccristall, and showcases the Rattray Head Lighthouse on the Aberdeenshire coast. “Arriving just in time for sunset after a five-hour drive, I used a 198-second exposure to soften both the clouds and sea, accentuating the pastel tones against the 120ft tall lighthouse,” explains Robert.

Robert used a Canon 5d MkIII to capture his image. Image by Robert Mccristall/ SLPOTY.

Runner-up in the Monochrome category was Frans van Hoogstraten for an image entitled ‘Easygoing’ that was capture at Huisinis, Isle of Harris. Frans explained; “Fascinated by the ease with which Highland cattle move through the Hebridian landscape, it was gratifying to find a composition to express this and render both, cows and scenery, equally well.”

Frans used a Leica M10-P, Summilux 35mm f/1.4 and added a, Lee Seven5 ND 0,6 Soft Grad filter. Image by Frans van Hoogstraten/ SLPOTY.

Gary McIntyre was the winner of the Winter element in the 4 Seasons category for his image entitled ‘Snow Tree’, which he captured with a Nikon D800 and 70-200mm lens.

Image by Gary McIntyre/ SLPOTY.

And from Winter to Autumn as Simon Atkinson’s image from the same category was named a winner. Entitled ‘Loch of the Island’, the photo shows Loch an Eilein in the Cairngorms National Park. “I stood for over two hours, camera on tripod, waiting patiently for the light to come, just as I was about to give up, the light came for a few fleeting moments.”

Image by Simon Atkinson/ SLPOTY.