The Judges

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  • Stuart Low
    Founder & Head Judge

    Stuart has been an expert landscape photographer and tutor for over 30 years. Boasting a portfolio that spans the 5 continents, it is his knowledge of the Scottish landscape that is unsurpassed and he spends the majority of his time seeking out unseen views, many of which have since become iconic shots. As well as being an expert film photographer and printer, his expertise in digital photography is at the very highest level having developed advanced techniques and software plugins for digital cameras.

  • Lorne Gill

    Lorne has been a professional environmental photographer for over twenty years; firstly with the Countryside Commission for Scotland and latterly with Scottish Natural Heritage, he presently works within their Publishing Unit at Battleby near Perth.
    He has been a category winner and five times commended in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and in 2009 won the urban wildlife category in the British Wildlife Photography Awards he also had a highly commended landscape image in the European Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

  • Toby Herlinger

    Toby Herlinger is sales and marketing director of our sponsors, Fotospeed. Inspired by image makers around the world, Fotospeed began life manufacturing quality darkroom chemistry and specialist fine art printmaking processes. With 35 years of technical experience and as the world of traditional darkroom made way for the digital revolution, Fotospeed utilised its wealth of expertise and understanding of image making to engineer and develop a comprehensive range of exceptional digital inkjet papers, inks and accessories. Toby brings his expertise to the judging of this years competition.

  • Mark Young
    Judge, Technical

    Mark Young is owner and managing Director of Academy Class, the UK’s premier Adobe Training centre. Mark provides expertise in all aspects of any Photoshop or Lightroom and post processing work in the competition judging process.

  • Craig Aithison
    Final round judge

    Craig was last years winner of the competition with his portfolio of classic panoramas from the Glen Coe and Rannoch areas.

    Living and working in Glasgow, Craig is naturally drawn towards the wilderness of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. This extraordinarily varied environment combined with the notoriously unpredictable weather is the magic he seeks to transform his images into something exceptional. Craig is very much about capturing the landscape as authentically as possible. His vast knowledge of the landscape, particularly of the islands and highland mountain ranges and his expertise in fieldcraft was invaluable in helping us choose this years winners.

  • David Stamp
    Final Round Judge

    David Stamp is CEO of our sponsors, Formatt Hitech, the World’s Leading Manufacturer of Professional Quality Filters For Photography, Cinematography and Broadcast. David travels the world widely through the company, working and sponsoring some of the worlds top photographers. His knowledge of photography coupled with that of filtration and the part it plays in photography is an invaluable asset in judging the competition.

The competition uses a “triple blind” judging system to ensure the fairest judging possible. All images in the shortlist and final round were viewed “blind” by the judges. Blind means the images were viewed without any identifying information such as names,descriptions etc., and this ensures that images are scored on their visual impact alone. All scores are analysed individually and collectively to arrive at the final scores. A detailed account of the judging process will be posted after the final results are announced.

The Wild Places Prizes are judged by the Trustees of the John Muir Trust. Their judging process is conducted in a closed room where the trustees will discuss and consider the merits and visual appeal of each images, and how it fits with the aims of the category. The trustees are expert in the areas they look after and their expertise and knowledge of the landscape is of the very highest level.

The Spirit of the Sea award is judged by the staff and directors of Caledonian MacBrayne. A selection of images chosen for the shortlist in this category is provided to Caledonian MacBrayne. The merits and visual appeal of the images are considered by their appointed staff and voted on. The image that best fits the look, feel and spirit of the category.

The Calumet Choice Award is judged by the staff of Calumet Photographic. A selection of images chosen for the shortlist in this category is provided to Calumet. The merits and visual appeal of the images are considered by their appointed staff and voted on.

The Historic Scotland protected places award is judged by the marketing team of Historic Scotland. A selection of images chosen for the shortlist in this category is provided to Historic Scotland. The image is considered by visual appeal and how well the image captures a protected place.

The protected places – national secnic area award is chosen by Lorne Gill and selected staff of Scottish Natural Heritage. A selection of images chosen for the shortlist in this category is provided and the image that best fits the National Scenic Area/Protected place is chosen. The staff of Scottish Natural Heritage are the foremost experts in these areas with a deep understanding of the protected places in in Scotland