Stuart LowFounder & 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.
Athena Carey is a multi-award winning fine art travel photographer specializing in long exposure and black and white photography. She is widely recognized for her ability to capture the emotional essence of place and time within her images.
Aside from travel, another of Athena’s great joys is teaching others the technical aspects of photography, how to find their own artistic vision; and then to harness the two together to express themselves through their photography. To this end, she teaches photo courses online and locally and offers workshops globally.
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.
Anne works as a Broadcast Journalist for BBC Scotland in Glasgow. She works as a reporter for news – TV, online and radio as well as European current affairs programme Eorpa. She is also a regular news anchor and weather presenter for BBC ALBA’s daily news programme, An Là, as well as Reporting Scotland. She can also be seen on other factual programmes, from the likes of sport documentaries to the NC 500 and Landward.
In her roles working on weather and Landward, she brings a wealth of experience and deep appreciation of Scotland’s landscapes to the judging.
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.
Belinda DiQuinzio specialises in mountain photography and was the winner of the Scottish National Heritage award in the 2016 competition. Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, Belinda has adopted Scotland as her beloved home and is most happy exploring its myriad landscapes for recreation and artistic inspiration. Through her photography, Belinda hopes to inspire others to discover, enjoy and protect Scotland’s natural heritage for present and future generations. Her knowledge and experience of the mountains is a great asset to the judging process and she recognizes the skill and perseverance needed in producing award-winning photography.
Mark YoungJudge, 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.
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.
Vanda is a photographer based in London. Passionate about capturing the world we live in, she is always searching for those fleeting moments of light that transform it into something extraordinary. Finding inspiration in the sea and its infinite power and uncontrollable energy, in quieter scenes and intimate details that abound in nature.
In her images she strives to reflect the atmosphere, feeling, and sheer wonderment that our natural world can evoke within us. For Vanda, photography is more than just a recording of where she has been. It is about encompassing the whole experience of being in the outdoors, and trying to capture that one special moment that leaves a lasting impression on us.
Vanda’s images and articles have been published in magazines, exhibited in the UK and abroad and have received awards in international competitions. Aside from photography Vanda enjoys giving lectures at camera clubs, hoping to inspire others to find the beauty that exists within everyday scenes, and to look beyond the obvious.
Cath is a Scottish landscape digital artist and photographer.
Much of the inspiration for her landscape work comes from campervan travels around Scotland. She loves the “wide open spaces, vast grey skies and low light of the Scottish West Coast and the Hebrides” and tries to capture the solitude and calm of these special places. There is a strong sense of simplicity, space and solitude in her work, her compositions often leading the eye to whimsical detail in big open spaces.
Ian Cameron was the overall winner of the competition in 2015.
Ian considers that the essence of good landscape photography seems to boil down to three things: composition, timing and light and he believes that this final ingredient, light, its colour, quality and strength is the single biggest infuence on the success or otherwise of the final image. Scotland more than any other country he has tackled, challenges the photographer’s patience and skill; it toys with you, teases you with amazing light, then laughs at you as you struggle in shrieking wind and rain to record that rapidly fading moment of magic.
- Main Category Judging Process
- John Muir Trust Judging Process
- The Caledonian MacBrayne Judging Process
- Calumet Choice Judging Process
- Historic Scotland Judging Process
- Scottish Natural Heritage Judging Process
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