The Caledonian MacBrayne Spirit of the Sea Award


The CalMac Award is a special additional award of the Seascape category for the best image, who in the opinion of Caledonian MacBrayne staff judges has captured the “spirit of the sea”.

Calmac Spirit of the Sea

Winner will recieve £300 worth of Caledonian MacBrayne vouchers.

Please note: There are no additional fees for this award. If you are entering the seascape category, your image will automatically be considered for this award.


What are the judges looking for?

The judging will be carried out by Caledonian MacBrayne staff, and they will be looking for an image that represents a coastal view of the west of Scotand area in which the Caledonian MacBrayne ferries operate. This could be a view such as the beaches of the Hebridean islands or it could be a view of any of the Calmac Ferry ports.

Please note: The Scottish coast for all its beauty can be a dangerous place and you should not take risks, endanger yourself or others in pursuit of your images. You should always be aware of tides and any hazards in and around our coastlines. If photographing in a CalMac port or any other area, you must not put yourself or others in danger.

The following should be used as a rough guide as to what we are looking for:

  1. Wide vistas such as sweeping beaches, sea lochs, views of rugged cliffs.
  2. People as part of the seascape – as long as they are not closeups or posed.
  3. Animals as part of the seascape – undisturbed and in natural surroundings. No closeups or posed.
  4. Seaside towns and ports, buildings as part of the seascape such as castles, ruins, bridges etc.
  5. Images of Calmac ferries in the view.
  6. Objects as part of the seascape such as boats, standing stones, historical relics.



Abstracts are accepted as long as they can be easily distinguished as part of the Scottish Seascape. For example, we will accept;

  1. Long lens shots, crops and abstracts of known places.
  2. Abstract reflections on water where a landmark is visible.
  3. Aerial abstracts and crops


We are not however looking for the following:

  1. Closeups or abstracts of rock formations, pebbles on a beach etc.
  2. Closeups of sand formations.
  3. Images of privately owned stately homes.
  4. Images of government buildings, installations or naval ships.
  5. Images from inside ruins or derelict buildings.


Images taken previously:

If you already have images you wish to enter, then these must have been taken within 6 years of the competition start date. You may also enter images that have been entered in other competitions or published in magazines, news papers etc., so long as you have not signed away exclusive rights or licence to your images.

Acceptable media

Both film and digital images are allowed but your submissions should be in digital jpg format only via the competition website. Film images may be submitted from scans of colour transparency, black and white or colour negatives. Film images should be processed as per “digital adjustments and processing” section.

Digital Adjustments and Processing

Digital adjustments are allowed and there are no limits but should be kept within reason and should not alter or affect the integrity of the image.

The following digital adjustments are acceptable:

  • Dust spot removal
  • Curves & levels, Shadows/Highlights
  • Contrast
  • Sharpening
  • Converting to black and white acceptable
  • Cropping – cropped image must be acceptable quality at A4 without interpolation (digital upscaling)
  • White balance correction
  • Colour balance changes
  • Digital ND grads
  • Exposure changes
  • Global and local saturation
  • Dodging and burning
  • Stitch panoramas
  • Multiple exposures – images must be taken at same time and place
  • HDR allowed
  • Blending images from a bracket sequence allowed

Unacceptable digital adjustments

  • Adding, moving or removing elements from your image. e.g cloning in clouds, trees etc
  • Composites and montages of more than one image
  • Blending multiple images from different times of the day
  • Focus stacking


Respecting the environment.

A key aspect of the SLPOTY ethos is to show care for the environment and to respect the interests of others. When out and about taking your photographs for the competition, we respectfully ask that you abide by the Scottish Country Access Code. Links to the Country Code are listed below.

Country Code Summary

Country Code in Full