In the frame

The Scottish Seabird Centre is now displaying more than 100 photographs submitted for their annual Nature Photography Awards. The images you can see in this blog are just a small selection from the shortlist, to give you a taster of the amazing range of photography on display within the exhibition.

In what is the eighth year of this popular competition, the categories included landscape, Scottish wildlife, worldwide wildlife, creative visions of nature, world flora and environmental impact. There was also a junior category that encouraged youngsters to think about what was in their back garden, school grounds and local parks.

The normal admission price to the centre includes access to the exhibition and, of course, the exhibition is free to Seabird Centre members. If you go before February you can vote for your favourite in the People’s Choice Award.

The winners will be announced in February 2014 and all first prizes in the adult categories win a trip to the magical Isle of May National Nature Reserve, with Scottish Natural Heritage photographer Lorne Gill.

The winners will visit the largest East Coast puffin colony at the height of their breeding season in late Spring 2014. The winning images will also be featured in a special exhibition at the Scottish Seabird Centre.

See more stunning images and find out how to visit the Seabird Centre at http://www.seabird.org/what’s-on/nature-photography-awards/15/50.

As part of the competition Lorne offered ‘ten top tips’ for wildlife photography  …

1) Have you read your camera manual? If not you might be missing a creative opportunity.

2) Take binoculars, spot the wildlife before it spots you and get into position to capture the shot.

3) If you are photographing in low light – we get a lot of that in Scotland – use a tripod.

4) Try to get on the same eye level as your subject for a more engaging shot.

5) Think about the light. Shooting with sidelight or into the light can add more drama to your pictures.

6) On a sunny day shoot early or late in the day when the colour temperature is warmest, this will give your images that golden glow.

7) If you have a compact camera use the macro setting and be amazed at how close you can focus on your subject.

8) Don’t worry if it’s cloudy as that’s perfect for shooting in woodland or for macro photography.

9) Always look past the main subject and think about the background. Is there a distracting branch or stem catching your attention? If so, remove it or change position.

10) Get to know your subject by working in your garden or close by. Great pictures of common species are often better than poor pictures of rarer species.

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