Grand Title

Overall Title – The Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year

The grand title “Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year” shall be awarded to the photographer whom in the opinion of the judges has entered the best set of three images into the competition.

Please note: We want to make it clear that the overall title is for the photographer of the year – not the photograph of the year, and this is why we judge this category across three images. Images throughout all stages are judged on visual appeal, and this will always be the prime consideration, however for the final round and because this is the elite category, the margins when it comes to the final shortlist may be very fine, therefore judging will be at the strictest level and we will consider these additional parameters when making the final decision:

  • subject diversity – e.g. images taken of different subjects over time will be preferred to 3 different images of the same sunset
  • location diversity – it is a key aim of this competition to promote all of Scotland so a portfolio of different locations will be preferred
  • different takes – e.g. a new or different twists on iconic view
  • field/camera skills over digital editing – e.g. waiting for the right light, use of filters, image sharpness across the image or intentional lack of etc. Please note: it has always been the case that our preference is for images that have little or no digital editing. (We have several categories set aside for images that have used editing methods, digital creativity)
  • conservation – the competition shares the same values of the trusts that support us, therefore images should not depict anything detrimental to the landscape or be achieved by breaking the Scottish Outdoor Countryside Code

What are we looking for in terms of images?

Natural looking images that show off the Scottish landscape, seascape or urban views at its very best. Your images may be comprised of iconic views, different takes on iconic views or new and unseen views of the Scottish landscape. Your images may be anything from a wide sweeping vista of a mountain range to a small fishing village, a large city view or classic view of a Scottish Island.

The following digital adjustments are acceptable:

Just because you can use these criteria, it does not mean you should. Many images are ruined by over editing and over-use of plugins. If an unedited RAW file is as close to file you submit, you stand a better chance of impressing the judges.

  • Dust spot removal, including lens flare
  • Curves & levels or highlight/shadows – minor adjustments
  • Contrast – within reason
  • Sharpening – within reason
  • Converting to black and white acceptable
  • Cropping – cropped image must be acceptable quality at A4 without interpolation (digital upscaling)
  • White balance correction – within reason.
  • Colour balance changes – within reason
  • Digital ND grads – within reason
  • Exposure changes – +/- 1 stop only
  • Global and local saturation – minimal
  • Dodging and burning – within reason
  • Stitch panoramas
  • Multiple exposures – images must be taken at same time and place
  • HDR allowed
  • Blending images from a bracket sequence allowed
  • Focus stacking

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

Respecting the landscape.

We respectfully ask that when taking your images you show care for the environment and respect the interests of others. When out and about taking your photographs for the competition, we 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