Stirling Elaine snapper causes a stir at nature awards

Stirling underwater photographer Elaine Whiteford celebrates the success of the Scottish Nature Photography Awards 2021.

His image of a stocky long-clawed lobster taken in Loch Fyne won second place in the Environment category and another of his images was shortlisted in the Animal Portrait category.

Elaine, from Gargunnock, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the crouching lobster photograph was placed by the judges. I am very lucky to be able to photograph amazing underwater creatures so close to home.

The finalist photo will be part of an exhibition of the winning shots in each of the ten award categories, and both photographs will feature in a shortlisted picture book to be published later this year.

Elaine, who has been diving for 20 years and is a qualified scuba instructor, had a shortlisted photograph in last year’s awards and also recently contributed to a book on scuba diving in the UK.

She said: “It’s great to have my work recognized, especially when it showcases our wonderful Scottish waters.”

Over the past few years, Elaine’s photography has been featured on several fronts.

His first solo exhibition saw 50 of his underwater photographs featured at the Smith Art Gallery and Museum in Stirling.

Elaine has also written for a range of publications including The Scots Magazine, Scottish Wildlife, Diver, The Undersea Journal and The Sea, as well as being a Scottish Wildlife Trust Contributing Wildlife Photographer.

His work has also featured in a number of exhibitions, such as the Royal Photographic Society’s Projected Images Exhibition, the Edinburgh International Photography Exhibition and the Scottish Parliament’s Biodiversity Exhibition.

This image of a gurnard has been shortlisted in the Animal Portrait category.

She added: “West coast sea lochs easily accessible from Stirling. I’m lucky to have some fantastic dive sites just up the road. In just over an hour I can enter the water of Loch Long and explore amazing cold water reefs.

“People seem genuinely interested in seeing what’s below the surface and are generally amazed at the color and variety of marine life in Scotland.

As well as writing and photographing the marine world, Elaine is also known for undertaking commissions.

She previously said, “One of the weirdest things I was asked to do was photograph kelp for a wildlife artist who was painting a picture of otters underwater. The artist was not a diver but wanted photographs on which to base his painting, that’s where I came in.

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