Uist-based art student wins national photography award

20 Mar 2013 in Outer Hebrides, Visual Arts & Crafts

A University of the Highlands and Islands fine art student has been named as Student Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2012.

Peter Ferguson, who is in the second year of the course at Lews Castle College UHI, submitted a portfolio of three images on the theme of “Winter Machair” to the 2012 Scottish Nature Photography Awards.

Speaking about his portfolio, he said: “I didn’t have far to look for the photos as they were all taken from my garden, though at different times of the year! They show the machair land of North Uist: a strip of flat, fertile, sand-blown crofting land which runs along the west coast of the island, with long views down to the sand dunes on the horizon.”

The winning images in the 2012 Scottish Nature Photography Awards showcase Scotland’s nature in its diverse and fascinating forms. Some were captured as a result of arduous and ambitious expeditions and others practically on the photographers’ doorsteps, but they all share the qualities of photographic excellence combined with an appreciation of our natural environment.

The judging panel selected their winners from over 2300 entries from around the world to the Scottish Landscape, Scottish Wildlife, Scottish Botanical, Natural Abstract, Environmental, Student and Junior categories.

Lorne Gill, a photographer for Scottish Natural Heritage who was on the judging panel, explained why Peter’s work stood out: “Anyone that has been to the Outer Hebrides will have been struck by how flat the western seaboard and machair grasslands of these islands are and how the sky totally dominates the scene. Peter Ferguson submitted three striking images with mood and contrast that convey that feeling perfectly and that transport the viewer into another world where the land meets the sky.”

James Fraser, University of the Highlands and Islands principal and vice-chancellor, welcomed the news, saying: “The University attaches enormous importance to its fine art courses in the Western Isles and Elgin, and is justifiably proud of Peter for his magnificent achievement.”

Sophie Morrish, Peter’s course leader, added: “On the fine art BA course based here in North Uist, we actively encourage students to engage creatively with the unique and inspiring environment of the islands. We are really pleased that one of our students work has been acknowledged at a national level and congratulate him on his achievement.”

An exhibition of the winning images from all the competition categories will tour Scotland from July 2013 and will be published in a Portfolio Yearbook. A full list of winners is at www.scottishnaturephotographyawards.com

Source: UHI