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Arts / Lerwick photographer delighted with awarding-winning shot

Austin Taylor's award winning shot of a bearded seal at the Hamnavoe marina. Photo: Austin Tayler

LOCAL photographer Austin Taylor says he is chuffed and feels honoured after winning the portrait category at the Scottish Nature Photography awards with a splendid shot of a bearded seal looking at its mirror image at the Hamnavoe marina.

The 2020 winners of the prestigious awards were announced online on Tuesday.

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Taylor said the bearded seal was not the one which took up temporary residency at Victoria Pier in summer of 2018, but a cousin that visited the marina at Hamnavoe, in Burra, for a few days in November the following year.

“It was spotted there on a Friday afternoon and I was only able to go over on the Saturday, and stayed for hours until I was the last person there watching the animal,” Taylor said when contacted by Shetland News earlier today.

“It was towards the end that I got this photo because the water went really nice and still, and he or she happens to look over the edge and I thought ‘that’s a great shot’.”

Judges agreed and declared his photograph the winner from a total of 26 on the shortlist in the category.

Taylor said: “I am thoroughly delighted, as this is recognition by your peers who have an eye for these things that you are taking a good photograph.

“I have won some minor awards in the past, but this is a fairly significant national award, so I feel happy and it’s great news.”

Now over a decade old, the contest has established itself as Scotland’s premier nature photography competition.

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