There’s no doubt that when it comes to photography, freight train driver Dylan Nardini is on the right track.
The 47-year-old was recently crowned Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year thanks to breathtaking shots that he took of a well-weathered tree on the Isle of Arran, snowfall in the village of Leadhills and fallen foliage in a country park in South Lanarkshire.
Nardini believes he developed his passion for the landscape while driving freight trains around the country for DB Cargo, for which he has worked for 28 years. He said: ‘Knowing that the judges have seen something pleasing in my work is so flattering and has given me a huge boost in what has been a very tough year for so many.’
The 2021 edition of Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year, now in its seventh year, attracted over 3,000 entries from across the globe. In addition to the overall award, the contest handed out gongs in several categories – landscape, seascape, treescapes, urban and your vision.
Competition founder Stuart Low said: ‘It’s humbling to receive so many entries, considering how difficult things have been for everyone. It’s also been quite emotional for everyone involved in the judging.
‘Whilst we relaxed things to allow photographers to enter classic images from their archives, others adapted to the challenges of the restrictions and captured beauty on their doorsteps, and I’m sure that will touch many people’s hearts.’ Scroll down to see some of the incredible winning and commended images from the competition…
One of the stunning shots by freight train driver Dylan Nardini that helped him scoop the 2021 title of Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year. He captured this mesmerising scene on the Isle of Arran. He explained: ‘April showers quickly moved in from the west while early morning light brought welcome warmth to a well-weathered tree, which had been shaped by the prevailing winds that batter the north coast of the island’
Another incredible shot from Nardini’s portfolio. He snapped it after snowfall in February 2020 in the village of Leadhills in the Southern Uplands in South Lanarkshire. He said: ‘The village had been lacking in light until a sudden brief thinning of the thick flat cloud allowed small piercing beams to pepper the textured snow-covered hills of the Southern Uplands and the deserted old shepherd’s bothy nestled at their foot’
LEFT: Nardini snapped this fascinating photo of Avon Water at Chatelherault Country Park in South Lanarkshire in November 2020 and included it in his portfolio. He said: ‘Most of the leaves on the steep gorge had fallen and had speckled the cold blue rock on the banks of the Avon Water, which merges with the River Clyde. The beautiful contrast of colour and wet rock helped lift the spirits of a local walk at what was about to be the beginning of a long and draining lockdown-restricted winter.’ RIGHT: The winner of the treescapes category was Waldemar Matusik with this amazing image he snapped in woods in Bathgate, West Lothian. He explained: ‘There were misty and atmospheric weather conditions for a week or so, which is perfect for woodland photography. I went to my favourite local woods and used a telephoto lens to increase the depth of field and create space between the trees as they faded into the gloom. The thick fog was beautiful, which boosted the magic of the place’
Stephen Robbie was named the competition’s overall runner-up with his portfolio of three pictures. One of them is this stunning image of Loch Ard in the Trossachs. He explained: ‘As the thick autumnal mist finally lifted on a still morning, a single tree on an isolated islet caught the first light from the sun breaking over the surrounding hills’