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The essence of the Scottish outdoors has been captured by budding photographers, as Elizabeth Buie reports

The essence of the Scottish outdoors has been captured by budding photographers, as Elizabeth Buie reports

Nature and creativity joined forces in the General Teaching Council for Scotland's Shutterbugs photography competition this year.

The competition was created to combine the Year of Creative Scotland in 2012 with the Year of Natural Scotland in 2013 by encouraging entrants to use their creativity to capture the essence of the Scottish outdoors.

The winners have now been announced from hundreds of submissions. The competition was split into three categories: primary, secondary and registrants, with judges choosing the best in each category and an overall winner.

Leading the judging panel was internationally renowned landscape photographer Colin Prior. He is known for his stunning landscape shots of Scotland and wild places around the world and was joined by GTC Scotland chief executive Anthony Finn and Paul Symington, from Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.

The winner of the primary category was Rikki Gilchrist from Mill O' Forrest Primary, in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, with his silhouetted image of trees; runner-up was Harry Colville from Pitcoudie Primary in Fife, with his image of a spider in a thornbush.

Chloe Fyfe, from Plockton High, Highland, won the secondary category, with her image of a sunset taken from the Island of Skye; she also scooped the overall chairman's award. The runner-up in the secondary category was Ruaridh Campbell, from Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh, with his image of a puffin.

The winner of the registrant category was Charles Garnet, a supply teacher in Glasgow, with a picture of a swan in Darnley Country Park; runner-up was Alasdair Gurney, also a supply teacher, with his image of a storm on Easdale.

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