Out and about with #WildScotlandPhoto

Inspired by #WPY51 Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, the Wild Scotland Photo Challenge was a chance for all those age 13+, to get out and about and explore and celebrate the flora, fauna and diverse environments in urban and countryside settings in Scotland.

The aim was to increase followers and engagement across our social media channels, particularly Instagram.

Any digital image capturing device could be used including mobile phones and digital cameras. From 1-15 November 2016, entrants shared their 2016 photos taken in Scotland on Twitter or Instagram using #WildScotlandPhoto and one of the four category hashtags from 1-15 November 2016.  If photos had been captured before 1 November, these counted as entries too.


Where is your nearest outdoor, natural or wild space? Is there a place you like to visit?  A pond, park, garden, woodland or nature reserve.  Photos must depict favourite locations in Scotland.

#northberwicklaw #dovecote #wheatfield #countryside #northberwick #scotland #WildScotlandPhoto #FavouritePlace

A photo posted by Ciaran Kiely (@ckkiely) on



Have you seen any interesting animals, plants or other living things in your area?  Photos may depict wildlife in unlikely locations or demonstrate how wildlife has adapted to urban environments.  You might want to look at very small living things as well as those that re bigger.  Remember, wildlife can be found everywhere if you look in the right places. Photos must depict Scotland’s urban environments.


Boatshed #forvienationalnaturereserve #aberdeenshire #scotland #WildScotlandPhoto #CoastMarine

A photo posted by Ciaran Kiely (@ckkiely) on

Scotland’s coastline is vast, including the 780+ islands, and it rightly deserves its own category. Is there a beach, cliff top, island, seascape or marine wildlife you like?  Photos must depict coast and marine environments in Scotland.


What is in your neighbourhood?  Have you seen any interesting plants or living things there in the countryside or in your back garden?  Photos must depict neighbourhoods in Scotland near to where you live.

Uncharted territory

We have run competitions and challenges on on social media before at National Museums Scotland not a dedicated photo challenge. In this uncharted territory, it was difficult to know how successful the #WildScotlandPhoto would be.

Guidelines were created to, making sure so that entry and judging was straightforward and easier to accomplish. Being a creative challenge, it was possible that there would be some overlap in subject matter in the different categories, wildlife appearing in your favourite place for instance.


Judging took place at the end of November, with the results being announced on St Andrew’s Day, 30 November 2016 and five judges were selected for their photography expertise or professional photographic experience.

I would like to thank our panel of esteemed judges:

The Results

We were delighted to have 200+ entries shared on Twitter and Instagram, showcasing the Scotland’s wild photography at its best in 2016. Entries covered all manner of landscapes from the mountainous to watery scenes,  coastal vistas and urban environments in all seasons and flora and fauna. The full line-up of entries can be viewed on Storify

The finalists were announced on St Andrew’s Day, a fitting conclusion to a fantastic year of #WildScotlandPhoto.

Here are the winning photos:

First Place Overall Winner

#FavouritePlace winner

#UrbanWildlife winner

#CoastMarine winner

#OnYourDoorstep winner

Red damselflies on our garden pond. #WildScotlandPhoto#OnYourDoorstep

A photo posted by Heather Fiona Reid (@heatherfionareid) on


We intend to build on the success of the 2016 photo challenge and to hold another later this year. It allows photographers of all abilities to easily share their #WildScotlandPhoto, using a smart phone or other mobile device and capturing some of the most dramatic and personal scenes of Scotland’s natural environment at its best.

#WildScotlandPhoto is also an opportunity to engage with the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017 #HHA2017, which celebrates the richness of Scotland’s intriguing history, impressive cultural heritage and fascinating archaeology and encourages the exploration of ancient sites and heritage locations.

Take a closer look at the beautiful and diverse images that took part in #WildScotlandPhoto in 2016 and we look forward to sharing images from 2017 in the autumn. In the meantime, get out and about and capture the flora, fauna and diverse environments in urban and countryside settings in Scotland in and share with us later in 2017.


If you like what you’ve read please do share. You can find out more about #WildScotlandPhoto here and the results here

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