Woolpit amateur photographer up for award for underwater photograph of gannets in Scotland

Above and under water GoPro shot of gannets in Scotland, at Bass Rock

Above and under water GoPro shot of gannets in Scotland, at Bass Rock - Credit: Archant

An amateur photographer has reached the final of a seabird photography competition with an eye catching underwater shot of gannets going in for the kill.

Gannets in Scotland, near Dunbar

Gannets in Scotland, near Dunbar - Credit: Archant

Chris Brooks, from Woolpit, has impressed the judges for the Scottish Seabird Centre’s Nature Photography Awards and is hoping his shot will be voted the eventual winner.

The centre’s awards attracted 435 entries and 100 of them are now on display, with the public invited to vote for their favourites until February 22.

Mr Brooks, a 67-year-old grandfather of 13, said: ”My image, Gannets Fishing – Up Close, shows the gannets’ killer instinct, the last thing you want to be at this time is a fish.”

In trying to take this one shot, Mr Brooks had three of his boat trips to Bass Rock, Scotland, called off due to the weather.

Underwater shot of gannett in Scotland, at Bass Rock.

Underwater shot of gannett in Scotland, at Bass Rock. - Credit: Archant

The photography teacher at the Blackbourne University of the Third Age, based in Thurston, said: “It is a very hard environment to work in. I decided to travel the 350 miles to Dunbar Harbour overnight, sleeping rough in the car beside the moored up fishing boat. The idea being so I could be the first on board to bag the best spot at the stern of the boat.

“I had adapted an underwater filter and fitted it to a little two inch GoPro camera fixed to a monopod. At sea, as the gannets dived in, I turned the camera upside down, plunged it into the waves and fired away.”

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Tom Brock OBE, chief executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre, said: “The standard of images for this year’s competition has been fantastic. They all demonstrate outstanding skill and a real appreciation of the natural world. We look forward to people visiting and having the opportunity to vote for their favourites. I wish Chris the best of luck.”

Judge Richard Bath, editor of Scottish Field, added: “It was really tough deciding on the shortlist and Chris has done really well. There were a huge number of beautiful and creative images.”