Academy photographers show keen eye to scoop coveted prizes

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A GROUP of North-east students have beaten off stiff competition to claim top prizes at a coveted photographic arts awards ceremony held recently in Edinburgh.

Out of the 24 prize-winning photographs selected from thousands of entries from pupils from all over Scotland, five of them come from Fraserburgh Academy pupils.

Held in the capital’s Dynamic Earth building, the Focus Environment Scotland’s top photographic competition awards ceremony took place in December with Fraserburgh Academy proudly achieving the most prizes on the night.

Head of Art at Fraserburgh Academy, Billy Watson, told the Herald that the night had been “fantastic” and it was an honour to hear the academy mentioned so many times out of all the schools in Scotland.

He said that seeing the pupils win five out of the 24 prizes in Scotland’s top photographic competition was “an absolutely fantastic achievement and one which may never be repeated.”

“It was an honour and a privilege to be an invited guest and I felt very proud. Everyone I spoke to was very complimentary and congratulatory about Fraserburgh Academy’s achievements. The academy’s image was further reinforced by how well our pupils conducted themselves throughout the evening as perfect ambassadors, a credit to their school and families,” he said

“Our representatives in school dress code looked very smart promoting a very positive and unified image of Fraserburgh Academy, everyone was pleased at the impact the school made and how it raised the school’s profile in a positive way.

“Everyone at the academy is absolutely delighted and incredibly proud of our pupils and their talents being recognised in Scotland’s top photographic competition for schools,” he added.

Jake Watson won first prize (15-18) with “Leaping into Spring”, a picture of a roe deer running in the snow near New Aberdour.

Neil Mair won two second prizes with (15-18) “Knitted Corner”- the covered drying poles below Kinnaird Head Lighthouse, and “Storm Brewing” – waves crashing behind the breakwater at Fraserburgh Breakwater.

Alan Henderson was commended with (15-18) “Fisherman’s Friends” - Fishermen mending nets at Fraserburgh Harbour, and Lucy Slater was commended with (11-14) “Schoolboy in Trouble” - a picture of Mr Noble giving a pupil some advice.

Local councillors Ian Tait, Michael Watt and Brian Topping, Lord Provost of Aberdeenshire Bill Howatson, Interim Director of Education, Jim Duncan, and MSP for Banff and Buchan Stewart Stevenson have all been in touch to congratulate the pupils on their success.