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Wildlife snapper Gordon is Britain’s best

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By Fiona Reid
Wildlife snapper Gordon is Britain’s best

FROM fighting grizzly bears and laughing hares, to grumpy sparrowhawks . . . no animal is too big or small a subject for an award winning Lockerbie photographer.

And ‘stunned’ farmer Gordon Rae is celebrating after winning the GB Nature Photographer of the Year title.

He beat off competition from hundreds of nature snappers and was shocked when his pictures of an osprey, grizzly bear cubs and polar bears came out on top.

The Dumfries Camera Club member said: “I was stunned. I never imagined I’d win. It’s the biggest award I have to my name and I’m extremely proud.”

Gordon has dabbled in photography for the past 35 years, getting serious in the last decade about his hobby and focusing largely on wildlife for the past six years.

And recently his work has helped him travel the globe.

He said: “It hit me a few years ago that I was mainly doing photography for other people, either publications, tuition or workshops, it wasn’t really for me and I wanted to change that.”

Seizing the day, Gordon booked trips to – 30 C Alaska and the Canadian tundra, where he captured some of his award winning shots.

He said: “Wildlife photography is always an adventure, and it’s taken me to some amazing places, such as photographing grizzly bears in Alaska, and just recently polar bears in the Canadian tundra.

“It was a wonderful experience to see these huge creatures close at hand, but heart-rending to learn how climate change is destroying their habitat and food supply, driving some to the point of starvation.”

This year the keen photographer is heading for Iceland but proving his heart still belongs in Scotland, he said: “The photography I do at home is just as special to me. It feels like a privilege to photograph mountain hares in the Highlands, or some of the few remaining black grouse left in Dumfries and Galloway.”

Next month Gordon will give a talk at the Wild Film Festival Scotland -a weekend-long celebration of the natural world with film, photography, topical talks and special guests.

The event takes place in Dumfries from March 24 to 26 and hosts celebrity speakers including Simon King of Big Cat Diaries and Iolo Williams from Springwatch.