News and Features

Outdoor Photographer Of The Year 2018 - Shortlisted

Its Outdoor Photographer Of The Year season. Really chuffed to have some shortlisted images across a range of categories: 'View From Above', 'Spirit of Travel' and 'Live the Adventure'. Always excellent images to be in company with- fingers crossed for the final judging stage! 

Outdoor Photography Magazine - 'Lie Of The Land' Article

Excited to have a featured image and article in the January 2019 edition of Outdoor Photography Magazine. Being a publication I enjoy  reading anyway - I was delighted to be asked to contribute! The brief was quite open, and so I chose to write about something which might not normally feature, whilst also allowing the opportunity to publish on of my favourite images -  taken whilst working in Pakistan in 2011. 

The piece reads:

Slice Of Life

As part of a humanitarian aid team in Pakistan, photography wasn't always Graham Niven's first priority, but his camera always by his side, ready to document the world unfolding around him.

have never liked to define my style or approach to photography too much, largely because it feels quite limiting to do so. Though I do not profess to be a master of any particular genre - I enjoy capturing an eclectic mix of adventure, landscape, night, nature, wildlife, travel and documentary photography, with everything else in-between, relishing the challenges and freedom of expression that come with them. My journey in photography has been quite organic and the subjects have often been incidental to my experiences in life.

I work in humanitarian/development aid, and although for now more sedentary and based in Scotland - I have been fortunate to travel to some fascinating, less visited and beautiful places. My camera has always been with me; a tool for observation and documenting during fieldwork, but also for capturing a slice of life, visions of landscapes and environments which reflect rich variety and diversity. One of those places was Pakistan in the aftermath of severe flooding of the Indus River in 2011. I was there working with an organisation Action Against Hunger - to improve water and sanitation facilities and awareness. I moved around a lot, from the fertile plains in the south of the Indus Delta, to the mountains in the far northwest bordering Afghanistan.

I was not there to photograph primarily, but did need to document things like damaged water and sanitation infrastructure as part of needs assessments. However as a passionate photographer and with a curious mind, I allowed my intrigue and enthusiasm to indulge where possible and appropriate. This was normally in the form of very ad-hoc, candid, handheld, documentary style. Rarely visiting the same place twice, I couldn’t take the time to plan and compose a scene, wait for the right weather and/or light etc, so, much was captured from a moving vehicle, whilst on foot in communities, or from inside secure compounds. There were many challenges and frustrations to capturing a good image and many times when I was urging to take a photo but just couldn’t because of time, cultural sensitivities, safety and security. However, it was often because of these details, not despite them, that the few I did capture were more satisfying, more real, and more raw.

The above image ‘Indus Dawn’ was taken from the front seat of a moving car, captured in the early morning on the roads in Sindh province. The light was always quite ethereal at this time with much moisture and smoke in the air, and people were active to take advantage of the more agreeable temperatures. This sight made me scramble for my camera and settings to capture a scene full of intrigue, but at the same time, of daily routine. When exploring the image back on a screen, I found black and white to reveal a depth of tones and textures, layers of transient life, movement and stillness.

Travel Photographer Of The Year 2018 - update

Close but no cigar again in the Travel Photographer of The Year 2018 with this image - Glentress Beams.  Some excellent winning images though - check them out here

A winter morning ride in one of Scotland’s renowned Mountain Bike meccas. I decided to pack my camera with the anticipation there would be some forest mist and magic light. When the sun did eventually begin to find its way through the trees it picked up every molecule of moisture in the air creating some epic beams and illuminating the mosses and lichens. I took many shots of that scene alone, but waited some time for a lonely figure to appear and give it some scale and context.

Glentress Forest, Borders, Scotland.

December 2018

New Niven Photography Logo!

I am really delighted with my new logo for Niven Photography. I had previously attempted to master the art and the technical nuances of graphic design myself,  and  all the fun which came with figuring out Adobe illustrator... only to feel very confused and a little bored at the end of it. I am kind of glad I went through the process and I did have a logo, which I sort of liked, but it just wasn't right. So, I called in the Pros!

Hasta inc created this majestic piece; simple but striking, bold but subtle - I had wanted it to be obvious without being generic, and aesthetics and flow were a must. It has it all - and it looks fantastic with my images. The more I see it, the more I love it!

Check out more of Hasta's work and his beautiful 'Hastascapes' and other creations. 

November 2018

Trail Magazine Mountain Photograph of the Year 2018

A favourite image from an epic day in the mountains is shortlisted in the Trail Magazine's Mountain Photography Contest. Bideam Nam Bian Ridge in Glencoe with some etherial light and a lone figure giving some scale and context...

Hit the link to vote! 

November 2018

Finalist in Travel Photographer Of The Year 2018 - Beauty of Light Category

Very excited to be in the mix again for the Travel Photographer Of The Year 2018 - Finalist in the Beauty of Light Category. Hoping to go a step further than 2016... further judging in December -  fingers crossed.

November 2018

'El Stago' Shortlisted in British Photography Awards 2018 - Land Animal Category

He's so handsome!  He's back - this time shortlisted in the The British Photography Awards 'land animal' category - Hit the link to vote and check out some excellent photos! 

November 2018

Tulloch Stag Portrait Monochrome - Scotland

'El Stago' hits a 2 page spread in NPhoto Magazine

Nice wee double page spread in July's Nphoto Magazine! 'El Stago' took 2nd place in Wild Wonders category of Digital Camera Magazine 2017 contest, hosted by photocrowd

Cutting a striking figure against a winter sky; encounters with one of our most iconic mammals are often not quite as wild as we might wish - the tarmac under his hooves did not take away from the magnificence of his stature however, made more prominent by the low angle composition and monochrome tone. Black Mount, Western Highlands of Scotland

July 2018

Scottish Nature Photography Awards - Winner of Abstract Nature Category

Really pleased to Win the Abstract Nature Category of the Scottish Nature Photography Awards 2017 (and a shortlisted image in the Landscape Category). There is a fantastic portfolio book to come and an exhibition touring the country throughout the year. My winning image - Beech for the Sky - is an intriguing perspective capturing slightly the phenomenon of 'canopy shyness'. Congrats to the other winners - some lovely photographs, and thanks to the SNPA team.

Nice wee feature on the BBC website

April 2018

Beech For The Sky - East Lothian, Scotland

Commission with 'The Lighthouse' Business Centre, North Berwick

Enjoyed putting together a series of framed prints for 'The Lighthouse' Business Centre in North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland. The images follow and adventure and seascape/nautical theme with prints of Scotland's Mountains, St. Kilda, Skye and of course - Bass Rock, after which the 'Lighthouse' gets it's name. Its a great initiative and facility for the town and area, with many businesses and shared desk space as well as come creative and styling art. It is always great to have prints done BIG - you can really get into the image and explore it!

Thanks to Andy Hadden and team for the collaboration and good luck!

March 2018

Landscape Photographer Of The Year Exhibition in Edinburgh

The Landscape Photographer Of The Year Exhibition is now up in Waverley Station (ticket office) in Edinburgh - until 31st March 2018. My image is amongst many other beauties! Thanks to Charlie Waite (Awards founder) and his great team. Pop on down and enjoy!

March 2018

Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2017 - Finalist

Very pleased to have been a finalist in the 'Light on the Land' Category in the Outdoor Photographer Of The Year  2017 contest, and to have the below image featured in the beautiful book again this year!. This year the competition received over 18,000 entries from over 60 countries, so very honoured to be considered alongside some phenomenal entries. Congrats to  winners and fellow finalists. 

The image: Taken of Bass Rock, Outer part of Firth of Forth Estuary, Scotland. On a failed mission to capture a sunset, I was driving home when the storm clouds, which had obscured the sun, swept across the sea and began to envelop the rock. I pulled over hastily to capture the scene as it rapidly darkened and the squall hit. I had no time for a tripod or deliberation, trying to compose before the moment was gone. Vital to the scene though was to time it with the East Cove lighthouse flash (holding my breath and a steady count). The tiny light gives the drama a sense of scale, but more importantly - of presence. 

{Nikon D850 with Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 lens: at 36mm, ISO 400, 1/30sec at f/5}

January 2018 

Bass Rock Squall

Bass Rock Squall -  North Sea, Scotland

Outdoor Photographer Of The Year 2017 - Shortlisted

Super pleased to have some images shortlisted in the Outdoor Photographer Of The Year again this year in 3 categories: Light on the Land, Live the Adventure, and At the Water's Edge. Really enjoy the OPOTY production and well run contest - so its a privilege to be recognised and considered among such strong work again! 

December 2017 

Reflecting on a year or so of working with purpose as 'Niven Photography'!

Niven Photography HQ - reflecting on (just over) a year since releasing my website and concentrating on more than just the 'taking' of photographs - learning, developing, sharing and promoting. Put together a wee collage of recognition from the last 12 months - Much thanks for the support and encouragement!

November 2017

Landscape Photographer Of The Year 2017 - Awards Ceremony and Exhibition

Thanks to the Landscape Photographer Of The Year Team for a most excellent event, exhibition and contest in Waterloo Station. As someone who actively avoids being surrounded by other photographers (when taking photographs) it was really nice to chat with so many other entrants and guests with diverse and talented insights and experiences. Also fantastic to have to contributions of Charlie Waite and  Ray Mears

Delighted to have won the Visit Britain 'Home of Amazing Moments' Award and come runner up in the Live the View Category - particularly with an image of people, pooches and place which are very personal and dear to me.

VisitBritain Chief Executive, Sally Balcombe said of the image: “As Graham’s spectacular image shows, Britain’s diverse and stunning scenery offers a visual feast in which the viewer can imagine themselves at the centre of the experience. It is a fantastic example of how images stir our emotions and fire our imaginations, motivating and inspiring us to explore new locations and landscapes.”

The exhibition will be in the mezzanine of Waterloo Station in London from November 20th 2017 to February 2018, when it will then go on tour around several stations across the UK - including Edinburgh Waverley (for the home team!)

Photo credit and thanks (for images 1 and 2 below) - Paul Mellor

Scottish Mountain Bike Awards 2017 - Photograph of the year: Shortlisted

Super pleased to be adding some biking photos to the repertoire! The two below images are shortlisted for the Scottish Mountain Bike Awards 2017 - Photograph of The Year. Both were taken on a trip in late spring 2017 in the far North West of Scotland with two  good amigos and a solid support team! We were making our way across some of the most remote parts of the UK as well as some more trodden, but infamous routes. Four days of BIG mountain riding - very varied; from boggy slow traverses and hike-a-bikes to swooping sweeping single track for miles... it was EPIC! I had been anxious about taking the camera gear, not least as it was an extra 6/7kg to be carrying on what was already an arduous physical task where I should have been travelling light, but also because of the potential of damaging precious equipment. Vital to allow me to ride with all the gear was an 'adventure' camera bag which protected the gear, gave me relatively quick access and was comfortable and ergonomic enough to let me ride my bike! There were a couple of big spills where I thought that something must have smashed in there - but the worst to happen was an explosion of dry roasted peanut dust inside. Relatively speaking - the conditions were pretty amazing - ground was largely dry following a beautiful dry spring - this of course broke as soon as we started and it was pretty cloudy/grey - flat light for photography, but that would have been a bonus!  Bag, camera, bike and my body held well, even in the pissing rain and mud - although not ideal conditions for sensitive camera gear - it would have been difficult to go to such a place without  it! 

The Scottish Mountain Bike Awards take place on 16th November celebrating the progression, development and sheer good fun of being involved in the Scottish mountain bike scene.

November 2017 

Passing Coulags - Coulags Bothy the midst of looming Torridon Hills, on the way up to a very fun down!

Dropping out the clouds - Misty megaliths frame a epic, winding ride in for the day.

Take a View - Landscape Photographer of the the Year: Winner of VisitBritain 'Home of Amazing Moments' Award and runner up for 'Live the View' Category

Very happy and thankful to scoop the Winner of the VisitBritain Home of Amazing Moments Award as part of the British Landscape Photographer of the Year  Event, as well as taking runner-up of the ‘Live the View’ category. Many congrats to fellow entrants and winners; honoured to be considered amongst such talent.

The image features in the 11th edition of the book and be on exhibition in Waterloo Station, London from November to February. 

The image ‘Dawn Patrol’ was taken on a magic Autumn morning with my favourite adventure companions and shipmates, Amy Niven, Tosh and Vorlich. Loch Garten is nestled in the Abernethy Forest in the Cairngorms National Park - a fragile remnant of ancient Caledonian pinewood. Drifting out on the still waters to catch the first amber glow of the day's sun, the silence is broken only by the roaring of rutting stag in the forest, arousing the attention of our otherwise slumbering canine companions.

Technical details: Nikon D750 with Nikkor 16-35mm lens, Exposure - 1/400 sec, Aperture-  f/4.0,  ISO - 100, handheld. 

October 2017

British Photography Awards - Ambassador

Pleased to have recently become an Ambassador for The British Photography Awards

The British Photography Awards itself, showcases the finest photographers and photography across England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland. However, they are not solely dedicated to photographic output; a principle purpose objective is to work with different UK charities to help communities that support the competition itself. These organisations are selected based on both their operational ethics and real-world effectiveness.

The Ambassador's scheme is targeted at supporting/discovering new photographic talent, and helping charities and small camera-related organisations/clubs be seen, and gain a sense of community. Working in the humanitarian sector and recognising the importance of raising awareness and communicating stories and issues to a wider audience, often through images; I am looking forward to engaging! 

September 2017

National Trust for Scotland - Torchlight Challenge

Great fun capturing the Torchlight Challenge up Ben Lomond with The National Trust for Scotland and 80 jolly pilgrims - creating and witnessing an awesome spectacle, and treated to a glorious sunset and starry evening.

In its third year, walkers were invited to join a torchlight trek up the most southerly Munro in Scotland. Rangers from the National Trust for Scotland, which cares for Ben Lomond,  led the twilight walk up the mountain supported by Lomond Mountain Rescue Team, which covers the mountain and the surrounding area.  Funds raised will be shared with Lomond Mountain Rescue Team, as well as to help fund path repairs. Ben Lomond is ascended by more than 30,000 people each year and NTS spend £15,000 annually to keep its footpaths in order. NTS cares for some of Scotland’s best mountain landscapes including Ben Lawers, the Grey Mare’s Tail, Torridon, Kintail and West Affric, Goatfell, Glen Coe and Mar Lodge Estate. The trust’s upland path team work outside in all weathers to protect the landscapes.

The name 'Ben Lomond' translates as 'Beacon Hill' in Gaelic, so the idea is to pay a bit of homage to this while on the summit by shining a torchlight beacon out to the world, and see what responses we get back, before the challenge of walking back down by torchlight. A similar event was taking place up the mountain of Goat Fell on the Isle of Arran

Press release found here

September 2017

Shortlisted for Weather Photographer of the Year 2017

Delighted to have had 2 favourite images ('Solitree' and 'Lenticular Pampa') shortlisted for this years acclaimed 2017 Weather Photographer of the Year competition in association with The Royal Meteorological Society and The Royal Photographic Society. My entries are slightly mellow compared to some of the dramatic images, but weather isn't always a wild event! Some fantastic shots from this year and previous here

July 2017

*Congratulations to the winners of The Weather Photographer of The Year 2017!. Some phenomenal images in there - very happy to have been a part of the event. 

Some good press coverage here and here

September 2017

St. Andrews Photography Festival 2017 - 'Notable Mention'

'Scots at home'

Happy to have a 'notable mention' at the St. Andrews Photography Festival with this image taken on the Glas Moal button tow at Glenshee ski centre, in central Scotland - exhibited amongst others throughout the festival in September 2017. A classic Scottish ski view - peaking into the (not so) distant winter and hoping for a much more wintery winter this year

Check out the events at the festival here

August 2017

Shortlisted for Scottish Nature Photographer Awards 2016

Honoured to be shortlisted for Landscape - Sea and Coast Category in the 2016 Scottish Nature Photography Awards, hope to go one better next time. Huge congrats to the rest of the entries and winners  - seen here.

Also excited to collaborate with the band Evering in the release of their new EP - 'Beyond Oceans', out on the 21st April 2017. Check out their website here

This was a day I wont forget in a hurry, taken on a relatively serene day in one of the stormiest and most exposed places in the world, an isolated archipelago 64 kilometres northwest of North Uist in the North Atlantic Ocean. St Kilda is an extraordinary site, particularly imagining the people who inhabited these islands for 4000 years until 1930. The majesty of the towering cliffs, their seabird populations and surrounding marine environment is an awe-inspiring experience.

March 2017

Calmac Callander - Mr July!

Your 2018 Caledonian MacBrayne Callander will feature Isle of Eigg's famous beach cows having a tender moment whilst the fine vessel - MV LochNevis approaches. The ferry services the small isles off the west coast of Scotland - Isles of Eigg, Rhum, Canna and Muck. These bovine beauties were nuzzling for ages and being quite photogenic while the MV LochNevis happened to float by in the background. A most magical part of the world you should visit given half a chance!  

March 2017

Commended image and feature in Outdoor Photographer Of The Year Book

From over 17,000 photos from 50 countries: I am super delighted that my image has won a commendation, and will feature in the Outdoor Photographer of The Year Portfolio II book in the 'Live the Adventure' category. Congratulations to the category winners - some incredible images to be in good company with. Check the winning images and details of book here

Photo taken at Loch Garten, Abernethy, Central Scotland.

"Some places are worth going back to again and again. Often silent and serene, the glassy waters of the loch let us drift almost without effort to the sound of roaring stag in the surrounding forest; 1 dog tunes in, the other snores. A visual feast of changing colour and light; being out on the water opens up a whole new perspective. No tripod, and trying to keep a low ISO in low light requires a steady hand".

Technical information: Nikon D750, Lens: Nikkor 28-300mm VR lens at 28mm, ISO 320, 1/60SEC at f3.5, handheld.

March 2017

Feature in January 2017 i-on Magazine

Really pleased to have a feature in January 2017 edition of i-on lifestyle Magazine. Check out the interview and some images on here

How has travel influenced your life? Much of my travel and photography has been through my work in humanitarian/development aid, which has given me a great deal of perspective. To travel for pleasure is a great privilege; not just to have the means to do so, but also the freedom.

What’s the appeal? Largely, it’s wonder and curiosity that leads you around the next corner. I’ve been fortunate to visit a variety of places, often remote and wild, to meet and connect with some incredible people and their lives. I’ve seen extraordinary landscapes and amazing natural wonders.

How did you get into travel photography? My camera’s always been with me; it’s not just a tool for observation and documenting during fieldwork, but also for capturing a glimpse of life in places very different to those we know.

Where is your favourite place in Scotland to photograph? The more I see, the luckier I feel to call Scotland home. It might rain now and then, but this gives us the lush greenery. We enjoy extraordinary light and landscapes, and the opportunity for adventure is never far away. There are some pretty excellent people here too. As for a favourite photo spot, Loch Garten is special to me; it seems more serene with each visit.

January 2017

Shortlisted for Outdoor Photographer Of The Year 2016

And another! :) This image of Canoeing on Loch Garten in central Scotland has been shortlisted for the Outdoor Photographer Of The Year 2016. Equally thrilled to have been recognised in this prestigious annual contest (and still holding out hope of scooping the prize of a photography expedition to the Arctic!)

December 2016

Finalist for Travel Photographer Of The Year 2016

I am delighted to have been announced as a finalist in the Travel Photographer Of The Year (TPOTY) 2016! Wonderful feeling to be considered amongst very good company in what is considered the premier annual international travel photography awards. Fingers crossed to make the last cut!

December 2016

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