A Musselburgh photographer has finished third in the Scottish Nature Photography Awards 2021.

The Scottish Nature Photography Awards bring together photgraphers from around the globe inspired by the nation's landscape and natural heritage.

Zaneta Blaszczyk, 32, was honoured in the portrait category for an image of a long-eared owl entitled ‘Piercing Gaze’ which she captured in Edinburgh as well as having four other photos shortlisted.

East Lothian Courier: Zaneta Blaszczyk - Piercing Gaze

Piercing Gaze

She said: “It’s fantastic, I’ve been trying this particular contest for three years, I was lucky each time to be shortlisted, but I’d never been in the top three.

One of the other images Zaneta had shortlisted was of a fox in Musselburgh entitled ‘Golden Fox’ and she said it was special to have images from her new hometown featured.

East Lothian Courier: Zaneta Blaszczyk - Golden Fox

Golden Fox

She said: “It does feel special, so I’m quite proud but at the same time I’m quite happy to have pictures from my local area to be shortlisted.”

"The fox one from Musselburgh, it feels good because it's my hometown and I'm just proud of Musselburgh if that makes sense."

East Lothian Courier:

Autumnal Kingfisher

Zaneta is self-taught in her photography and says that receiving such an award gives a level of validation she finds hard to believe herself.

She said: “I’m very pessimistic very often and don’t appreciate my own work and usually when I get feedback it’s from my family, so I don’t trust them because I think they are just being nice to me.

“When you actually get this external recognition, it just feels good, because I actually trusted them so it means it must’ve been good.”


East Lothian Courier:

Dipper's Catch

Zaneta used to photograph landscapes but upon moving to Scotland around seven years ago something clicked and her inspiration for wildlife photography arose.

She said: “Scotland inspired me.

“I used to do landscapes, when I was in Poland, and I always liked photography but if I’m honest I didn’t think I was very good at landscape.

“But when I moved to Scotland and noticed wildlife around me, I fell in love, and I attempted wildlife photography and I realised I was actually good.

“I never would have started wildlife photography if it wasn’t for Scotland.”

East Lothian Courier:

Raising Coot

Zaneta's award winning photograph will now feature at an exhibition next year at Waterston House in Aberlady alongside all the other winners.