Deer, Southern Highlands
There are some jaw-dropping images in the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest - and this is not one of them!
Ordinarily I would not consider myself a wildlife photographer at all. However, my attention was drawn by the Landscape GB online magazine to the fact that some categories are about the landscape as much as the animals in it. So I had a quick rummage and submitted some recent photographs.
I returned from my sailing trip to find that the one above had made the 'semi-finals' - that is, the second of the three rounds of judging. So not a complete dud! I was chuffed about that.
It was one of a series made on Rannoch Moor in Scotland during my wet and windy visit there last autumn, using the Olympus E3. I have several which show the deer in much greater close-up, but I felt this better fitted the category theme of animals "in their environment".
I cropped out a distracting patch of rock in the lower left of the frame, but left in the water on the right because I felt it balanced the snow in top left.
UPDATE July 26: I was interested to know the numbers on this so - in the absence of information online - I contacted the competition organisers' press office.
They say they received 40,490 entries in total, from photographers in 95 countries.
As a matter of policy - interestingly - they do not reveal the specific number of entries in each category at different stages of the competition. (I submitted seven in three categories; clearly I suppose one's odds might be improved if you knew which were the less popular categories?).
However, approximately 12,000 images made it to through to the Semi-Finals and 1,000 images went on to Final judging. In other words, as I thought, "semi-finals" is not quite the same as, say, Wimbledon.
Two "commended" images will be unveiled next month, and a further selection on 1 October. The winning images (category and overall winners) will be announced at an awards ceremony on 19 October.
The exhibition of images from the competition opens at the Natural History Museum, London, on Friday 21 October.
So now you know.