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#RediscoverABDN: Overall winner provides the perfect picture of optimism

Everything is Going to be Alright by Bryan Evans won our July competition with this hopeful picture.
Everything is Going to be Alright by Bryan Evans won our July competition with this hopeful picture.

After a year of super entries showcasing the very best of Aberdeen, the Evening Express can now announce the overall winner of this year’s photo competition.

Despite having many wonderful pictures to choose from, the judges finally decided on the image of the art installation at Braemar Castle, Everything is Going to be Alright, by Bryan Evans, who was the winner of our July competition.

Bryan, who moved to Aberdeen in 2008 from Glasgow, is an oil and gas contractor, and took up photography when he moved to the city.

Bryan Evans, overall winner of this year’s photo competition.

However, it was lockdown that prompted him to seriously restart his photography hobby – and his Braemar Castle picture proved to be the inspiration.

Bryan said: “That was one of the first photographs I took when I first started taking photos properly. Up until that point I had been using my mobile phone and taking pictures rather than photographs.

“It was just before we went back into another lockdown last Christmas time, so it was about trying to see some positivity myself as much as spreading it to others.”

In fact, Bryan believes lockdown – and the photo competition – served as a catalyst to get Aberdonians to look more closely at their city and its surrounds.

“I don’t think I was alone in picking up a camera, and getting out and about our local area and taking shots,” he said. “I certainly see more people walking about the city centre, Old Aberdeen, or the beach in general, and taking photos.

“I think it’s something that more and more people are getting into because people had to find more of an appreciation for the area around them.

“I entered into the competition before – and there were loads of really good entries,” he said. “They showcase the city really nicely.”

Bryan, a former volunteer with Aberdeen’s Befriend a Child charity, has used some of his pics to create a calendar to raise funds and has now raised around £600. His pictures include landscapes from Aberdeen and around Scotland, with Dunnottar Castle just south of the city one of his favourite locations.

So what are his photography plans for 2022?

“At the moment I’m just looking forward to a week off work and a well needed break,” he laughs.

“I’ll start organising another year’s worth of road trips around Scotland, hopefully make it to the Faroe islands. It’s a landscape photographer’s dream, especially with drones, very other-wordly.”

Bryan plans to explore more parts of Scotland to photograph, with Lewis and Harris planned for early next year.

The Isle of Harris will provide a rich source of material for Bryan to photograph when he visits next year. 

“It’s been one of the best things about not being able to travel abroad – I was able to spend that time seeing Mull, Lunga, Staffa and the likes. I’ve certainly racked up the miles in my car.”

And he’s keen to get going again.

“I’m glad we’re past the winter solstice,” he adds. “Hopefully the light and the days start getting a bit longer and bit nicer.”

Bryan, who receives a two-night stay with bed and breakfast at Malmaison, Aberdeen, and a £50 Aberdeen Inspired gift card, is thrilled to win the competition.

“In all genuineness, just being selected from among all the really good entrants and really good winners is great,” he said.

Chris Foy, CEO VisitAberdeenshire, said: “Our region boasts so many fantastic subjects for photographers to choose from, so many unspoiled views and with such fabulous light and natural beauty, we have been very impressed with the standard of entries throughout the whole competition.

“We knew that choosing an overall winner from the wonderful selection of contenders was going to be tough but as we end the year, we felt this image captures and conveys a much needed message of resilience and positivity as we look forward into 2022.”

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s competition. We have loved seeing some wonderful photography throughout 2021 from our readers, whose inspired pictures have truly showcased the very best of Aberdeen and the shire.

You can see more of Bryan’s pics at on Instagram and Facebook

For more information on Aberdeen and the shire go to VisitAberdeenshire.

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