An Elgin vet’s “super” wildlife pictures have been praised by the judges of a national competition.
Images of a squirrel and a chaffinch taken by Geoff Matthews were shortlisted by the British Veterinary Association (BVA).
The 57-year-old has been looking after animals at Wards Veterinary Centre in Elgin since 1982 but is also a keen amateur photographer.
And it comes as no surprise that what he most likes to see through the viewfinder is the varied wildlife of the north-east.
An early start during a trip to Aviemore earlier this year helped him capture the shots that impressed his fellow vets.
His picture of the bird sat on a lichen-covered branch won plaudits for it “superb colours” and “crystal-sharp” image quality.
Gill Harris, a member of the judging panel that including an award-winning professional photographer, said: “The strongly-blurred background gives the chaffinch an almost 3D effect and the colour of the lichen has a contrasting and complementary quality.”
The foraging red squirrel was picked out for its strong composition, notably the “tail balancing the angle of head”.
Ms Harris, assistant editor of Veterinary Record, said: “A sharp image from claws to the tip of the tail but with the background blurred out. I really like this image.”
The pictures were submitted in the Wonderful World of Animals category for the BVA’s inaugural contest – which attracted more than 400 entrants from across the UK.
The overall winners were a photo of an operation on a horse’s infected hoof and one of a bat in flight.