Photograph of gannets fishing sees Woolpit’s Chris sail through to the finals

The shortlisted photo (Gannet Fishing - Up Close) by Chris Brooks, pictured below

The shortlisted photo (Gannet Fishing - Up Close) by Chris Brooks, pictured below

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Patience and planning have paid off for Scottish Seabird Centre’s Nature Photography Awards finalist Chris Brooks.

Chris’ striking shot of Gannets Fishing – Up Close, taken off Bass Rock a few miles from Dunbar, features in the Scottish wildlife shortlist of the prestigious competition, which attracted 435 entries this year.

Mark Westley Photography'Photographer Chris Brooks from Woolpit winner of International photography competition. ANL-140212-233239009

Mark Westley Photography'Photographer Chris Brooks from Woolpit winner of International photography competition. ANL-140212-233239009

Chris, of Woolpit, said: “My image shows the gannets’ killer instinct – the last thing you want to be at this time is a fish!”

Explaining the lengths he went to to get the shot, the 67-year-old added: “I had adapted an underwater filter and fitted it to a little two inch Go Pro camera fixed to a monopod. At sea, as the gannets dived in, I turned the camera upside down, plunged it into the waves and fired away.”

His image is among 100 now being exhibited at the centre, where members of the public have until February 22 to vote for their favourites.

Tom Brock OBE, the centre’s chief executive, said: “The standard of images for this year’s competition has been fantastic. They all demonstrate outstanding skill and a real appreciation of the natural world.

He wished Chris ‘the best of luck’ and said voters had ‘some tough decisions to make’.

Chris, a father-of-three, teaches photography at Blackbourne U3A based at Thurston and is currently working on new high speed and time lapse photography techniques.