Three of the best photographs of people in Scotland chosen by Harry Benson


Photographs taken in Byre’s Road Glasgow, on the Solway Coast and Rhu, near Helensburgh were today chosen by Harry Benson as being among the best entries of the Parliament’s #SeeingScotland photography competition. A public vote will now decide the overall winner of the competition.

The competition, which was run on Instagram, received almost 5,000 entries from people across Scotland. People can vote for their favourite image simply by liking it on the Scottish Parliament’s Facebook and Instagram pages until noon on the 2nd of December. The photograph with the most likes will be crowned the winner.

A free exhibition of some of Harry’s most iconic images are currently on display at the Scottish Parliament. Harry Benson: Seeing America captures significant moments in America’s social, political and cultural history over the last 50 years. It closes on the 3 December. 

Inspired by the exhibition and Harry Benson, the #SeeingScotland competition asked people to share their photos on Instagram that encapsulated:

  • Your life in Scotland
  • What Scotland means to you
  • A celebration of Scotland

The finalists of the public vote will be awarded first, second and third prizes by the Presiding Officer, which will include signed Harry Benson books, their winning Instagram photo framed alongside Harry’s feedback and a special tour of the Parliament building.

The winning image will also join the Scottish Parliament art collection on display in the Parliament’s public café.

The Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, the Rt Hon Ken Macintosh MSP said:

“This competition was all about celebrating Scotland and its people through the medium of photography. Digital technology has opened up the world of photography to so many of us but the quality and quantity of the entries we received from right across Scotland was truly impressive.  It is also really good to see so many people engaging with their Parliament through this competition and through new media such as Instagram.”

“It’s particularly appropriate that we open voting today on St Andrew’s Day and I urge people again to get involved and vote for their favourite. If this has inspired any budding photographers I also encourage them to come along to the Parliament to see the Harry Benson exhibition before it closes on the 3 December.”

Harry Benson said:

“It was very, very hard to choose, it’s a very high standard. Photography is in a boom right now. You used to not see that before, but people can now take a photo, look at it and discard it and then get a better picture.

"It’s not like when you used to have to go to a one hour photo, get your film developed and get back a load of bad pictures! People take pride in what they take - you see it now, every one of these photos is very good. It’s hard to make a choice.

“They’re well composed and interesting – a good photograph to me is what’s in it.”


To see the images and vote please go to the Scottish Parliament’s Facebook and Instagram pages until noon on the 2nd of December.

Information about the three images are listed below:

Taken by Lorna Young. Lorna is a marketing consultant based in Dumfries.
About the photo: "It was taken on the beach of RSPB Mersehead nature reserve on the Solway Coast at the end of February – it was a lovely sunny late winter day with a low sun. It was our puppy’s first day at the beach so my son (Alexander) was introducing our dog (Neo) to the beach and they were both running about and playing with sticks together. I snapped the photo while neither of them were aware, so while the rest of our photos that day are full of action and posing and nonsense, this quiet moment, when they were simply enjoying each other’s company, is my favourite."

Taken by Natalya Vahey. Natalya is a Glasgow based artist who works on film, painting, pictures and writing. “I take photos every day, recording my surroundings and what's happening in the Here and Now. I concentrate on capturing extraordinary light changes, street scenes, people in bars and cafe's around The West End, where I've lived over 10 years. The photo was taken in a sports bar on the Byers Road in Glasgow, when the football was on.”

Taken by Kristina Trick. Kristina is 29 and mum to her three year old, Skyla and works in the brae shop in Rhu, near Helensburgh.
"I'm originally from Cornwall and I've been living in Scotland for just over a year and found it so beautiful I decided to buy my first ever camera and now I take it with me everywhere! I took this photo with my wee girl as we enjoyed a morning walk along the shoreline at Rhu as the sun came up."


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