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UPY My Backyard - Winner
'While You Sleep'
Malls Mire - small woodland in Glasgow, between a housing estate, supermarket and factory - is an unlikely haven for wildlife. As winter thaws, for a few nights each year one of it's small muddy ponds comes alive with Common Frogs. I first photographed them here in 2018 and since that day I've had this image in my head. It took another two years before I captured the little wonders that stir in the cold nights while the city sleeps. Using a temperamental remote shutter while combining long-exposure, backlighting, close-focus wide angle and split photography meant I had to abandon any frustrations and try (and inevitably fail) for the hundredth time to get it right. This final shot is a culmination 25 hours over 4 nights of lying in darkness, covered in mud, waiting on natures unpredictable elements to align. Time well spent? Absolutely.
Judge's comment: A most fitting winner of our new My Backyard Award, introduced to show that underwater photography can still thrive when many photographers are forced to stay close to home. Even in the centre of the city of Glasgow, frogs and world class underwater photography can thrive.
- Alex Mustard
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