Our Foreign Skies Photo Competition

 The Shortlist

Airshow – RAF Leuchars, Aleksandra Tarkowska

“Every year in September RAF Leuchars military base offers a vast array of entertainment showing its wide range of roles and focusing on its rich heritage. Audiences are entertained with static and flying such as the famous “Red Arrows” aerobatics and precision formation flying team. During that exceptional event spectators are taken for a trip to enjoy and discover a great part of aviation history. It is also the only place where you can see Battle of Britain Memorial Flight tributes to the aviators of WWII. Both spectacular stunts and special effects together with unforgettable noise and smell provide tons of entertainment for everyone.  If only the weather is nice…”

A city penguin welcoming RSS Discovery, Andrew Lim

“Having studied in Cardiff (UK) during my undergraduate days, I am quite familiar with Captain Scott’s journey to the Antarctic. Cardiff has close connections with Scott’s Antarctic expedition, with the Scott Antarctic Memorial erected in Cardiff Bay. The 1910 Terra Nova expedition began at Cardiff, but only to return with the tragic end of Captain Scott.

“Pursuing my postgraduate studies at the College of Life Sciences in Dundee, I find it rather coincidental that I am able to follow the story of Captain Scott and his Antarctic expedition. This time, I see the beginning of that great adventure, exemplified by the ship RRS Discovery based in Dundee.

“In this photo, I’ve tried to visualise a penguin reacting to the arrival of RRS Discovery. However, instead of the barren Antarctic landscape, the setting has changed to a developed city. Nevertheless, the significance is still there – we can see that the process of research and discovery is never limited to barren lands. It has now shifted to a more realistic and developing world, where science can actually provide solutions to the benefit of the common man. This aspiration draws everyone from various parts of the world to the centre of global research in Dundee, putting each and every one of us at the forefront of science as direct effectors rather than as scientific hermits.

“I always hope that the experience of creative and adventurous discovery that we all have in School of Life Sciences will inspire many others who wish to enter  this great institution. As shown in the photo, a new form of ‘Discovery’ has now berthed in the city of Dundee!”

Tarbert, Isle of Harris, Anne Seifert

“This picture was taken in Tarbert on the Isle of Harris a few weeks ago. The store was selling all sorts of random used and new items. I was really drawn by the simplicity associated with the house. Although it looks as if it could do with a bit of a makeover, it has clearly grown into its genuine appearance over quite some time and still serves its purpose perfectly well. For me, this scene is a good example for the modest attitude I often encounter in Scotland. I get the impression that people here appreciate and make the most of the things they have and like to rely on traditions.

“At the same time and contrasting this, Scotland is and has been home to some of the most impressive innovative developments. Working at the School of Life Sciences with all its exciting world-class technology and scientific equipment allows me to experience this modern side on a daily basis and made me aware of this fine balance between tradition and innovation.”

Untitled, Dhaval Varshney

The Dundonian Abbey Road, Letizia Satriano

“Before coming here, my image of Scotland was restricted to stunning landscapes, an infinite amount of castles and changeable weather. After spending a year in the country, all of this is still true, but a detail was missing: the people.

“After riding over the language barrier and the different lifestyle, I found an enjoyable and sociable community of people. There is just one thing that keeps on impressing me…and it is the confidence and nonchalance with which someone could wear the craziest party outfit or the most improbable hairstyle that you might think of.

“A walk around Dundee on a week day, gave me the chance to take a snapshot of this reality and what it is like living here: besides the hard work, the science and the papers, there is also the odd and bizarre side of the Dundonian life, that reminds me how good it is to not take ourselves too seriously.”

Discoveries, Sarah Lena Offenburger

“The word appears overused here in Dundee, but it summarises perfectly the unexpected, great moments I’ve had here.

One such moment, captured here, was when I was walking to work along the Tay. I wondered why a man was standing at the railing and staring down into the water – and discovered the seal which was sunbathing in the Dundonian morning light. The guy told me that he had been watching it for an hour and all it did was wiggle around and scratch its head from time to time…”

Power Kite Race on the Beach, Villo Muha

“Without strong social bonds the work in the School couldn’t be so successful and everyday life in Dundee so pleasant. The Scottish experience means all sorts of different things to us, not just work. Drinking ales and whiskey together in Speedies, rock-climbing, Munroe-bagging, driving on the left-hand side or power kiting are just few examples.”

Untitled, Ye Hong

“Before I came to Dundee, my impression of Scottish cities was mostly shaped by the movies and books, and was composed of old buildings, bagpipes, smoke- flavoured whisky and a slow pace of life. After spending more than one and half years here, what I have experienced – the natural beauty, friendly people, the “Chinese speed” of construction and the multicultural environment – gives me a different view of this city.

“Outside my life in the School of Life Sciences I enjoy having a relaxing walk around the city with my wife and baby. We like the old architecture in the city centre very much and are curious to see the modern and transformative waterfront projects near the wonderful Tay Bridge.

“In my photo, my baby – a ten-month old Dunnese (Dundee born Chinese) – and I are standing in front of a vacant patch of ground, just 20 metres away from my apartment and we can see it easily through my window. It used to be council buildings and now it’s going to be a new park. On the other side of the ground, quite old and new buildings sit opposite each other. This photo represents my view of Dundee – that it’s a vibrant city combining tradition and modernity and, most important, is still changing for the better.”

Loch Morlich, Janis Vogt

“This photograph is a good representation of Scotland for me because it combines beautiful colours with an example of Scotland’s wildlife. This photograph was more taken by chance than anything else. I was out camping at Loch Morlich and wanted to take a picture of the sun going down “into” the loch. But when I arrived at the spot a duck was giving a flight lesson to its offspring by continuous taking off and landing. This happened right in front of my camera with the sunset over the loch to give me the golden tone in the photograph. This is just one small example of what a rich wildlife and landscape Scotland has to offer and you just have to get out there and enjoy it!”