A greenkeeper’s spectacular shot on the course where he works has earned him a leading award.
Darren Chisholm has won the annual photography award presented by the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) for a stunning image of the Northern Lights taken from the clubhouse at Castle Stuart Golf Links near Inverness.
The winning snap was chosen from thousands submitted to BIGGA from across the country and earned Darren some glowing tributes from the association.
Their Chief Executive, Jim Croxton said: “Photography is a passion for many greenkeepers and their work environments provide them with wonderful and varied opportunities.
“The combination in the winning shot of the Northern Lights and Castle Stuart’s iconic clubhouse clearly caught the imagination of our membership as Darren’s photo was a clear winner of the member vote.
“Whilst the subject matter was very important, it takes a skilled photographer to make the best of it and Darren is clearly exceptionally skilled.”
It is one of hundreds of pictures Darren has gathered of the aurora borealis in the north of Scotland since taking up photography little over a year ago.
The spectacular winning photograph was taken in February at about 11pm using a Nikon d7100 camera. Darren used a torch to light the clubhouse while keeping the sky dark to show off the aurora.
He said: “I’m delighted to win this award. I never thought I would come close to winning and was shocked more than anything to find out that I had after seeing the quality of photos that were entered into the competition.”
From the thousands of pictures received by BIGGA, a shortlist of 24 entries was drawn up and they were voted on by the association membership across the world.
The 12 most popular photographs will be included in BIGGA’s 2016 desktop calendar and, having scooped the most votes, Darren’s picture has won him an iPad and a framed version of his aurora shot.
He will be presented with the prizes at the BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition (BTME), Europe’s leading showcase for turf professionals and buyers, at the Harrogate International Centre in January.
Darren, 30, who has been part of the greenkeeping team at Castle Stuart – home of next year’s Scottish Open – for seven years, has been interested in the Northern Lights since his childhood in Dornoch where they were regularly visible.
He now lives in Inverness and regularly pursues the phenomenon, using weather forecasts and moon-rise statistics to roughly predict when the aurora will be out and how strong it will be.
He added: “I’ve had an interest in the Northern Lights since first seeing them as a child and it led me to try aurora photography. We are so lucky to live in the north of Scotland where we can see this clearly, while the landscape also helps make excellent photos.”
Castle Stuart Golf Links opened in 2009 and has achieved global acclaim in its first six years. It staged the Scottish Open for three successive years from 2011-2013 and the event will return in 2016.
Twitter – @CastleStuart
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