'Winter is my favourite season,' says Sam, 'for photography and also for the sheer beauty of it.' A prolonged period of sub-zero temperatures, snow and clear skies generated plenty of photographic opportunities in the Cairngorms National Park, near where he lives in Scotland. An unusually striking sunset drew him to this loch and its mute swans, 'elegantly floating in the ice-free water'. Setting up on the bridge across the loch, Sam began to take photos as the sunset colours intensified and then faded. 'Nearly 250 frames later, I had the image I wanted,' says Sam. 'To me, it proves that you don't need to go somewhere exotic to photograph something sensational.'
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II + 24-105mm lens; 1/20 sec at f4; ISO 500; Gitzo tripod.
Cairngorms National Park, Scotland, UK