Scottish photographer's big award for small photo

Figures of Zebra and lions on a barcode
Hide and Seek won the People's Choice award in the Macro category of the British Photography Awards

A Scottish photographer has won the People's Choice award in the Macro category at the British Photography Awards.

David Gilliver won the award for a photo called Hide and Seek, which depicts four miniature zebras taking refuge inside a barcode as lions prowl outside.

It is the second time he has won an award at the event, having triumphed last year too.

Macro photography involves taking extreme close-up pictures of small objects.

Mr Gilliver said it was really special and a "wonderful experience" to win the award.

David Gilliver holding his award
This is the second time David Gilliver has won at the British Photography Awards

The 44-year-old, who lives in Gartcosh, North Lanarkshire, has been a Macro photographer for more than two decades and has predominantly used miniature figurines of people.

In the past couple of years he has been experimenting with animal figurines in his work.

He has always wanted to incorporate barcodes into his Macro photography and zebras seemed a natural fit.

Mr Gilliver said: “I imagine there are many people out there who have looked at barcodes before and it’s reminded them of a zebra.”

He has also experimented with QR codes and pandas, but ultimately decided that the zebra/barcode combination was a stronger piece of photography to submit.

Miniature figurines on a face mask
David Gilliver's winning photo last year, Summer Vacation 2021.

The award ceremony, which took place in London, celebrates all aspects of photography. Apart from Macro it has categories ranging from documentary to drone and land animal to architecture.

Although this is the second time Mr Gilliver has won at the ceremony - his first award was for a Macro photo called Summer Vacation 2021 - it was the first time he was actually present to collect the award.

Last year he had an exhibit in Glasgow when the awards ceremony was happening and decided to stay in Scotland as he thought there was little chance of him winning.

But he won the award, so this year he decided to go down to London.

He said: "I thought there's not a chance in hell I'll win anything again and then they called my name out."

Mr Gilliver went to the ceremony with his wife, sister and brother and said it was an "extra special" experience to win with them there.

"It was a family occasion which is rare for us these days, so it was lovely," he said.

Light Painting

Along with Macro photography, Mr Gilliver also creates photographs called light paintings.

Light painting is a form of long-exposure photography that creates images at night while the camera is running and the photographer moves around with various light sources.

Light around some wooden poles on a beach
Electric Vazon is an example of Mr Gilliver's light painting

For the past decade, Mr Gilliver has been running classes and workshops focused on teaching light painting.

Last year, however, he decided to start teaching Macro photography as well.

He has classes and workshops for all ages and abilities.

He said he enjoyed sharing his skills, adding that school workshops were "extra special".

"Because I'm hopefully inspiring the younger generation," he said.

He added that when he saw young people understanding or beginning to appreciate what was possible, it was a "magical process".

A purple/blue ball of light at night
Loch Lomond Light