A Tayside prison officer has triumphed at an international photography contest.
Stewart Croll beat strong competition from across the globe to net a top prize at the International Pet Photographer of the Year awards.
The 57-year-old, who works at HMP Perth, impressed judges with some shots from his collection, including an inquisitive-looking red eyed tree frog, a leopard gecko admiring its own reflection and a dog running free in woods.
The pictures earned Stewart the title of Emerging Pet Photographer of the Year.
“I couldn’t believe it when they told me,” he said. “I just kept reading and re-reading the e-mail.
“I didn’t fancy my chances in the slightest, but I thought: nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
Stewart, from Meigle, has been an amateur photographer for about four years.
“I got my first camera about 30 years ago and I enjoyed playing around with it,” he said. “But after a couple of years, I put it away and didn’t really think about it much.
“Then just a few years ago, I got my first proper digital camera and I got back into the swing of taking pictures.
“My wife has been really supportive and she booked me onto a photography workshop as a gift.”
Two years ago, he joined the Royal Photographic Society and has been regularly taking part in courses in London.
“I heard about this competition on Facebook, but it said the deadline for entries was midnight that night.
“I thought I’d probably left it too late, but I decided to send three images anyway.”
The shots of the reptile and amphibian were taken at the house of a friend who used to work at London zoo.
The dog, captured jumping over a log, also belonged to a friend.
“I suppose its strange that I’ve won a pet photography prize, but I don’t have any pets of my own,” he said.
“I’m coming up to retirement age, and I wanted to find something to do so that I wouldn’t just sit around all day, vegetating.
“Doing this gets me out and about, meeting new people and meeting their animals.”
Stewart said: “I wasn’t looking for any confirmation or applause, I just thought I would give it ago.
“When I do something like this as a hobby, there’s always a lot of self doubt. I often see faults in my own photographs, nothing is ever perfect.
“So to be recognised in this way, knowing that I was up against thousands of amateurs and professionals from all over the world, is really rewarding.”