A teenager took some snaps of the region that are out of this world – or the stratosphere at least.
Thomas Kennedy, of Georgetown, Dumfries, sent his own weather balloon into the sky to take some aerial shots.
And the 14-year-old St Joseph’s student was rewarded for having his head in the clouds with a bunch of breathtaking photos that would make any snapper green with envy.
Thomas said: “I’m so pleased. The memory cards lay in a field for two months before we found them, so we couldn’t believe what we got.
“We launched on November 4 and recovered the photos on January 6. It took us three goes to find the balloon in Kielder Forest. I was really excited and didn’t want to be let down.
“On the third attempt, we went up and looked for an hour then just before lunch I turned around and there it was.”
He added: “My dad came across the idea on the internet and I researched it because it sounded really interesting. It’s really fun and I would recommend it to anyone.”
Weather balloons are a special type of high-altitude balloon which carry devices such as mobile phones and cameras to send information back to the ground.
The unusual hobby is fast becoming a popular pastime all over the globe.
Thomas and dad Willie used Cambridge University software to predict the ideal launch day as weather and wind can affect the course and send balloons “halfway to Holland”.
Thomas said: “We used a weather balloon that we got from America, we got two cameras from eBay and a mobile phone to send out signals for us to track it online.
“When we filled it with helium it was 11ft in diameter but then when it got to the stratosphere it got to 18ft because the pressure makes it expand. Then, when the pressure is too great, it bursts and starts falling after the 6ft parachute automatically opens.”
He added: “I sourced the helium myself. The British Oxygen Company said there was a national shortage, but I sweet-talked them and said it was for a project, so they gave in.
“I don’t think I would have found it so easy to work out if I wasn’t doing maths and physics at school, that definitely helped but my dad has helped me a lot as well.
“I’m going to create a DVD and set up a website to put the pictures on and explain how we did it.
“And I’m just excited about the next one.”