Amateur photographer Ian Bremner, 58, was driving around the Highlands in search of red deer - but stumbled instead across the remarkable sight of what appears to be Nessie swimming in the calm waters of Loch Ness.
The dad-of-four spends most of his weekends in the region taking photographs of the stunning natural beauty.
But it was not until he got back to his home in Nigg, Invergordon, that he noticed three humps emerging from the water which he thinks could be the elusive monster.
The picture shows a two-metre long silver creature swimming away from the lens with its head bobbing away and a tail flapping a metre away, preparing to swim further on.
The apparent creature was spotted coming up for air close to the banks of the loch on Saturday afternoon midway between the villages of Dores and Inverfarigaig.
Ian said: “It’s a part of the world that always makes you second guess what you’re seeing.
“When you’re up there you’re constantly looking in the water to see if you can spot anything in there.
“This is the first time I’ve ever seen Nessie in the loch. I would be amazing if I was the first one to find her.
“I’m normally a bit of a sceptic when it comes to Nessie and I think it’s just something for the tourists but I’m starting to think there is something out there.
“When I saw it on my screen I said ‘what the hell is that?’
“If you’re fishing there it’s the sort of place where you can get a tingle up your spine and second guess what you’re seeing.
“You start seeing things even when you know fine there’s nothing there.”
Ian’s picture fits in perfectly with the widely believed description of Nessie being a long serpent creature which stretches as far back as 1933.
The image he took closely resembles some of the clearest and most notable examples of the creature.
Encounters from 1933 tell of a 10ft long limbless creature crossing the road leaving behind a slimy trail of undergrowth.
And in 2001 a pair of fishermen spotted a dark 6ft long blob sticking its head out of the water and were adamant that it was not a seal.
There have been five other reported sightings of the monster this year which, including Ian’s latest, is the highest number since 2002.
Some of Ian’s friends think his picture actually shows three seals playing in the water.
Ian said: “I suppose it could be seals - but I’m not so sure. The more I think about it, the more I think it could be Nessie.”
Over the years there have been 1081 recorded sightings of the Loch Ness Monster lurking in the water.
The monster and the tourists who come to look for it are thought to be worth around £30m to the Highland economy.