Abernethy started his career in 1959 as a correspondent for the Aberdeen Press Journal which was followed by a stint with the Highland News Group. He later joined the press services division of the Central Office of Information in London in 1963, where he served for 17 years. After returning to Lochaber, he worked with the Lochaber News as well as a freelancer.
He now runs his own agency called Abernethy Highland Press and also has a second hand book shop in Fort William.
Abernethy has won the 'Photographer of the Year' award on two previous occasions in these awards. He was felicitated with this honour in recognition of 50 years of his dedication to the profession.