BBC documentary reveals why Bothwell photographer is king of the mountain

Colin Prior
Colin Prior

Bothwell photographer Colin Prior is featured in a new documentary due to be broadcast on BBC2 Scotland this Monday.

One of the worlds most acclaimed landscape photographer Colin was the subject of the BBC Scotland film Mountain Man, which showcased him working on location in both Scotland and Pakistan.

This new hour long documentary, made for the BBC by independent production company Adventure Show productions, is not just about photography one but is a portrayal of Colin and some of our finest mountains.

The two go hand in hand as throughout Colin’s life he has searched for the perfect timing to record our finest scenery in the special light at dusk and dawn.

He imagines the perfect shot and often has to go to the summit of a mountain many times, before the timing is just right to capture the image he has in his head.

The programme is presented by Cameron McNeish, who joins Colin in Letterewe to see exactly how he produces his world famous images.

The programme focuses on three Scottish mountains, including the iconic An Teallach, and also meets those who have helped Colin come to know this landscape inch by inch.

Climber, geologist and explosives expert Lord Cromartie, John Mackenzie, joins Colin on An Teallach, while local expert Clarinda Chant gives him a lesson in the Gaelic place names.

The film also sets Colin’s work in the context of the great Scottish photographer, Robert Moyes Adam, and Colin tries to imitate his classic view of An Teallach with a vintage 5x4 plate camera.

On the highest of the Coigach hills, Cul Mor, the programme also features someone who knows the mountain intimately, the stalker Duncan MacKenzie.

Twenty five years after he first set foot there Colin Prior plans to take what will be a definite set of photographs that capture these hills of north west Scotland in all its many moods and forms.

Painters have a luxury of being able to create a landscape; Colin has to find it.

Executive producer Richard Else said: “This documentary reflects the phenomenal interest in photography in all its many forms.

“Watching Colin at work offers a rare insight into an exceptional landscape photographer painstakingly working in a world class background.

“His first expedition here ended in failure, now he produces images that all photographers aspire to but very, very few can equal.”

Colin added: “To know a mountain is to understand its rhythms and then become part of them.

“To photograph them successfully demands what the Arctic Inuit refer to as ‘quinuituq’ which translated means ‘deep patience’ — literally waiting hours for one second, or in my case, years.”