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Inverness snapper takes her top shot at Culloden in lockdown


By Louise Glen

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A photographer, from Culloden, says she took the best wildlife shot of her career only two minutes from her home during the lockdown.

The photo of a tawny owl taken only a few feet from Claire Ball’s home has made it onto the small business owner’s annual calendar for 2021.

In ‘normal’ years Mrs Ball, who has built a reputation for her work with both people and animals, would be out miles away from her home looking for wildlife to include, but says this year she had to do everything in a five-mile radius of her home.

Mrs Ball said: “Every year I do a calendar of Highland wildlife and it sells all over the place. I have gone far and wide around the Highlands to take the photos.

“But this year, I had to do everything much closer to home. I didn’t quite know how that would work out so I was delighted to take the photo of the tawny owl.”

Mrs Ball says that she set up her business more than 10 years ago after being made redundant from a job that she loved as the manager of Ortak in Inverness.

Claire Ball.
Claire Ball.

She explained: “I came to Inverness from Spean Bridge as a student to study photography. Back then it was all dark rooms and developing fluids. I loved being a photographer and I stayed in the city.

“Eventually I started working in retail and although I continued to take photographs, I had kind of set aside my real passion for photography.

“It wasn’t until I was made redundant, that my husband said to me ‘it is now or never’. So I spent my redundancy money on converting a room in my house into a studio, and buying some up-to-date equipment. I have never looked back. I love being able to take pictures that mean something to people, of families, and of pets and of wildlife.

“The pandemic has been difficult for everyone, I was just not able to work indoors so I got out and about to do what I could in a five-mile radius of the house – and I believe I got one of the best wildlife shots of my career.”

Mrs Ball can be contacted via her website by clicking here.

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