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Photographer Colin Prior to receive Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture at the 2020 Fort William Mountain Festival

By John Davidson

Photographer Colin Prior.
Photographer Colin Prior.

World-renowned landscape photographer Colin Prior has been announced as the 12th recipient of the prestigious Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture.

He will receive the accolade at the Fort William Mountain Festival, which takes place from Wednesday, February 19 to Sunday, February 23.

Well known for his portfolio of photographs of the Highlands in particular, Colin's passion for and curiosity of the natural world has shaped all aspects of his life.

The Glasgow photographer is described as a visionary of landscape photography in Scotland whose work has been showcased all over the world, an artist and technician who expertly creates the illusion of three dimensionality in two dimensional images.

His majestic photographs of the Scottish mountains capture sublime moments of light, colour and land – the result of meticulous research, planning, preparation and skill, often involving repeated trips to the most inaccessible locations for the precise moment when weather and light conditions perfectly combine at the 'golden hour' of dawn or dusk.

Nominated by the public and his peers as a mountain hero who celebrates achievement, accomplishment and the spirit of adventure, Colin joins previous esteemed winners including Andy Nisbet, Dr Adam Watson, Jimmy Marshall, Myrtle Simpson, Ian Sykes, Dr Hamish MacInnes and Cameron McNeish in the Excellence in Mountain Culture Hall of Fame.

Colin Prior once said of his photography: “To know a mountain is to understand its rhythms and then become part of them. To photograph mountains 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 for one second.”

Rod Pashley, chairman of the Highland Mountain Culture Association, organisers of the Fort William Mountain Festival, said: “You’ve only got to look at the breadth of stunning landscape work that Colin has produced over the years to know the visual impact he has made on so many who love and admire our Scottish landscapes and beyond.

“Colin’s work graces the walls of so many of our homes and allows us to feel and be a part of the outdoors where perhaps some are unable to go or once visited. We’re proud to welcome Colin into the Festival Ambassador Hall of Fame family.”

Lochaber-based Jahama Highland Estates sponsors the Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture 2020.

Its chief operating officer Julia Stoddart said: “As the sponsors of this prestigious Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture, we are delighted that Colin Prior has been recognised for his inspirational work. Jahama Highland Estates greatly values the hugely significant impact that Colin’s portfolio has had on so many people who love the rural environment, and particularly the mountains of Scotland.

“Colin’s passion for the mountains and his dedication to his art is exceptional, making him a worthy recipient of this award.”

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