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PICTURES: Highland photographer launches new book – featuring animals in the Cairngorms – in Inverness


By Andrew Dixon


A photographer who claims to “talk” to the animals he captures on film, is speaking about his work at a book tomorrow night in Inverness.

Andy Howard, from Dalcross near Inverness, will be launching his second book of photography – The Secret Life of the Cairngorms – at Waterstones in Inverness at 6pm.

Mr Howard, who gave up a job in a garden centre some seven years ago to concentrate full time on his photography career, says that over the years he has built up a “relationship” with the wild animals he has gone on to photograph.

Mr Howard said: “It has been an amazing opportunity to learn about the particular animals in the region like the tarmigan, mountain hares and squirrels and I am beginning to understand the individual characters of some of the animals.

“Experiencing wild animals in their natural habitat and taking photographs of them, for me, is an emotional experience, almost spiritual.

“For every photograph in my new book I could tell you in detail about the exact place the photograph was taken, what the conditions were like – how the animal was behaving and so on. Each photograph is important to me.

“The photographs in the book were taken over seven or eight years and there are hundreds of images, including some landscapes. There are also some good stories and anecdotes in there as well. I really hope people enjoy it.”

The self-taught photographer said: “Sometimes I find myself talking to the animals I am photographing, I like to think that my soothing and calming voice is giving them an opportunity to be in front of the camera. It is kind of like the way we talk to our own pets – just these ones are in the wild.

“Animals are the same as humans in that they each have a different personality. It is such a treat to be able to be out taking photographs of the same wild animals year after year – and sharing those experiences with other photographers.”

Mr Howard’s first book The Secret Life of the Mountain Hare is still on sale, he is working on his third book featuring otters from across Scotland. It is due to be released in May 2021.

Related article: Patience pays off for Inverness wildlife photographer



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