Photographer Colin Prior wins top Fort mountain festival award

Photographer Colin Prior wins the Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture 2020. NO F05 Colin Prior
Photographer Colin Prior wins the Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture 2020. NO F05 Colin Prior

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Fort William Mountain Festival organisers have named renowned landscape photographer Colin Prior the twelfth recipient of the Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture.

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.

A visionary of Scottish landscape photography, whose work has been showcased all over the world, artist and technician Colin expertly creates the illusion of three dimensionality in two dimensional images.

His majestic photographs of Scottish mountains capture sublime moments of light, colour and land.

Meticulous research, planning, preparation and skill, often involving repeated trips to the most inaccessible locations, go into finding the precise moment when weather and light conditions perfectly combine at the ‘golden hour’ of dawn or dusk.

Glasgow-born Colin 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.’

Colin’s passion for and curiosity of the natural world has shaped all aspects of his life.  Through his photography, he communicates how Scotland’s wild places make him feel, whilst inspiring people to appreciate the world outside of their own.

Throughout his career, he has produced seven books of his work, all published internationally. He has been commissioned by British Airways to photograph four corporate calendars and has exhibited his work in several solo exhibitions. He has also worked on a variety of television documentaries featuring photography, mountains and travel and appeared on other TV and radio programmes.

His passion for mountains and wild places is shared with others through his regular photography workshops and tuition. As a commercial photographer, he continues to work closely with the creative community and the corporate sector with clients including W H Malcolm, Hornby Hobbies, CalMac, Talent Scotland and Bowmore.

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.’

Julia Stoddart MRICS, chief operating officer of Jahama Highland Estates which sponsors the award, commented: ‘Jahama Highland Estates greatly values the hugely significant impact Colin’s portfolio has had on so many people who love the rural environment, 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.’

The 2020 Fort William Mountain Festival runs from Wednesday February 19 to Sunday February 23 at venues in and around Fort William.



Photographer Colin Prior, winner of the Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture 2020.

NO F05 Colin Prior