Colin Prior - The Karakoram
CREDIT: Colin Prior FRPS

PhotoFest '24

Event info


Colin Prior FRPS

Colin Prior was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1958. His proximity to the Scottish Highlands helped to shape his passion for wild places, although his journey into photography began not here but beneath the waves. In 1981, having created a portfolio of images in Scotland and the Red Sea, he went on to win best newcomer to underwater photography in an international competition, which changed the course of his life. Within a year, he had decided to pursue a career as a professional photographer and, in time, was being commissioned by design and advertising agencies for clients in the travel, lifestyle, and leisure sectors. This led to commissions for British Airways to
produce their corporate calendars for four years, which took him to over fifty countries. During this period, he worked in a wide variety of habitats, which included tundra, deserts, mountains, rainforest, and savanna. Inevitably, he had a few scrapes—flying from Kunming to Perth in Australia with a fractured skull, having survived a collision with a tree in a Chinese taxi, and spending four weeks in Pakistan’s Karakoram Mountains with a herniated disk—neither of which, he says, he would like to repeat. Prior is fascinated by the relationship between the elements of the natural world, and he sees photography as a medium through which they can be brought together as a unified, harmonious whole. He believes that it is the combination of these elements that makes a place unique. Colin’s work has been published in nine books, most recently by Merrell, Fragile: Birds, Eggs, and Habitats, 2020, which was followed by The Karakoram: The Ice Mountain of Pakistan, 2021, the most glaciated region on the planet outside Antarctica and the Arctic.

Prior’s awards include the National Adventure Awards, Business Category Winner (2015), and the Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture (2020). He has been the subject of three BBC documentaries entitled Mountain Man, which focused on his work in Scotland and Pakistan.
The Karakoram – Ice Mountains of Pakistan, 2021
Fragile - Birds, Eggs and Habitats, 2020
Scotland’s Finest Landscapes, 2014
High Light, 2010
The World’s Wild Places, 2006
Highland Wilderness, 2004
Living Tribes, 2003
Scotland The Wild Places, 2001
Highland Wilderness, 1993

Paul Sanders

I have been a professional photographer since 1984, beginning my career as fashion and advertising photographer. I moved into newspapers in 1991, starting at the Daventry Express before progressing on to News Team International, a successful agency based at Birmingham. I was appointed Deputy Picture Editor of the Manchester Evening News in 1996, and two years later joined Reuters, the international wire service. I’ve always had a need to prove myself, to push myself to the limits and to succeed. For me, success was embodied by attaining a senior role at a national newspaper, which I achieved when, in 2002, I was approached by The Times, by 2004 I was The Picture
Editor. Looking at nearly 20,000 images every day and the associated responsibilities left me suffering with stress, depression, insomnia and anxiety. By 2011, depression had got its claws into me. My relationships with friends, with my wife and with my son all suffered and I was in a very bad way. At the end of December 2011, I left The Times to pursue a career as a freelance landscape photographer. I’d no experience in landscape photography, but it gave me something that I’d been missing; it gave me a way of expressing myself where words failed me. I love being outside surrounded by the beauty of the world we live in. It never ceases to amaze me, as I watch the storm clouds blow in over the coast, listen to the waves crashing against the rocky shores or watch sunlight stream through trees on a foggy morning, how lucky we are to have such beauty on our doorsteps. You can stand in a location for several hours, waiting and waiting for the light to give you a bit of something; you can wait for the rain to stop or for the fog to lift or come down – it’s trying to get the best out of what mother nature gives you without feeling frustrated or judgemental - she rarely gives what you want but she almost always gives you what you need. Today, I look at success in a very different way. Success is appreciating what you have in and around you, your family, friends and health, material success is like chasing the wind, to me that doesn’t bring happiness. I am happy with who I am, therefore I am successful. I’m absolutely passionate about the power that photography has to help people overcome anxiety, and to positively adjust their outlook on life. Still brings together my love for landscape photography and my personal experience of using photography for
wellbeing, offering you a new way to use photography to express yourself and explore the world.

Karen Gordon

My practise centres on the inclusion of otherwise excluded groups of people in society. My core motivation is that photography at its best can be transformative, allowing those who feel marginalised and vulnerable to gain an invaluable sense of representation and belonging. This may seem idealistic but by working with organisations involved in trying to shift the status quo for the better, I hope to inspire (and be inspired by) further positive change, both on the frontline and at policy making levels. My optimism is backed up by a constructive and methodical approach, where respect towards those in my work is of equal importance to achieving outcomes and results.


Andrew Allan

• From Perth
• Travels to Scotland's dark skies and specialises in astrophotography
• Astrophotographer for 5 years
• Keen aurora hunter, travel to Iceland and Arctic Norway many times to capture aurora
• Filmed content for BBC showcasing scotland's night sky and collaborated with Martin Compston
• Passion for spreading awareness of Scotlands dark skies
• Recently produced a guide book about everything that scotland's night skies offer.


Simon Riddell

Simon Riddell was born in 1981 in Rugby, he moved to the Highlands of Scotland over twenty years ago and is now based on the Isle of Skye. Simon started experimenting in analogue photography in 2015 with his Dad’s 35mm camera, then progressed into medium format doing abstract pinhole shots. A year later, he moved into large format doing paper negatives and multiple exposures incorporating portraits within landscapes. In 2019 Simon journeyed into a World War II oil storage tank to create possibly the world’s largest darkroom, this resulted in the documentary called One Shot: Inchindown. More recently, during the start of Covid-19, Simon started to practice wet plate collodion photography initially as a means to express the states of mind associated with his undiagnosed PTSD. This led to collaborations with other artists and subjects also suffering with mental health issues. Due to social distancing at the time, these wet plate sessions were often carried out online, thus enabling a feeling of connection within a very isolated time.
Through his project Mental Collodion, Simon was awarded a commission by Spirit of the Highlands to make portraits of his fellow Lifeboat Crew members. In 2023 he was awarded a second commission from Spirit of the Highlands focusing on Skye’s coastline and the people that inhabit it, these wet plates will have a permanent exhibition in Inverness Castle, the capital city in the Highlands. Influential artists within Simon’s career have been Shane Balkowitsch, Markus Hofstätter and Borut Peterlin. Simon is entirely self-taught throughout his photography career and known for his wet plate collodion expeditions within the Scottish Cuillin mountain range. His latest project is called Peak Perseverance which will culminate in a feature-length documentary focusing on capturing the beautiful yet brutal Cuillin landscape. Simon’s work has featured in many analogue publications including: Analogue Forever,
The Royal Photographic Society, The Sunday Post, Scottish Mountaineering Press, Lomography Magazine, Emulsive Magazine, Analog.Cafe. Mostly recently Simon has been the subject of a BBC arts documentary entitled: Photography Saved Me from PTSD.


Mick Durham FRPS

Mick has been a wildlife photographer for over 45 years, learning his skills in North Wales. He moved to Dumfries in Scotland just over 25 years ago and has enjoyed working with the huge variety of wildlife the country has to offer. Otters are one of his favourite subjects and he has spent hundreds of hours photographing them here in Shetland and along the west coast of Scotland. Mick loves travelling abroad for photography - and in particular to Arctic Scandinavia. A long stint there in the summer followed by trips to Finland, Lapland and the Varanger peninsula in winter culminated in him being awarded a highly coveted Fellowship by the Royal Photographic Society in 2013. He became a member of the Natural History assessment panel soon after and since 2020 has acted as Chair of the panel. He also works as an occasional guide for
Shetland Wildlife, both in Scotland and abroad.

© Mick Durham FRPS





Event Organiser

Steven Whittaker ARPS


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Notice of Cancellation:

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Stirling Court Hotel,

University of Stirling,

Airthrey Rd,