Colin Prior was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1958. His interest in photography evolved through a fascination of the natural world and a desire to communicate the way he felt about wild places, a journey that began not on dry land but beneath the waves. 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 and was soon following a career as a professional photographer.
During the early part of his career, he was commissioned by advertising and design agencies for clients in the travel, lifestyle, and leisure sectors which eventually led to a four-year commission for British Airways to produce their corporate calendars with briefs that took him around the world’s many times. During this time, he roamed the Argentinean pampas with gauchos, lived amongst the Himba in Namibia’s Kaokoland, spent a week in a bush camp with aboriginal Australians, and documented the life-long relationships between Sri Lanka’s mahouts and their elephants. Inevitably, he had a few scrapes – flying from China to Australia with a fractured skull, having survived a collision with a tree in a Chinese taxi and he spent four weeks in Pakistan’s Karakoram Mountains with a herniated disk – neither of which, he says, he would like to repeat.
Colin’s distinctive and evocative photographs have been published as fine art prints, calendars and books throughout the world. In September 2020, Merrell published Colin’s latest book Fragile – an exploration into the world of birds, eggs and their habitats, which was motivated by his desire to raise awareness of the demise of wild bird populations throughout the UK and will be followed in February 2021 by The Karakoram – Ice Mountain of Pakistan, the most glaciated region on the planet outside of Antarctica and the Arctic.
His earlier books, published by Constable, include Living Tribes and The World’s Wild Places, which were published internationally. Recently, Colin was the subject of three BBC documentaries entitled Mountain Man and received the Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture in 2020.
Karakoram, 2021, ISBN 978-1-85894-687-0
Fragile, 2020, ISBN 978-1-85894-688-7
Scotland’s Finest Landscapes, 2014, ISBN 9781472111166
High Light, 2010, ISBN 9781849013857
The World’s Wild Places, 2006, ISBN 9781845293505
Highland Wilderness, 1993, ISBN 9781845290658
Living Tribes, 2003, ISBN 9781552977460
Scotland – The Wild Places, 2001, ISBN 9781841193151
Highland Wilderness, 1993, ISBN 9780094715608