Scotland, 2017

My primary goal that squally morning, high on the hills above Lochcarron, was to take a portrait of a big stag that would have a sense of place. It was important therefore to work with a lens wide enough to offer enough background detail that those familiar with the region could identify Skye in the background.

That side of the quest was less of a challenge than getting close enough to a big stag. They are skittish at best, but they were familiar with my fixer – Colin Murdoch – and that was the break that I needed.

When the moment came with this 12 pointer, it was imperative to have my focus pin sharp on his head – without that, there would certainly be no picture. The other important factor was that I wanted the stag to look regal and not nervous. Whilst camera focus is under my control, the posture of the stag is largely down to “the gods”. I just had to make myself as small and unthreatening as possible.

I first saw this image as a big print in our gallery in Paris and it grabbed the eye. There is not much I would really change. Even a few Parisians recognised Skye in the background.



  • 79 × 71 inches in Edition of 12

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