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PICTURES: Latest chapter in a varied career as Ross-shire photographer publishes his first book to showcase his work focussing on wildlife in the Highlands

By Ian Duncan

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A Wester Ross photographer has just published his first book to showcase his work focussing on wildlife in the Highlands.

Eoghain Maclean, born on the Isle of Skye , lives in Kinlochewe and is a full-time self taught professional wildlife photographer and natural history guide.

The 66-year-old former police officer has compiled Highland Wildlife Through My Lens which has been published by Bassman Books.

He said: "I started photographing when in primary school with a Kodak Instamatic camera taking landscape photographs and a few wildlife photographs. I have been photographing for over 50 years but began taking wildlife photographs seriously now for 15 years."

His photos have been sold around the world and he also helps to guide other photographers so that they get the pictures they want. He said: "I am also self-employed as a natural history guide by the Loch Maree Hotel on Loch Maree."

After serving as an officer with Aberdeen City Police, he returned to Wester Ross to run the family croft and work full time for the Nature Conservancy Council.

He retired from full-time work in 2015 as reserve manager of Beinn Eighe and Loch Maree Islands after a career of 30 years.

He said: "I have been asked for a number of years now by some of my customers to write a book on my pictures and experience of how they were taken.I started writing in January 2020 and managed to get a few words down when not photographing. When lockdown came I worked full-time on the book. It was just over a year of work.

"It is about my own photography and my own experience of getting the pictures. I very seldom use a hide for photography so I use my skills gained from stalking red deer from an early age to get as close as I can to my subject.

"All the pictures are taken in the Highlands with the vast majority in the north west Highlands. The book was published and printed in Scotland. I have always felt privileged to be able to photograph our wildlife and then bring the pictures into the homes of people that might never be able to witness what I see."

He is not resting on his laurels and has already started work on a follow-up.

Russell Turner, who runs Black Isle-based Bassman books, said: "Eoghain's photos are wonderful so they deserve to be shown off as well as possible, and the book does that. When the public get to see it I expect it to sell well."

The publishing venture started with Eilean Dubh, a photo book of the Black Isle Mr Turner self-published with two friends – Andrew Dowsett and James Moore – in 2012.

He said: "Eilean Dubh began as just three copies for its authors but went on to be a big success when locals asked where they could buy it. Sadly it's now out of print.

"From there, people asked how they could be published. I've now helped several authors and photographers to publish books – 14 at the last count, plus a handful for people who just wanted me to prepare their work to give to a printer."

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