Life through a lens

David Eustace frame
David Eustace frame

A FORMER prison guard turned photographer is going to exhibit some iconic images of the Highlands and Islands at this year’s Scotland Week celebrations in New York.

David Eustace, from Balmore near Milngavie, who has photographed stars such as Sophia Loren and Sir Paul McCartney, worked in Glasgow’s notorious Barlinnie Prison before making his name in photography.

Raised in a working class area in the east end of Glasgow he left school at 16 with few qualifications and served on minesweepers in HM Royal Navy until he was 21 when he became a prison officer.

At the age of 27 he borrowed a camera from a friend and it soon became an all-consuming passion.

He was accepted to Edinburgh Napier University a year later on the strength of his portfolio and graduated with a distinction in Bachelor of Arts degree.

His acclaimed work has gone on to grace the pages of Vogue, Tatler and GQ and clients include Tracy Emin, Sir Peter Blake, James Earl Jones, Radiohead, Lord Norman Foster and Milton Glaser and his celebrated portraits of everyday Americans inspired Tom Brokaw’s USA Network television series Along Highway 50.

Now evocative images of his homeland will be included for the first time in the Hudson Studios in Manhattan in a free exhibition which is being staged by the Scottish Government and Edinburgh Napier University.

David (51), who now splits his time between New York and Balmore, said: “It is an honour to be exhibiting photography of my home Scotland, in my second home of New York during Scotland Week.

“I really am thankful to Edinburgh Napier for providing me with the opportunity to follow my passion and I look forward to offering the University my continuing support.”

As part of the build up to the exhibition Edinburgh Napier has launched a social media competition to find aspiring photographers across North America, with the winners to be judged by David.

Professor Dame Joan Stringer, Principal and Vice Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University, said: “David has achieved a great deal in his career, and has been internationally acclaimed for his work, but has never lost sight of his roots. We are proud to count him as an alumnus of the university.”

First Minister Alex Salmond said: “Scotland’s culture and people are arguably our best asset. David Eustace has established himself firmly as that.

“His work is remarkable, from scenes of the Scottish Highlands and America’s Yosemite Park to striking celebrity portraits.”

Highland Heart opens on April 5.