Documentary film-maker and photographer;

Born: March 22, 1947; Died: April 16, 2012.

DAVID Peat, who has died aged 65 of cancer, was one of Scotland's most respected documentary film-makers, who possessed a passion for and a mastery of, both the moving image and the still photograph.

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As an award-winning director and cameraman, his memorable list of television credits include Gutted, a BBC Scotland film about the plight of the fishing industry, This Mine Is Ours, about Monktonhall Colliery, and series such as Clydebuilt and Scotland On Film.

He was also an immensely gifted photographer who, in the spirit of the great Oscar Marzaroli, charted Glasgow street life in the 1960s in a series of black and white pictures. This he accomplished as a 21-year-old during his lunch breaks and days off from his job as a shipping clerk in the city.

David Peat was born in Glasgow and brought up in Killearn, Stirlingshire. His father, who had served in the Navy during the Second World War, ran a shipping agency in the city.

After leaving school, the teenager first wanted to become a helicopter pilot but didn't have the qualifications needed. Instead he started work as an office boy in a shipping agency – though not the one his father ran.

He hated the job and wanted instead to become a television cameraman. However, there were no college courses on the subject available in those days. Peat decided that, if he was ever going to achieve his ambition, then he had to find some way of displaying his talent.

So, armed with a Pentax camera he received for his 21st birthday, he took to the streets of Glasgow, building up an impressive portfolio of photographs. He always maintained that he gained his love of film from his maternal grandmother, an accomplished amateur photographer. He would spend much of his time in the dark room, watching her develop her pictures.

It was 1969 before he got his first job in television, working as an apprentice cameraman. His first real breakthrough came two years later when, with the start of the UCS dispute on the Clyde, demand for cameramen in the Greater Glasgow area suddenly increased dramatically. He was greatly influenced by the work of Roger Graef, the film-maker turned criminologist whose fly-on-the-wall documentaries helped changed the face of the genre.

Peat, who became an expert in sensitive, observational camera work, teamed up with renowned Scottish film-maker Murray Grigor and served as cameraman on Clydescope, which featured a youthful ex-shipbuilder and budding comedian Billy Connolly.

Grigor and Peat then worked on Big Banana Feet, the observational documentary which followed Connolly on tour in 1975 when he played two sell-out gigs at Belfast and Dublin.

The pair continued their professional relationship with films such as The Hand of Adam, about the life and work of Robert Adam, and Frank Lloyd Wright, a documentary about the US architect.

As a cameraman David Peat also worked on The Legend of Los Tayos in the Amazon jungle with Bill Forsyth, the director's last documentary before launching his feature film career with Gregory's Girl.

Peat's move from cameraman to director began around 1982 and the early days of Channel Four. He went on to direct, film and produce an impressive array of single films and series, many for BBC Scotland. Until recently he had been working on A Life In Film, a programme for the station about his work as both a documentary-maker and photographer.

Among his many awards are three BAFTA Scotlands, two Cine Golden Eagles, one RTS and two Celtic Film Festival awards.

When David Peat was diagnosed with myeloma, the cancer which eventually took his life, he began the process of identifying and cataloguing the thousands of still photographs he had taken over the years. It was a massive task because the vast majority had never been enlarged; they were still on contact sheets.

He is survived by his wife Patricia, whom he married when they were both in their thirties, and two grown-up children, Duncan and Rosie.