RIGHT now, Shahbaz Majeed should be heading to Glencoe. Or flying over central Scotland. Or making his way to Harris which he has been trying to get back to since his first visit in 2018. Or maybe visiting some other part of Scotland so he can capture it in a photograph. Instead, he is at home in Dundee (where he is web development manager at the University of Dundee), “climbing the walls,” and looking forward to life after lockdown.

“I would have been up at Glencoe five times by now,” he points out. “But we’ll cherish it all the more when we finally get back out again. We can’t complain. We’re healthy. There are worse things than being stuck in your home.”

Majeed is an award-winning photographer whose photographs have graced not one but two Scottish bank notes. You can see his image of the Forth bridges doubling for the security hologram on the Bank of Scotland £5 note. [His work previously graced a Clydesdale fiver]. “I’m disappointed that I got a five and not a tenner,” he jokes.

Majeed is a landscape photographer first and foremost and his new book Scotland Revealed allows us to visit the lochs and mountains and cities and glens that make up Scotland, vicariously at least.

So, let’s do that very thing, with Majeed as our guide. Here is a selection of his photographs accompanied by a commentary from the man himself. Now, can we see your ticket?



“When I first got into photography, about 15, or 16 years ago, I had a couple of friends into hillwalking and they said, ‘You should come up to this place called Glencoe.’ We just set off one weekend and drove through the night. Seeing it for the first time, I couldn’t believe we were still in Scotland. It was almost like we had gone to another country.

“Now I visit Glencoe several times a year. Sometimes, in winter, I’m up there every other weekend. I love the majesty and the drama. On this occasion I drove through the night because I knew there was a chance of a fresh snowfall and when we got there, we awoke to this. Fresh, knee – deep snow. And when there’s snow it is a completely different place. It’s like you’ve stepped into a Disney movie.

“Because of the conditions we were completely alone. We had it completely to ourselves. The comment I often get is, ‘What can you photograph in Glencoe? You must have done it all.’ It doesn’t matter. The same view can always give you something different.

“If I win the EuroMillions it’s the place where I’d get a plot of land and build a house.”


“This was taken in December, early morning, just after sunrise. It was off-season. When I was staying in Ullapool, which is not far, I was the only guest in the hotel.

“Where the shot has been taken is actually a picnic spot. I scrambled further up the hillside to get a little bit higher. I was using a really long lens and not focusing on the road which most people do.

“There’s a million shots of this road, but what I really like about this is the winding road seems to mirror the ins and outs of the mountains in the distance.”


“When I was a child I was fascinated with the lighthouse. We were in Arbroath and my dad pointed out into the water and said, ‘See that little speck there?’ I probably couldn’t see anything. My dad said, ‘There’s a lighthouse built in the middle of the sea.’ I just remember being amazed. How was it floating?

“I was showing my kids recently and I thought, ‘I’m almost 40 and I haven’t been.’ So, I phoned a couple of companies, chartered a boat from Dundee and I went out there. We made a day of it. It was incredible.

“I am now trying to figure out how to get out there and get inside the lighthouse.”


“I’m based in Dundee and it’s the subject of a lot of my images. And it’s the one I find the most challenging. Because Dundee’s a small place and there are only so many ways you can photograph it. To find something a little bit different is always difficult.

“I’d been waiting for the V&A. My competitive nature meant I needed to get one of the first images. And so, I waited until the exterior works were mostly completed and they started leaving the lights on at night.

“Some people are for the V&A and some people aren’t, but nobody can doubt the face of Dundee, and especially the waterfront, has changed dramatically for the better. Part of the hope I have with my pictures is that people can see that Dundee looks dramatically different.

“It’s an image of what Dundee is capable of and where it’s got to. But it hasn’t necessarily forgotten its history. The V&A ended up purchasing this image and it’s been used to sell Dundee around the world.”



“The light was in the middle when I took the shot. It was quite intense. Just 10 minutes after taking off from Cumbernauld in a helicopter, the sun lit up the landscape.

“From the air everything looks so close together. You can just see on the right, the Wallace Monument, and in the centre of the frame is Stirling Castle. You can see the lush green landscapes of Scotland and the hills in the distance. And you have got the industrial and the residential.

“There’s so much in the image. We’ve got the castle, we’ve got the monument, we’ve got the history, we’ve got the land, and we’ve got the mountains in the distance. And then there’s the snaking river. If there was a picture that could sum up Scotland it’s this one. It’s everything we have to offer.”

Scotland Revealed by Shahbaz Majeed is published by Amberley Publishing, priced £17.99