As a woman in the film industry during the ‘60s, ‘70s and beyond, celebrated American photographer Susan Wood found that for the most part she was respected.

But when it came to photographing the set of Easy Rider, she walked out after only a few days, disturbed by director Dennis Hopper’s attitude towards cast and crew members.

Ms Wood, 87, said: “I got fed up with Dennis and I’d seen enough sadomasochistic people in my life and didn’t need to see anymore.

“He was a photographer and he probably felt he wanted to control the pictures and do them himself.

“Peter [Fonda] really wanted the movie made and not get caught up in his personal bad demons that haunted him but I began to feel that Dennis had so much anger in him I wanted to depart. It scared me, so I just left.”

She even helped Hopper and star Fonda get the movie financed after she was invited to Hopper’s home to see his pop-art collection.

She said: “I never did see his collection. He was rushing out to a meeting and he told me they were struggling over the storyboard. They were picking it apart so I just told them to talk it out to me and we recorded it and it sounded pretty good. He came back with a cheque. I thought of myself as a good luck charm.”

Battling Hollywood egos aside, her career has spanned six decades during which time she worked for Harpers Bazaar, Vogue, People and New York magazine, as well as 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures and United Artists.

Her film credits include Leo the Last, Modesty Blaise and Hatari!.

A childhood steeped in art appreciation followed by art studies at Sarah Lawrence College and Yale instilled in Ms Wood a great love for all mediums, but found she had a natural aptitude for photography after documenting a family tour of Europe in her early 20s.

Soon her work was being noticed by the most respected editors in New York, captivated by her unique style.

She said: “I was not aware I had, what they called, ‘an original approach’. The pictures were graphic, they would stand out – they were almost abstracted the way they were spaced out.

“Even though it was a photograph, it had some principals of art and an approach of abstract expressionism.

“I was always very interested in shapes and how the light played on things and I could sense a gesture of someone or something and these principles work well in photographs.”

Her skill as an artist and a negotiator were tested when she was sent to photograph John Lennon and Yoko Ono in London in 1969.

The pair were initially frosty, “drawing back” from Wood as she tried to establish a relationship but her perseverance, and an impromptu shopping trip down King’s Road, softened the rock star and his wife, leading to striking images.

Ms Wood said: “It wasn’t feeling so friendly, [they were] formal and cold at the meeting. I suggested we met the next day as I wanted to see the famous King’s Road. He looked at me and they whispered together and asked to come along. It changed the dynamic and we just became friends.”

Now the veteran photographer’s work is being showcased at The Lighthouse as part of the Glasgow Film Festival, where she will also be giving a talk on her illustrious career on Friday.

This year, for the first time in its 16-year-history, the festival will champion women in film by opening and closing with films written and directed by women.

Their programme, which includes the Scottish premiere of Our Ladies, the adaptation of Alan Warner’s novel The Sopranos, will feature more films with female casts and leads while the final day, falling on International Women’s Day, will be dedicated to on and off screen women in the industry.