War correspondent David Pratt is standing on a simple bridge that spans a dusty track on the outskirts of the town of Citluk in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The land around him is flat but lush with olive trees and thick scrub. The sky overhead is blue, his ever-present camera hangs around his neck, he is blinking hard and his voice is breaking.

Pratt has seen the very worst that man can inflict upon his fellow man: the bland looking building in nearby Tuzla stacked high with body bags containing meagre shards of bones and scraps of tissue - all that’s left of some victims of the Srebrenica genocide, when over 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were murdered by the Bosnian Serb army in July 1995 - has to rank among the highest.

Further north, he witnessed the brutal bombardment of the Croatian town of Vukovar in 1991, the beginning of a brutal serious of ethnically driven wars that tore neighbourhoods apart and turned friends, colleagues and neighbours against each other.

While in Sarajevo, held under siege for four years, he encountered incredible kindness amid the horrors of conflict.

Revisiting each spot for a new Balkans based documentary – the latest in a series exploring his career as a war and foreign correspondent - stirs a cocktail of vivid and poignant memories; from the bombardment outside his Vukovar hotel by the banks of the River Danube, to its receptionist who kept a shotgun and hunting rifle under the desk.

Few of these memories are particularly happy.

Yet it’s at a bland spot seemingly in the middle of nowhere, that the multi-award-winning photojournalist was sure he was going to die.

In a new documentary that explores his time covering the war in the Balkans, Pratt, The Herald's Foreign Correspondent, recalls the grim spell in 1994 when he encountered Bosnian-Croats from Mostar’s HVO militia.

There had been friendly chat, a few drinks and he had been promised the chance to join them to report on their activities.

“But it turned sour,” he tells the camera. “And they ended up effectively kidnapping me.”

He was bundled into a vehicle and driven out of town to an outhouse in the countryside where he was viciously beaten for several days. There was worse was to come.

“I was tied, made to kneel down and a gun was put to my head,” he continues. “There was a lot of argument between the guys, who were drunk. I suspect one wanted to kill me, one didn’t, the other one was too drunk to bother.

“The gun was put to my head, cocked and the trigger was pulled.”

Filmed by award-winning documentary maker Robbie Fraser for the latest of his Picture This series of documentaries, he admits he doesn’t know if this was real execution attempt that failed or a mock execution.

Dazed and frightened, he was freed to stagger down the dusty road.

Snapped ribs and broken collarbone screaming, he flagged down the first vehicle that happened to pass by.

He had hoped the occupants would be friendly. Bizarrely, they were also little bit stoned. He shared their joint and savoured the comfort it brought.

“It was fantastic, a wonderful feeling.

“I was convinced I was going to die here and to this day I don’t know the reason why I didn’t,” he tells the camera.

Normally the vehicle for telling other people’s stories, with a canny insight into foreign politics and artistic eye for images – he has an honours arts degree from Glasgow School of Art – his return to the Balkans is a chance to shine a light on the dangerous but vital role of the photojournalist who dares to venture to the world’s most troubled spots.

Previous films have seen him retrace his steps to Iraq and Afghanistan, travelling to key places visited throughout his 40-year career, reconnecting with people he encountered and to reflect on the impact of conflict.

Incorporating his own powerful images from then and now, all three films will be shown on BBC Scotland over the next three weeks, beginning with Pictures From Iraq this Tuesday.

Sandwiched between it and his Afghanistan film is Pictures from The Balkans, a revealing insight not only into the impact of war across the region, but the man behind the camera, the strain his job placed on his personal life and health, and the addictive need of war correspondents to be in the thick of the action.

The latest film starts on the Danube River at the Croatian town of Vukovar where in 1991 he arrived as a young photographer to cover the opening shots in a bloody ethnically driven war.

Finding people with stark memories of the times is not hard: in a café, he encounters a Croatian former pilot called Ivan and, as they rewind three decades, he shows him a photograph he took of a young, handsome soldier.

There is a moment of shock as it emerges he was the man’s school friend, killed aged just 21 and apparently captured by Pratt’s camera in what would be his last photograph.

“His body was never found,” Pratt says. “That was the last picture taken of him. It was a completely speculative moment, I showed him some photographs and he immediately recognised his friend and neighbour.”

Ivan tells his own story of physical and psychological abuse in a Serb detention camp, while Pratt meets the daughter of one of 200 men - injured soldiers and hospital staff - taken from the city hospital and delivered to a group of paramilitaries to be massacred, the first of many atrocities inflicted as war swept the Balkans.

In Tuzla, he sees work still being undertaken to reunite families with the meagre remains of loved ones murdered during the Srebrenica genocide.

And in Sarajevo, where the Bosnian Serb army laid a brutal siege for four years, he returns to the river’s edge to recall how the trauma of war impacted his own mental health, driving him into depression and dark thoughts of suicide.

Making the film risked opening old wounds, yet his return to Citluk and the scene of his kidnap in particular was strangely cathartic.

“In some ways it lifted a weight off my shoulders,” he says.

An overriding theme of the Pictures From series is how deep the scars of war run and how entrenched opposing views are even now: years on and close to the scene of his brush with death, Pratt finds disturbing graffiti in support of the very perpetrators of some of the Balkans most horrific war crimes.

“This is about taking a sideways look at the area of work, what it is like to be there, your relationship with the people, the places and the kind of intimacy that you build up,” he continues.

“If you are reporting from it, you are not at the centre of the story.

“The films are trying to get beneath the skin and show what it’s like to work on the ground and build up these relationships.

“There is an amazing level of trust that people place in you as a complete stranger.”

Pictures From is an irregular series from Dulcimer Films, produced, directed and filmed by Robbie Fraser. The first of three documentaries, Pictures from Iraq, will be screened on BBC Scotland on Tuesday, July 5 at 10pm, followed by Pictures from the Balkans and Pictures from Afghanistan on following Tuesdays. The episodes are available on iPlayer after transmission.