LOCAL wildlife photographer and tour guide Hugh Harrop has described seeing one of his photos of orcas being used on a new series of wildlife stamps as “one of the proudest moments in his career”.
On Tuesday Royal Mail unveiled a series of ten first class stamps all featuring wildlife around Britain’s coast, which will be available to buy from 22 July.
Harrop, who has been taking photos and video footage of the various pods of orcas around the isles for many years, said there was “something special” about getting a photo used for a stamp.
The selection process with Royal Mail started in August last year in the strictest of confidence.
Harrop said the magnitude of the commission on hit home when he learned that it was the Queen who has the ultimate say in approving the images that are being used.
“I have had thousands of images published over the years, including photos commissioned by Coca Cola for a marketing initiative, but this is the biggest accolade yet,” Harrop said.
But ultimately, he added, it was thanks to the many local people who contribute to the orca sighting Facebook page that he was able to closely follow the animals.
On this occasion, he said, it was thanks to fisherman Alan Pottinger from Sandwick who alerted him to a pod of killer whales off Noness. “We followed them all day. The photo chosen for the stamp was taken at Sumburgh. It is male number 196 of the Scottish killer whale catalogue, part of pod number 65,” Harrop said.
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