September 20, 1982 12:00 PM

“I like to think I would have made it as a photographer even if I had not married Paul,” Linda McCartney, 40, said recently. Though the gained celebrity didn’t hurt, indeed she might. The daughter of a New York lawyer, Linda Eastman was a freelance rock photographer when she met the Beatle in 1967, and she did not pack up her camera. This month the James Goodman Gallery in New York is exhibiting about 40 of her prints. Simon and Schuster will publish her second book, Photographs ($29.95), in October. An avowedly “family-minded” spirit, Linda maintains that “capturing day-by-day happiness and warmth is [as] important for a balanced outlook” as depicting the world’s anguish and strife.

A Highland cottage steadfastly faces the gathering dusk. “The light in Scotland is the best in the world,” says Linda.

To “catch people unawares”—like hubby Paul wreathed in lather—is one of Linda’s delights.

In the ’60s Linda shot a reflective Bob Dylan in Greenwich Village. “I feel shy of strong personalities,” she says. “I don’t like to interfere and change the mood.”

These Scottish villagers used to meet every day by a wall to chat, says Linda, who nicknamed them “the Old Bitties.”

Linda photographed Lennon and McCartney, choosing the song order for 1969’s Abbey Road IP, at “about 2 or 3 a.m.”

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