My Dad has a collection of art books. They were part of a series and each book would look at a different style of painting. I used to love looking through those books. Each page would have a large beautifully printed work of art and beside it would be a small paragraph explaining the title, date and artist and also an interesting fact or observation about the picture. Just enough information to draw your eyes back to the image and linger there a little longer. I have since gone scouring bookshops for other art or photography book in the same style and have been so disappointed. The majority of the books I come across either have too much dense text and too few pictures, or they have lots of pictures but all crammed in together, too small or poorly printed to really appreciate them.
About ten years ago I picked up this photography book and it instantly took me back to my Dad’s old collection of art books. Concepts of Nature: A Wildlife Photographer’s Journey by Andy Rouse. It was big, it was full of gorgeous images and the accompanying paragraphs added insight and story into what was already mesmerizing.
I love this book so much, and I have read it cover to cover more than once, and have enjoyed randomly dipping in and out of it when the mood takes me. I have even gone through it’s pages with Orla to show her the magnificent creatures that live in this world. She was particularly taken with the Polar Bears and any of the birds in flight.
I am no photographer but I found it fascinating to hear about the life of a wildlife photographer and thoughts and decisions Andy makes to achieve the shots he takes. I found his inner debate on how much editing is ethical and at one point does it reduce the authenticity of a photo fascinating. And after talking about the Golden Hour in Monday’s post, I remembered how much I loved Andy’s red-light photos.
I know this is one of those books that I will never tire having on my shelf. I know that with the internet there are thousands of wonderful photos that we can access but that’s not the same as lying on a bed and slowly leafing through the heavy glossy pages of a book packed with beauty, wonder and a good dash of humour too!