What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!
You might even say that I have a weakness for the photos captured by others, and you would be right. Wildlife normally is not part of this, but I recently acquired a copy of Remembering Bears from Remembering Wildlife. This is a charity project raising funds for conservation of some of the world’s at risk mammals. The photos were provided free of charge by major wildlife photographers, and any profits after costs of production and shipping go to the intended efforts. As well as bears, the series also has featured elephants, rhinos, great apes, among others.
Returning to the volume on bears, it is a coffee table book with numerous species of bear included. It has the best known ones along with others that I had not come across before I perused it. The range is as wide as the spectrum of behaviour being featured. While the acquisition was a spur of the moment decision, it also was an opportunity to experience a little more of these impressive if daunting creatures.
Usually, photos of wild or more natural scenery appeal to me, and there are a few of those that found their way into my possession this year. Curiously, these come from German publishers like teNeues, gestalten and Koenemann. They are all coffee table items in a larger format with large photos to survey.
The ones from Koenemann’s Spectacular Places series are heavy as well, at least in hardback format, since there are paperback versions as well. Nordic Islands from teNeues is not as heavy as these, but shows its subjects off well in pleasing light and with good presentation. Curiously, there is a multilingual aspect with these, since the latter showing text in German as well as in English. Koenemann’s offerings add four more languages to these. In contrast, my copy of gestalten’s Wanderlust: Hiking on Legendary Trails is solely an English language production with more descriptive text than the others, which adds route information and other practicalities.
That these are series of books to collect could inflict damage on your finances if you end up wanting too many of them, and that also means taking up a lot of space afterwards. Nevertheless, they are a great means of getting a sense of what is to be found in places that you have not visited. Without leaving your home, there is the possibility of feeling that you have glimpsed scenic delights from faraway places elsewhere on the planet.
For a variety of reasons, I have fallen into getting various items of German origin in recent times. The list now includes computer software and calendars, as well as books. It feels as if Germans like photographic publications to be large, too. When I felt that the large calendars from Colin Prior were too predictable (he no longer does the type of photography that defined him around the turn of the century), my search turned to other places like Linnemann. Their large format calendars now grace my walls every year, even if they are not cheap. Their Norway item always appeals to me, and I otherwise have complemented it with something else from their selection, be it Alpine or Nordic.
There is a new offering from Norman McCloskey on its way to me too. This is called Kingdom, and it features photos of landscapes from County Kerry in Ireland, hence the title. It was something of an impulsive purchase, since I spent a deal of time around those parts during the year and remember passing Peter Cox’s gallery in Killarney a few times (the opening times were later in the day, which intrigued me). Decent photography of Ireland can be hard to find, too, and that makes me more prone to consummating whims.
Some of the acquisition fever can be caused by a sense of urgency brought on by what else is happening in one’s life. Over the course of this year, I have been making some significant changes to my Irish affairs that have not completed and likely will overrun into next year. This kind of thing has made me vulnerable in the past, so what is needed is a bit of extra space for myself, and I am hoping to have a bit of that in a few weeks.
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