Customer Reviews


2 Reviews
5 star:
 (1)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rich repository of Polar Portraiture
Whimsy being apparently lost on the previous reviewer, I should like to put in a word for this singular collection. It doesn't seem to have been conceived as a "hall of fame" of polar explorers -- there are other books for that -- but as a collection that engages with all sorts of polar people, and all kinds of portraiture (historical and contemporary, color and...
Published on 16 Oct. 2010 by Russell A. Potter

versus
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very odd collection indeed
Whilst only really being able to speak for myself, I still feel inclined to start off by saying "I am sure I am not the only person who...." So here goes:

I am sure I am not the only person who when they saw the cover of this book, made an assumption. An assumption that went along the lines of: This book contains photos of Polar Explorers from the early part of...
Published on 8 Oct. 2010 by Scribula


Most Helpful First | Newest First

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rich repository of Polar Portraiture, 16 Oct. 2010
By 
Russell A. Potter (Providence, RI USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Face to Face: Polar Portraits (Hardcover)
Whimsy being apparently lost on the previous reviewer, I should like to put in a word for this singular collection. It doesn't seem to have been conceived as a "hall of fame" of polar explorers -- there are other books for that -- but as a collection that engages with all sorts of polar people, and all kinds of portraiture (historical and contemporary, color and black-and-white, casual and formal, etc.). There are icons enough to satisfy those who do want them (Tom Crean, Shackleton, Franklin), along with some striking ones of their wives (Kathleen Scott, Josephine Peary), but these are intermingled with pleasant surprises: lesser-known Polar figures, such as John Powles Cheyne, whose Quixotic quest to reach the Pole by balloon was dubbed "balloonacy" by Punch; Stig Hallgren, the sole survivor of an ice-tractor crash, the outline of his snow-goggles almost tattooed upon his face by exposure; and Mary Qulitalik, whose portrayal of Niriuniq in the film Atanarjuat challenged stereotypical film images of Inuit people. The question here is not who planted a flag where, but what marks the polar experience have planted upon a wide range of faces, faces of people hewn by this harsh and beautiful environment for a month, a year, or lifetime. If there are one or two odd men or women out, whose connection to the far reaches of the earth is merely imaginary, or administrative, that simply adds a touch of whimsical icing to this varied and visually striking collection.

Lewis-Jones also contributes an excellent overview of the emergence of photography in the nineteenth century, and its enormous effect on the visual culture of the day, illustrated with period images and well-chosen cartoons, which alone would be more than worth the price of the book. The distinguished explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes adds a pithy introduction, and the book concludes with a discussion with photographic master Martin Hartley,reflects on the the challenges faced by polar photographers in the past, and gives thought-provoking insights both into his present practice, and the future of photography in the digital age. This is no ordinary coffee-table book; with its singular images, the high quality of their reproduction, and the rich array of historical contexts provided for every image, Face to Face is quite simply the most engaging collection of Polar portraiture ever assembled.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very odd collection indeed, 8 Oct. 2010
By 
This review is from: Face to Face: Polar Portraits (Hardcover)
Whilst only really being able to speak for myself, I still feel inclined to start off by saying "I am sure I am not the only person who...." So here goes:

I am sure I am not the only person who when they saw the cover of this book, made an assumption. An assumption that went along the lines of: This book contains photos of Polar Explorers from the early part of the 20th century photographed in black and white. The heroes, like Scott, Shackelton, Crean (the obvious shot of him with hat and pipe, and those eyes....). " And then of course you have to modify your expectations and include people from other countries (!) Amundsen and Nansen of course. And other eras maybe - Sir Ranulph Fiennes perhaps.... And Sir John Franklin from a previous era. OK - we'll allow them in gladly.

So how would you feel about equal space in this book being taken up by.... (and here I open the book at random) a colour shot of Ken Mantel taken in 2008. Who? Well Ken it transpires founded an Inuit Art Gallery in the UK. A fine looking chap in a rather mediocre photo, and doubtless doing very worthwhile work. But he is not really in the same league, is he? Neither is Jane Nedzhipova, who we learn doesn't want to be an explorer at all. She sells popcorn in North London, hasn't been further north than Birmingham, and wears a parka style anorak in the shot (you see, there is a link!). I am not making this up. I'm sure she is lots of fun, but she is not really a polar explorer, in any shape or form.

I would suggest that based on my original expectations (and yours?), about half of the portraits here are irrelevant. In their place could be images of other classic polar explorers, Otto Sverdrup (captain of Nansen's boat Fram) could get in, for example. And what about Douglas Mawson (just about the most frightening Antarctic story of them all)? As in any collection, nobody would agree to every choice, but this collection has many obvious omissions, and numerous inclusions of complete unknowns.

That all said, it is a nicely produced book, good quality images, and the words balance the images well, though I confess to not yet having read them all. I would be interested to know if others felt the same about the mix of portraits.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Face to Face: Polar Portraits
Face to Face: Polar Portraits by Hugh Brody (Contributor) (Hardcover - 5 Oct. 2009)
£28.53
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews