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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful continuation of form,
This review is from: High Light: A Vision of Wild Scotland (Hardcover)Colin Prior is one of the the original British landscape photographers. If you had wandered into a Borders or Waterstones at any point in the last decade, his Scotland, the WildPlaces and Highland Wilderness books would probably have kept First Light, The Landscape Within and Seeing Photographs company.
Originally an underwater photographer, Colin's hard work in finding the right commissions gave him the chance to travel the world. But he was always returning to Scotland where his fathers influence had him climbing mountains and recording their majesty with his omnipresent landscape film camera.
Colin famously (in geeky landscape circles at least) gave up film for a while only to return with his Fuji GX617 in order to capture that quality of light and feeling of colour in the mountains. He's still using a digital camera (a Canon 1Ds Mk2?) but only uses it for his less elongated shots.
His new book starts with a charming/heartfelt? missive on the loss of the wilderness in people's lives due to a lack of engagement with the ecosystem that he worries will leave the next generation dislocated from the land, and so unable to have an opinion on ecological matters. I can relate to what he has to say, but I do think that exposure to photography of these wild places, the affordability of travel and the huge increase in the numbers of people using the land for recreational purposes should hopefully balance this dislocation.
Anyway - onto the photography. Well firstly, Colin hasn't lost it; he has a strong personal style to his panoramas (I'll talk about the non-pano's afterward) which suits the mountains and you shouldn't expect an experimental "fourth album syndrome" book. This is a real continuation of the previous volumes, covering new territory and showing familiar ground in different light. There are some real standout pictures, particularly Liathach and Beinn Eighe with earth's shadow which continues on from the wonderful photograph of Rannoch Moor from Black Mount in Scotland, the WildPlaces.
In fact if you reduced the massive 50 panoramas in this book down to about 35, every single one would be excellent - not a single filler. The remaining fifteen are fine location shots but don't show what Colin is capable of. The weak side for me are the non panoramas (mostly of more intimate subjects) in the book. Although fine as documentary photographs, as the work of a talented photographer, they leave a little to be desired. I have to wonder if the mental switch from extreme planning, using film and considering every shot to carrying a dslr whilst wandering around taking photos means that there isn't the same investment in these non-panoramas; His previous (smaller?) shots from Highland Wilderness and particularly Scotland, the Wild Places are particularly well composed and have beautiful tones.
Colin's landscape panoramas are the best of their genre by far. No-one has come close to capturing the range of Scotland's mountains moods. This is a must buy for anyone with a passion for the British mountains or landscape photography.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The pathos of the mountain afterglow,
This review is from: High Light: A Vision of Wild Scotland (Hardcover)In reviewing this book, you could say I'm biased. For I have every one of Colin's publications in all iterations, from an Original 1st edition Highland Wilderness published in 1993, through Living Tribes, to this most recent instalment, High Light.
High Light is very much `The Return of the Jedi' in terms of Colin's Scottish Mountain Photography books. Whereas Highland Wilderness was revelatory for its time, it also outlined the work to be done. This culminated in Scotland The Wild Places, proving a pinnacle of sheer achievement beyond equal measure.
High Light reinforces what has gone before with stunning panoramic images photographed at dawn and dusk from 3000ft. But in providing this further embellishment of Scotland's wild places, also offers us an alternative view, the world beneath out feet.
In the initial review here, the reviewer states that the non-panoramas are weak and leave little to be desired. I argue this point, and whilst these `closer views' didn't initially grab me the way the panoramas do, thanks to the well written image captions, I now understand them and enjoy them. I wonder, has the reviewer who shares his dissatisfaction of these `closer views' ever climbed or camped on a mountain at 3000ft. Or, has he stood by a waterfall for over an hour in -15c?
So often, the world around us needs no further embellishment other than the power of our inner physce to see and observe. How often as mountain climbers have we trudged through Heather, or scrambled upon Lewisian Neiss blissfully unaware of its origins.
This, like all Colin's other books, is a must purchase, the images within are wondrous and have the power to change your outlook on the world. I can certainly attest to this, as my world has changed beyond measure. So much so, you will find my credit on page 192.
It has been a sheer pleasure to work with Mr Prior on this publication, and as I said at the beginning, you could say I'm biased..............
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to cherish,
This review is from: High Light: A Vision of Wild Scotland (Hardcover)Colin Prior's "Highlight" has been one of the highlights of my year bookwise. Photography for me is a hobby, and I am a huge admirer of the work of British landscape photographers like Joe Cornish, and others, but this new book I believe establishes Colin Prior firmly at the top of the list of UK landscape photographers, and arguably puts him into the worlds top five. What he has achieved in this book is not just the taking of beautiful images that are technically close to perfection, but what lifts them to another level is how they communicate the photographers committment, passion and deeply felt emotional relationship with his subject matter. Its hs finest work, and in the unlikely event of any of my family reading this, you don't have to guess what you are getting for Christmas!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect coffee table book,
This review is from: High Light: A Vision of Wild Scotland (Hardcover)When looking for gifts this Christmas for family, friends and clients, I couldn't have found a more perfect present (including buying one for myself). Most of us have been in a location and thought about the fantastic photo it could make, only to be disappointed by our snapshot. Colin's photos take me back to those moments in a way no other pictures can.
I love the sweeping panoramas and feel the change of pace with the inclusion of more detailed shots really adds to the flow of the book - almost as if I was walking around the countryside with the photographer, taking in the whole environment. The text is thought provoking without getting too technical and the index at the back is informative and tempts me to visit new locations.
I would imagine this would appeal to photographers, outdoorsy folk and anyone who has a love of Scotland's incredible scenery.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His best yet - an almost unbelievable achievement,
This review is from: High Light: A Vision of Wild Scotland (Hardcover)As a recently retired professional photographer just moving to Scotland for retirement and with new non-professional photographic opportunities in mind, I have been looking for books that would fulfil two particular functions. Firstly I wanted to find books that would act as a general quick guide to those photographic opportunities simply because retired folk have less active time ahead than those who are younger! I also wanted books that would achieve beautiful photography that was beyond my grasp and which would supplement my own intended survey rather than compete.
This, the second of two books that I have bought of Colin Prior's Scottish photography, easily leads the field in my opinion and wonderfully achieves both of the targets that I had in mind. The photography that is beyond my grasp is represented by all the wonderful views taken from rather inaccessible places and which must have required a physical effort almost beyond belief. How many times had he struggled to the appropriate vantage point, I wondered, only to find that conditions were no longer aesthetically suitable? True dedication to his craft. He also makes use of fine panoramic camera equipment that I cannot afford! The other, more accessible variety of images in the book and which even I might reach, are all equally fine and show Scotland at its magical best and most inspiring. No more need be said except, be amazed. Then be inspired to go off and try to do something similar for yourself for ultimate personal benefit.
So Colin Prior clearly sets a new benchmark with this book. The previous winner in my opinion was 'Scotland The Wild Places' published in 2001 and, not surprisingly, also by Colin Prior. I am full of admiration. Buy both and you will be poorer financially but richer in all the life-enhancing ways that matter long term!
Highly recommended and an easy 5 stars.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book,
This review is from: High Light: A Vision of Wild Scotland (Hardcover)Bought as a Christmas gift for a mountain climber who is now developing an interest in photography. I'm sure this book will be inspirational.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Scottish Hills at their very best,
This review is from: High Light: A Vision of Wild Scotland (Hardcover)As with all of Colin Prior's books, calendars, etc., the quality of the photography is second to none. Great value.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous photography,
This review is from: High Light: A Vision of Wild Scotland (Hardcover)Colin is an amazing photographer. I can only dream of owning the required equipment to make images of this caliber never mind the technique required at this level (no pun intended). All the waiting for the perfect light, composition, staying out all night waiting for the perfect shot.
Totally amazing and a must have for all landscape photographers and hikers with an interest in Scottish mountains. Superb.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!,
This review is from: High Light: A Vision of Wild Scotland (Hardcover)A must have calendar for anyone who loves the wild places of Scotland! Colin Prior is the master at capturing the essence of these special places.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scotlands hills by a top class photographer,
This review is from: High Light: A Vision of Wild Scotland (Hardcover)I attended a talk when this book was launched and the passion Colin Prior had that night comes over from the photos and the few words.
the pictures are moody and capture a moment in time. Enjoy a master presentation...highly recommended..
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High Light: A Vision of Wild Scotland by Colin Prior (Hardcover - 4 Nov 2010)