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Customer Review

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice book let down by poor photography, 16 May 2011
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This review is from: Great Gardens of Italy (Hardcover)
After watching the TV series I immediately ordered both DVD & this book and whilst it is a very nice book, it could have been much better if the photography wasn't so decidedly average.

A lot of the pictures seem to have been taken at the wrong time of day so have harsh shadows & burnt out highlights, indeed some of the 'Lakes' shots are 'muddy' and underexposed but have completely burnt out (white) patches in the sky; a graduated filter would have helped here ;). There are even the odd one or two that are just plain out of focus!!

OK, if you're an amateur photographer, you might have to take the pictures in whatever light there is when you're there but one would expect a pro taking pictures for a book to at least visit when the weather and lighting conditions are right & if not return when they are.

So, a nice book that should have been stunning...
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Jun 2011 12:59:30 BDT
Last edited by the author on 14 Jun 2011 13:01:46 BDT
I completely agree. I was extremely disappointed by the entirely average photographs throughout this book. Most of the gardens are extremely badly served by the images - either they are of very uninspiring parts of the gardens, the same parts seen from a slightly different viewpoint or angle or just simply bad photographs - the picture of one of Bomarzo's most famous sculpture groups is (there is no other word for it) abysmal.

Many of the text descriptions of the pictures are simply lifted direct from the main body of text, making the reader constantly think "I've read this sentence somewhere before" - and then realising that they have indeed read it in one of the main paragraphs. This is sloppy and incredibly lazy, as well as profoundly irritating.

Many of Don's books are "personal journeys". I have absolutely no beef with this - if you write a book, you can put what you want into it. However, with this particular book, what the author wants to write is not necessarily what the reader or researcher wants to read.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Aug 2011 16:02:36 BDT
Seems to me that you too are guilty of repeating what you've already written elsewhere chum.
Cutting and pasting your own review as a reply is no different to what you've criticized Monty Don of doing.
Hoist by your own petard methinks.

Posted on 29 Dec 2011 19:52:17 GMT
Last edited by the author on 29 Dec 2011 19:55:55 GMT
mrgrumpy says:
I agree I think that the photography is very poor and frankly if the photography of Italian gardens is poor - what is the point of the book? I saw the series on TV and the weather conditions were poor and mostly dull. Monty was busy snapping with a small digital camera - I think it is these pictures that have been pubished and about what you'd expect from a small digital camera in bad light and not professional photography. Frankly I think this book is a rip off. I really can't see how anyone can rate it highly.
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