Thursday, 25 March 2010

Author Interview with Andy Latham

Having my breath taken away by the stunning photos in Landscapes of the Ribble, I instantly wanted to interview Andy. I haven't reviewed a lot of non-fiction books, and I was interested in finding out how you go about a book based on photos. Thank you Andy for answering my questions (and a small apology for the delay in posting in this).

Where did the inspiration come to put together Landscapes of the Ribble? Were you approached to create the book, or did you think it would make a good book and approach Frances Lincoln/your agent about it?

The Ribble was an area I began to explore more of over the last few years, although I was already familiar with the Yorkshire Dales end. The inspiration came from the landscape itself - the more I explored it the greater my sense of connection and I enjoyed slowly fitting together the jigsaw pieces. It was entirely a personal project to give me a focus for my photography which, fortunately, ended up being of interest to Frances Lincoln.

Why pick the Ribble?

The Ribble appealed to me on several levels - the idea of following a particular valley from source to sea, seeing the changes in the landscape; the landscape offers great variety, covering as it does the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Bowland AONB, 3 National Nature Reserves, historic buildings such as Roman forts, mediaeval castles, ruined abbeys, and the total contrast of the estuary; I liked the link between Lancashire & Yorkshire and particularly the chance to champion Lancashire, a very underrated county (for scenic beauty); finally, the book also provided me with the artistic challenge of representing the landscape in its many forms, different seasons and in a variety of photographic styles.

Do you know roughly how many photos you took in total, compared to the 100+ (yes I counted them!) that feature in the book?

I'd guess at 400+ photos.

Who helped you pick out the photos? Was it just yourself, or did you receive input from other people?

My wife, Michelle, did help to give a different perspective on the images and it was a very difficult process to get an artistic / geographical / subject / seasonal balance. Some compromises had to be made but in the end I like to think the final selection does the job I intended.

Would you consider following this up with more books of photos about specific areas?

Yes, Ive just started my next project which is to photograph Lancashire's Hill Country - the Forest of Bowland, Pendle, West Pennine Moors and south Pennines. Lancashire's countryside has so much to offer yet so few people (Lancastrians included) give it a second look in their dash to the Lakes or Dales. Sadly though, I've not got a publisher interested yet.

Well hopefully a publisher will take Andy up on this project - I certainly enjoy his work.

Be sure to check out Andy's website.

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