Friday, 19 March 2010

Landscapes of the Ribble by Andy Latham

January 2010, Frances Lincoln
112 pages, Hardback
Review Copy


Ease of reading: 5
Quality of information: 5
Smiles: 3
Yunaleska's recommended rating: ♥♥♥♥

Summary from Frances Lincoln

Linking the two great northern counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire, the River Ribble flows through some of England's finest landscapes. From the dramatic Three Peaks country in the Yorkshire Dales, through the pastoral lushness of the Ribble Valley and out to the wide expanses of the estuary at Lytham, the scenery is never less than fascinating.

Andy Latham's unique collection of photographs takes you on a visual journey from source to sea, exploring the history and rich natural beauty of this compelling landscape.

The purple inner cover naturally gains my vote. I admit colour can influence how I feel about books a little. Purple features in many of the photos too.

Although I live here in England, I hadn't heard of the Ribble. The introduction showed me a part of my country that I didn't know. Ribble is actually a river, crossing a few counties, and sitting alongside different landscapes. In addition to explaining a little bit about where the pbotos were taken, Andy explains how this book came to light and the aims of the book, which are definitely achieved. All I could think about was wow! Definitely a book I'll be looking at more than once.

Andy's passion for the Ribble shines through in the breathtaking photos. If it weren't for the fact it is vandalism, I would be removing the pages and framing the photos on my wall. I could sit for a good while contemplating the scenes. It must have been great fun for Andy to research this book, spending so much time in these lovely places. It has me itching to explore the countryside.

The photos are a good choice for just letting the mind relax and unwind, especially after a busy day, for people who don't necessarily have a lot of access to the country, for a variety of reasons. It's the kind of book that could be read snuggled up with a hot chocolate in winter or munching on ice cream in the garden at the height of summer.

The photos span all the seasons, showing snow on the ground as well vibrant reds of autumn leaves beside running water. Some of these photos look as though they are from a totally different country, certainly not the England I mostly see. In contrast some are typically English, especially the churches.Some of the scenes are similar to the area I live in.

Each photo comes with an explanation of where it is, with a little fact about it.I also learnt a little about how photos are taken, and how to get certain shots. Andy's comments are entertaining. I agree about the clouds which look as though a mother-ship will emerge (pg 11)

The waterfall pictures are stunning. Andy captures a moving thing (the water) manages to giving the sense that it is flowing inside the photo.

A lot of the scenes could be set in the world of storybooks. I wouldn't be surprised if some landscapes are used for inspiration for novels. I know I'm bearing them in mind for this purpose. The lost monument on pg 34 has sparked my Muse. As has Sawley Abbey on pg 36. Whalley Abbey on pg 73. (Anyone see a theme developing with my Muse?)

Some of them take me back to when I went around nature trails when I was younger. I could almost smell the fresh air that seems particular to woodlands. Seeing a style (the object that is used to cross over a fence, as opposed to literary or photographic style) reminded of when I was really little and too small to get over on my own.

Lytham's jetty (pg 105) stretches on and on in the photo, invoking feelings of great hope for the future and aiming for dreams. Lytham hall (pg 107) must have been a wonderful place to live in the Georgian era. There are very few photos from a town, they hold less interest for me than the countryside ones, but they were still good.

Andy can be found on his website.

I interviewed Andy regarding this book here.

If you enjoy stunning photographs, check out Crop Circles: Art in the Landscape by Lucy Pringle


Keris said...

How wonderful! I like near the Ribble Valley, but hadn't heard of this book. Sounds like it would make a great present for the inlaws. Excellent review too. Thanks!

Yunaleska said...

That's really cool! You'll probably see photos of the area you know. It's a gorgeous book.

Keris said...

I meant I "live", not I "like". Doh. :)