Book Reviews

by Ann de Bruyn

Arild Heitmann - Heime

Heime

Arild Heitmann’s portfolio is not short of the sublime images that many photographers aim for (but mostly miss). He has many photographs drawn from trips to the mountains of Italy or Iceland or of the iconic Arctic hotspots of Lofoten or Sejna. But it’s the photographs he takes from his backyard on the mainland of Arctic Norway, a literal hinterland, that are the subject of his first book. A choice that might seem contrary to some given his access to such amazing places, but Arild’s logic that work based on the intimate knowledge of an area trumps the transient, drive-by shooting style many prefer, has resulted in something with more depth than a ‘greatest hits' or “Now That’s What I Call Lofoten 2020” book. Heime, or Home, is a meal to be savoured, an experience more akin to a Movie than a Tik Tok short.

The book itself is large, not so large to make it hard to handle but deep, both physically and creatively. The printing is a bit different from many books I’ve seen. It’s on thicker, more textured paper and done in a way that gives a little less contrast. The effect is more of a fine art print on watercolour paper.

It's fair to say that Arild's 'Home' is still more amazing than most and that is definitely reflected in the work. However, the photographs eschew the instant hit and theatrics that seem to be the mainstream and transition through the seasons and subjects with a good balance of intimate and large scale views. Take a look at Arild’s website and if you like the work there, I’m sure you’ll like the whole book.

Alongside the book, and included in its purchase, is a smaller book, I suppose you might call it a large pamphlet, with some background on the creation of the work (see the final photo in the gallery).

You can find more information and a link to purchase the book at Arild’s website.

Hans Strand - Beyond Landscape

Beyond Landscape

We’ve featured Hans Strand’s work a few times in On Landscape and it’s no secret that we’re big fans. Hans has a strong eye for the intimate, whether it be nearby abstracts or aerial compositions, so a compilation of these kinds of images makes a lot of sense. Hans' photo book output has been quite varied over the years. I really liked Triplekite’s "Above and Below" and loved "Den Åtond Dagen" (sadly difficult to get hold of). Triplekite’s “Intimate” was good, but a few copies I saw had printing problems. There are some great photographs in “Island” but it’s a hell of a tome and you need deep pockets and a deep love of Iceland (and strong arms!) to make the most of it. 

So it was good to hear that Kozu were printing a book of Hans’ work which includes a lot of his more intimate work and also his aerials. Here we have a mix across most of Hans’ photographic output from the 2000s onwards and which includes many of my favourites and a broad range of new work including some amazing Icelandic glacier aerials and ‘hand of man’ photographs of European farming and mining practices (it’s only fair that Hans steps on Burtynsky’s shoes being as Burtynsky stole a whole swathe of Hans work, one of many photographers to do so). 

I only have a couple of pictures from other photographers on my wall at home. A photograph by David and Angie Unsworth and a large aerial from Hans Strand. That should make it clear h ow much I like Hans’ work and I'm very happy to see a well-printed book published.

You can buy Hans’ book at Kozu’s website here.

Adam Gibbs - Quiet Light

Quiet Light 3rd

I’ve known of Adam’s photographic work since I started photography. He’s always had an excellent eye for composition and although his early work was primarily botanical, when he moved to the larger landscape, this eye for light, balance and form found a perfect home. That eye won him a couple of awards in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and, latterly, a win in the International Landscape Photographer of the Year competition (a very worthy one!). Kozu books were obviously following his successes and his popularity on YouTube and published “Quiet Light” a compilation of some of his best work, now on its third edition! You can buy from Kozu directly via this link (I'd get in before the 3rd edition runs out, there may not be a 4th).

Adam Gibbs - Aspen

Aspen

Kozu also recently published a short book about an amazing project of Adam’s based on a small area near Abraham Lake and the Kootenay Plains in Banff National Park. Here, a silica blue lake had flooded an Aspen forest. Timed perfectly for autumnal colour, Adam had the trip of a lifetime and produced a set of images that any photographer would be jealous of.

Aspen can be bought directly from the Kozu website here.