[by Teresa] This month Oolichan Books released The Wind River Variations, a collection of poems by award-winning B.C. writer Brian Brett on his travels on the Yukon’s Wind River. The collection is accompanied by Fritz’s black and white photographs from the Peel River watershed. Our friendship with Brian goes back a decade when we paddled the Wind River together on the Three Rivers Journey. This collaboration has been years in the making, honed over wine and spirited conversation.
Archive for the ‘Photo Book’ Category
[by Fritz and Teresa] Last week our first book, Yukon – A Wilder Place published by Greystone, hit bookshelves across Canada. This book has been ten years in the making. Back in 2001, we thought it would be “neat” to make a book about a place we felt passionate about. It turned out to be more challenging than we could have imagined. When you pick up a book, or watch a movie, or walk through a gallery, the finished product looks so easy – like it all just fell into place. Making a book has given us a much better appreciation of how hard creators work!
All along we’ve been driven by a question that we posed to ourselves on a winter night a decade ago: what do we find so compelling about the Yukon? For us this journey has been defined very much by our desire to explore Yukon wilderness. Many of our richest life experiences have been in the northern wilds. We also know that we are incredibly fortunate to live in such a place. Vast, wild landscapes like the Yukon are increasingly hard to find. This week, as we celebrated the arrival of our book, the world population reached 7 billion people. We hope this book helps build appreciation for how special, rare and valuable Yukon wilderness truly is.
Let us know your thoughts about our photos and stories. Better yet, we’d love to hear your stories about the Yukon. What is it that YOU find compelling about the Yukon? If you’ve never been to the Yukon, tell us about your “wilder place”. You can share your thoughts here or on our Facebook page.
Our book is available in bookstores across Canada. Here are some other options:
- Canadians outside the Yukon: We are offering a book launch special through our website: Buy online from us before December 31 and receive a signed copy of our book AND a free 2012 Yukon calendar (available to Canadian addresses only). You can also request a personalized book inscription.
- U.S. residents: The book will be launched in the United States in March 2012.
- Overseas: Please contact us directly for a shipping quote.
[by Teresa] We’ve decided to cut Hollywood from our Yukon book – she’s a magnificent old Coast Mountains grizzly celebrated for her cub-rearing success. Sometimes the emotion embedded in an image overshadows its photographic merits. In this case, I sat quietly with my daughters over several days watching Hollywood with her cubs, and whenever I view this image it evokes my empathy and memories of relating to her mama to mama. We have a surplus of great bear shots in a book that distills a decade of northern photography, so we must be ruthless. Hollywood’s portrait is lovely and it shows her gentle character, but we see no cubs or behaviour and little sense of the place that defines her family and habitat. I may see a sweet, selfless, hard-working mother, but the composition doesn’t hold up against photos of bears feeding or fighting or exploring their environment.
You’d think we’d be able to quickly put together this book, but as our colleague @OutcropJay likes to say, it’s an iterative process, which really means we keep revisiting and rehashing the edit until we get it right. As National Geographic photographer Sam Abell told us: “the book of assembly is the rare book, and the most delight for readers. It’s also more challenging for the creator—a project that requires significantly more thought, more effort. Assembling a book is a thoughtful, deliberate process—often undervalued and hastily done by most book publishers.” As we make these tough calls, we’re trying to take those words to heart.
[by Fritz] I’m selecting and preparing 200 Yukon images for a project we started ten years ago. We’re scrolling through tens of terabytes of images archived on raw hard drives and poring over filing cabinets stuffed with 35mm and medium format slides looking for top images representing a decade of work. We started in the world of film, and our business is now fully digital, so this project spans huge shifts in technology – definitely one of the challenges of building a business in an industry that has experienced enormous change. Scanning, final edit and processing in Lightroom. Tight deadlines and lots to do. More to follow soon.