Visual Verse – Book Review

Award winning landscape photographer, John Parkinson released his first picture book this year (October 2006). Unusually large, at 10.2 by 11.8 inches, this book comes in hardcover format with a protective slipcover.

John’s appreciation of nature began when traveling though the Colorado Plateau and Rocky Mountains with his family while young. Though he tried many other careers, he eventually found his bliss and became a professional photographer as a full-time career in 1976. John Parkinson’s work has appeared on product labels, screen savers, calendars, Visa Credit cards, and some of his images also grace the walls of the US Congress building. John has also had several juried art shows held for his work.

John contributed six original poems of his own along with nineteen verses and quotes from well-known writers throughout history. One hundred photographs, twenty-five of which are accompanied by verse, are placed on glossy black pages, which makes the colors in the photos prominent. The author enhances this effect by creating the image border color and title in the same color.

The author uses some time-laps photography and concentrates solely on nature and landscape, which is virtually free of humans or man-made materials. Rock formations, shocking bright fall colors, amazing waterfalls and a colorful rainbow – notoriously difficult to capture on film – are all here for viewing.

The picture book’s 94 pages are filled with shots from areas across the globe including the Yukon, Canada, Hawaii, New Zealand and the Mid-Western States. The pictures are so incredible that readers will want to sit and look at for a long time, getting lost in their awesome beauty.

I noticed that Mr. Parkinson used Photoshop techniques on the cover image, by comparing to the original inside the book. One can see where the road and building were taken out of the original, which was interesting to compare.

I thought it was particularly interesting to discover small write-ups about the photos later on in the book. These mini-articles describe what John was thinking of when he took the photo, why it was chosen for the book and the techniques involved (technical, mood enhancement or Photoshop manipulations)

This book deserves a rating of 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Authors: John Parkinson

Publisher: Synergy Books

ISBN: 1-933538-37-6

~ Lillian Brummet: co-author of the books Trash Talk and Purple Snowflake Marketing, author of Towards Understanding; host of the Conscious Discussions radio show ([http://www.brummet.ca])