Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Jim Grey's New Book, Textures of Ireland

Our mail usually arrives around the cocktail hour, providing an opportunity to sit back and leisurely concentrate on seeing what has been delivered.  Unfortunately, our mailbox is most often stuffed with junk mail which gets tossed without opening.  Then, I will sit down in front of the tv and the drink I have made will help a little bit to dull the jagged edges of the daily news.
Tuesday was a different story.  The mailman left a package on our front steps too big for the box.  I could tell immediately by the size and flat shape that it was a book I had been looking forward to: Jim Grey's latest, entitled Textures of Ireland.

So, there being no Guinness in the refrigerator, I mixed myself a Manhattan and sat down to enjoy Jim's new book, this one a travelogue of a journey to Ireland by Jim and his wife, Margaret.  The book's cover offers the perfect entry point to the narrative, a lusciously textured and toned image of the open front doors of Kylemore Abbey in Galway.  Jim's first book focused on a favorite camera, the images it makes and extensive explanations of the process of using the Pentax ME.  This new book about the Emerald Isle mostly lets the pictures speak for themselves.  There is an introduction in which the technical considerations are given their proper due.  Jim says he made a very large number of color images with his digital camera on the trip, but all the pictures in the book were produced by his Nikon N2000 loaded with Kodak's black and white T-MAX 400 film.  That seems an excellent combination to portray the rugged cliff-bordered coasts, quiet bays, quaint towns and ancient abbeys encountered on the tour which went through Portrush, Letterkenny, Donegal, Ardara, Killybegs, Sligo, Ballinrobe, Clifden, Oughterard and Barna.

One thing I have particularly enjoyed about both of Jim's books is the fact that they closely resemble the style and content of his photography blog, Down the Road.  The difference, of course, being that one can enjoy the high quality images on paper without the size limitations and unpredictable variability of any on line presentation.  Whether displayed on paper or on a screen, however, Jim's stories are always first rate, reflecting his dedication to achieving ever more mastery of image making and narration. Especially appreciated by me is that every blog post in Down the Road is fashioned by Jim to contribute to creating and sustaining a community of peers with a passion for photography.

The book, Textures of Ireland, is available on the Blurb publishing site where there is also a generous on line preview available.  Jim, himself, also distributes the book directly in pdf format at a reduced price.  He can be contacted through the email form in the About Page of his blog.


Jim Grey said...

Thank you for your generous words about my book! At the moment I've sold a whopping 9 copies; maybe your post will get me to 10! :-)

Mike said...

Well, your link to my review got my blog a lot of hits. There's a message in there somewhere, though I'm not likely the best interpreter given the skimpy sales of my own Blurb book.