I came across this book in my local bookshop. How quaint in this modern era of digital downloads and online ordering. I bought it as a father's day present and kinda wished I'd bought another copy to keep for myself.
The subject matter are wildflowers of the south-western corner of Western Australia. I spent a few years living in the region as a child and remember the explosion of colour and form that blesses the bush. It's a brilliant natural phenomenon and I've rarely seen photographs do it justice. Until now.
Breeden's book is filled with artistic arrangements that make you yearn to go wandering in the Australian wilderness to photograph a few flowers of your own. It's also got a chapter about the techniques, and that's what makes this book even more special.
Not content with the advantages of HDR to make subtle enhancements to images, they've also employed a technique called Focus Stacking. Capturing a series of very sharp frames at narrow apertures you simply employ some smart software to pull through the detailed layers you desire and compose the final images. The authors refer to one image that was composed of 20 different frames. That's dedication.
I must admit the technique leaves something of a trace at times, imparting a feel like that of an oil painting rather than a photo. This can be good or bad, but either way it is different and it's a new world we live in. I was especially pleased that Stanley and Kaisa wrote a few informative words about their craft as used to prepare the publication.
This book is one of the loveliest works of art I've seen in a long time. Go find a book store and take a close look. The real thing is so much better than the e-thing!