Book review: South

Book review: South
This wee gem of a book is heavy on pictures, light on words, and will transport you back to the beautiful landscapes you (hopefully) enjoyed while you were on your summer holiday.
book review: south

South
Petr Hlavacek (Craig Potton Publishing, 2012) $19.99

If you read too many books over summer and you’re hence experiencing Word Fatigue (OK, not a real syndrome), South could be just the cure you’re in need of.

For this wee gem of a book is heavy on pictures, light on words, and will transport you back to the beautiful landscapes you (hopefully) enjoyed while you were on your summer holiday.

In fact, when we say it’s light on words, it’s pretty much devoid of copy, save a caption per photo. But that’s OK.

South features photography by Petr Hlavacek, a snapper based in South Westland presumably searching for vowels.

Hlavacek has a strong attachment to the South Island (don’t blame him) and here his luscious pictures are showcased so you can choose your next holiday spot.

He arrived in New Zealand in 2001 and since then has been photographing the South Island, with a particular focus on glaciers and ice images. That led him to found the image stock library NZICESCAPES IMAGES. (Yes, all in caps – we’re not yelling at you.) His resulting images have been featured in New Zealand Geographic, Wilderness, D-Photo and Photoshop User.

Hlavacek covers all the major destinations – such at the Abel Tasman National Park, the West Coast glaciers and the Queenstown lakes area. Some are highly accessible – think Arrowtown, Akaroa, Porters Pass – while others require a little more shoe leather. It’s great to see popular walks such as the Heaphy, Milford and Routeburn tracks featured, as well as the more remote; I’m yet to get into the Copland River in Westland/Tai Poutini National Park and Hlavacek’s images make the longing ever stronger!

Craig Potton Publishing has a reputation for publishing high-quality, beautiful books with skyrocketing production values; last year it brought out Shelter From The Storm and Selling The Dream, two huge and hefty tomes about the culture of New Zealand’s backcountry huts and our tourism art, respectively.

South is a lot smaller in format (and cheaper – the previous books had a price point of around $80) but just as delectable. And weighing a lot less than the others, it won’t put your back out!