Friday, August 17, 2012
Why didn't I buy this book earlier?
There were two things that disappointed me about his new book. Firstly, the photographs are so stunning that it makes my own puny efforts seem hardly worth the while. John combines a love of lighthouses with a love of photography to great effect and the fact that he often has access to helicopters makes this a book for me to aspire to.
The second disappointing thing was that I had not bought the book earlier, for he gives good clear directions on how to find each light. If I had owned it while trying to find a road to the Ballynacourty light, for example, I wouldn't have had to content myself with a distant shot over the brow of a hill. Or I'd have known to go through Crookhaven last week to photo the Crookhaven Light, rather than wandering around Rock Island trying one laneway after the next until the family told me to give it up.
John is probably the foremost expert on Ireland's lighthouses, outside of former keepers and CIL employees. The knowledge he has accumulated is awe-inspiring and the book is a beautiful, full-colour work of art, both informative and artistic. The one thing that puzzles me, possibly, is his criteria for selecting lights. Why is Mitchell's Spitbank included, but not Moville or Dundalk? Muglins but not North Wall? The Metal Man but not Baltimore Beacon?
But these are small quibbles. I urge anyone interested in Irish lighthouses, or indeed looking for a gift, to buy this book. Click on photo in sidebar for details - and while you're there, check out his lighthouse postcards and lighthouse tours too.