Looking for the Summer

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Cool Springs Press, Sep 1, 2005 - Photography - 144 pages
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World-renowned photographer Jim Brandenburg once again uses the hidden world of his beloved northern woods as the setting for a daunting artistic challenge. From June 21st to September 21st, Jim spent each day capturing the spirit of the Northern Minnesota wilderness through his camera. At the end of each day, Jim edited the day's shoot and picked the best shot to represent that day's adventure. The resulting book literally teems with life. It is filled with the color and action of a pristine natural world during its most energetic season of the year. It features all of Brandenburg's favorite subjects: wildlife and wildflowers, water and wide-open skies.

As always, Jim brings the photojournalist's instinct for the critical moment to each photo. His is a style quite unlike any other nature or wildlife photographer. As was true of the best-selling Chased by the Light, Jim's exercise in photographic technique became something much, much more: a study in human perspective and vision. For, in addition to being a world-class photographer, Jim Brandenburg is a philosopher/poet. As any reader of his work knows, Jim's influences are broad: native American mythology; classical Japanese culture; and Zen Buddhism. Most of all, though, Jim has lived his life as a dedicated student of the natural world-of earth and sky, of water and wind, of plants and creatures. It is in the cyclical rhythms of the natural world that Jim discovers serenity and the meaning of life, and these lessons are conveyed brilliantly through the images and words married together in this book.

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I was introduced to the internationally acclaimed National Geographic photographer Jim Brandenburg through his best seller, Chased by the Light. Now, after having read its sequel Looking for The Summer, another sip from his intoxicating cocktail of art, my spirit has frothed up so to the brim, I can't help but spill some here.
Chased by the Light started out as a private project, wherein Jim shot but only one frame per day every day, over a course of ninety days between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice. The shooting ground he picked was not some faraway fantasy land, but his own "backyard" of northern Minnesota. The bounty of that private hunt lead by the light, however, turned out to be simply too bright to evade the public eye.
Unlike Chased by the Light, a grueling self imposed project primarily designed to revitalize his soul and career, Looking for The Summer is a simple, mirthful endeavor that seeks to celebrate the warmth and joy of a brief, but exploding season of growth. Incidentally, many of the beautiful places depicted in Chased by the Light had been swept away by a devastating hurricane; a malady that had left a slight dent in Jim's heart. Thus compelled to seek beauty amidst chaos, he sets out to paint nature's portraits on film, yet again. Only this time, he shoots not one, but multiple frames per day over a span of three months, from the summer solstice to the autumnal equinox. His quest is not so much to rediscover himself or his craft, but to relish the many sublime flavors of nature; which he then gracefully extends to you in this heady mix of photography, poetry and philosophy.
As with his most other works, this book is yet another testimony of Jim's ardent reverence for nature. While nature, clad in her glorious costumes, stages a multitude of mythical melodramas; Jim gently takes you by the hand and makes you sit next to him on the dew soaked, moss cushioned weathered cedar couch, letting you witness and imbibe her every mood swing, unabridged. Creating visual poetry with every click, he walks you down those less traversed, deserted alleys of the psyche; ones strewn with stardust and sunshine, ones which transcend magic and misery, ones that hoop around the vistas of consciousness.
Following the exploratory trail paved by light, he strives to connect the arcs of the vicious circle of change; known as life. In the process, he implores you to explore one fundamental question; a question so explicitly buried within each one of his frames. 'When the winds of change come, would you be among the trees that snap, or would you be the growth that sprouts beneath the sun'.

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - korneder - LibraryThing

an interesting view of nature in summer and our appreciation of it Read full review

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About the author (2005)

Jim Brandenburg's photographs have won many national and international awards, and his work was included in "Life Magazine Collector's edition: The World's Best Photographs 1980-1990." Brandenburg was twice named "Magazine Photographer of the Year" by the National Press Photographer's Association (NPPA). In 1991, he was the recipient of the World Achievement Award from the United Nations Environmental Programme in Stockholm, Sweden. Brandenburg's work has appeared in eight other books.

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