I was pleasantly surprised at just how good this book is. Andy Rouse is a professional photographer living in the UK who travels the world in search of the cute, the mad and the ugly. Rouse has built a reputation for being a little bit different from the average photographer, a reputation he maintains in his writing style throughout this book. His zany antics and dry wit are sprinkled throughout the 194 information-packed pages. I detect a sense of a growing maturity in approaching his subjects compared to his TV series “Wildlife Photographer”. But he still retains a mischievous edge to his writing.
As this book covers a year in the life of Rouse it seems natural to break it down into moth by month chapters. Until you notice that (in typical Rouse style) there are only eleven of them. This is because October and November were quiet months for Rouse and have been amalgamated into a single chapter.
The projects covered each month take the reader on a continent hopping journey from the UK to around the globe. A wide variety of terrain and subjects provide an interesting read and each chapter almost becomes a story in itself. Over 170 excellent photographs spread throughout the book show animals, quirks and special moments. Along with the photographs pages are broken up with numerous data boxes full of good solid information. And each chapter concludes with a “toolbox” panel identifying the equipment used (which ranges from film to digital, and from 35mm to the smaller end of medium format). I liked the way this method allowed the main text to be read without interruption yet kept useful details readily available.
You may wonder what a book that covers topics all around the world has to do with everyday photography. Well, the hints, practical tips and shared experiences of Rouse are full of good sound advice that is applicable anywhere.
Rouse obviously enjoys what he does and it shows in this book - and I would happily recommend it to anyone.