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Portraits of Himalayan Flowers

Wildflowers	Pictorial works
Toshio Yoshida
Timber Press
Publication Date: 

cloth, 124 p., $39.95

It's hard to imagine anyone going to greater lengths (or heights) to capture his subjects than the photographer responsible for this wonderful book. The fact that it took 10 years and the tenacity to weather the worst of the Himalayan monsoon storms, gives you some idea of the effort that went into it. The results are breathtaking! Not just the photographs — flowers set like brilliant jewels against dramatic backdrops of snow, ice, and mountain — but the stories that are inherent in their creation, each one an adventure, only barely hinted at in the captions.

Some of the images were taken in remote valleys, others on the edge of a precipice or alongside a glacier. In many cases, it took days or even weeks to get a shot, with photographer Tohio Yoshida waiting for the sun to come out from behind the clouds or for the fog to lift. Recognizing all of this, you get some idea of the extraordinary accomplishments of the man who took the photographs. There are 109 Himalayan wildflowers photographed in their natural habitat, with brief descriptions of each plant and location details. The book is unique, a real treasure. I was blown away by it!

— Jim Kemper