on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Book Review – From Shore to Summit

A review of Fran Halsall's latest book

Tim Parkin

Tim Parkin

Amateur Photographer who plays with big cameras and film when in between digital photographs.

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Like many photographers I have a love-hate relationship with geology. Love, because it’s endlessly fascinating and you can’t photograph the British Isles without wondering at the different processes that made it. Hate, because what starts out so simple (Granite, Sandstone, Uplift, Glaciers) gets horrendously complicated very quickly (Plagioclase Feldspar, Pyroclastic Breccia, Lithospheric Flexure, Glacial Surge Retreat Drumlin Formation) so most attempts to learn a bit more or to try to identify structures often ends up at a confusing dead end.

Fran Halsall is a photographer with a little more patience than me obviously as she has stuck with her attempts to make sense of it all and turned her experience into wonderful photographic guide to the British and Irish geological landscape. A reasonably compact overview of the different terminology used introduces the book and then we’re quickly into the body of the book with each visual icon accompanied by a short but concise overview of it’s geological make up. And in our country that means a LOT of variety. The British Isles have the most varied geological makeup of any area in the world. This is partly true because our islands consist of a collision of lands from opposite ends of the world - at one end the volcanic Scottish North and at the other the combination of volcanic Lake District and the tropical coastline of the Yorkshire Dales leading to the coral reefs of the Peak District and onwards (now that’s a sentence you won’t hear very often).

All in all this makes for a fascinating read and one that I can recommend to anyone with a passing interest in the geology of some of our favourite landscape locations.

You can buy Shore to Summit from Fran Halsall’s website


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