Review of ‘The Peak District : A Winter's Tale’, by Robert Falconer

This review is by Julie Bunting, and was published originally in The Peak Advertiser, the Peak District's local free newspaper, and is reproduced with Julie's kind permission.


by Robert Falconer
Published in hardback by Halsgrove
ISBN 978-1-84114-908-0 (2009)

If your idea of the perfect Christmas present is a book, this one is perfection indeed, the more so if a White Christmas fails us yet again. This Winter's Tale is a visual feast of 140 scenes captured around the Peak by local photographer Robert Falconer. Describing the collection as 'a personal winter journey I have taken over the last twenty years', Robert has set up his lens before dawn and after dusk, in the best/worst of all winter weathers and even with his feet in freezing water.

The images bring, literally, once in a lifetime scenes to the page. Set against ice-blue skies and whispering mists, watery sunlight, looming clouds and distant sepia peaks, they often show Peaklanders going about their lives: a farmer out in the wilds on his tractor, families sledging in Chatsworth Park, Christmas lights reflected on snowy streets and one of the wildest snowmen ever to smile for the camera.

In sparkling close-up, ice formations take the form of feathers, crystal jewels, swathes of tinsel and even vicious-looking teeth; branches, twigs and grasses have been transformed into solid glass. Elsewhere, gentle scenes of pink snow at sunrise and golden sunset rock formations contrast with a snow-borne gale howling along the Winnats, or with snow sculptures on Kinder Scout and rare views of fogbound valleys pictured from bitterly cold gritstone edges. This photographer is in his element!

Greetings cards illustrated with Robert's photographs may be available locally.

Review by Julie Bunting

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