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(2013-05-03 22:22:14)
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游山玩水

分类: 游山玩水
这两天正欣赏会长在微薄上的火车贴图呢。。。(多少美好回忆啊。。。)
结果就引来了这本书。。。
为了不引起争执,会长和蜗牛一人一本。(我容易嘛,我。。。,就一本,我都不敢说了。)
上图了。
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二封
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鸡西和鹤岗
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包头西站
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鞍山和平顶山。
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南票和葫芦岛等。
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不用说啊,令人心醉的石板溪啊。
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威远煤矿。
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屏石。
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苇河,出东风那疙瘩。
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桦南。
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包头钢厂。
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集通。
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哈密。
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这本书的作者一共是三个人,内容非常丰富。风格也不同。据帝国主义说,是目前国外关于中国蒸汽火车的最好的摄影集。
附上英文的本书读后感。

Keith Chester says there:

 

China – The World's Last Steam Railway

When I first heard about this book several months back, I must confess my heart sank a little: not another book of pictures of China with page after page of QJ’s plodding up Jing Peng pass in sub-zero temperatures. Upon opening it, the first two pictures I saw – the almost obligatory view of the iced-up wheels and motion of a QJ (albeit very nicely executed in black & white) and a rather mundane shot of a QJ on Singing Sands viaduct – seemed to confirm this sense of déjà vu.

But these initial impressions were deceptive. As I dipped into the book for the first time, I noticed here an interesting composition, there a stunning one, then another and yet another. I went back to the front and went through it again, but this time slowly. One gem followed another, not only were there hardly any duff shots in it, but there weren’t that many unimaginative ones either. Now, a couple of weeks after receiving my copy and having repeatedly returned to it in that time, I think I can say, hand on heart, that China – The World’s Last Steam Railway is the best railway colour album I have ever seen, as well as being the best collection of photos of Chinese steam produced to date. 

China – The World’s Last Steam Railway is the work of three British photographers, John Tickner, Gordon Edgar & Adrian Freeman, who between them have clocked up a total of 35 visits to China since 1997. As the authors admit, they went late in the day though this had the advantage of allowing them almost total freedom of movement in China, something photographers in the 1980s could only dream about. Against this was the ever-diminishing number of lines using steam. In the late 1990s China Rail was rapidly eliminating its steam fleet, a task accomplished by the beginning of 2003, and most of the classic locations for viewing Chinese steam, like Zhongwei, had long since been dieselised or electrified, whilst others had disappeared without any steam enthusiasts ever knowing of them. This left only some provincial railways and industrial lines as the last bastions of steam traction in China. 

The limited number of steam-worked railways and an even more restricted range of steam locomotive types in China in the last decade present anybody compiling a steam-in-China photo album with a considerable challenge – how to avoid a repetitive work of similar locos in similar (and often familiar) locations. To this challenge the authors have risen admirably. This is not just a collection of photographs endeavouring ponderously to cover every steam-worked line in China (though they do range widely), rather they took steam where they found it and tried to photograph in an imaginative and creative manner; it is the image itself and not the loco or location which is of primary importance.

In this way the three authors have emulated the work of Colin Gifford, Ian Krause and the other exponents of the so-called “New Approach” four decades ago. Faced with a similar situation in the UK, they too found that something more was needed than just recording another Black 5 working a freight in Lancashire. This gelled into an attempt to photograph the steam railway in its workaday context, with people and the working environment often well to the fore. At the same time they also understood form, using the industrial landscape, the exhaust of the steam locomotive, a railwayman, whatever, to create a visually interesting and stimulating image. This approach, long despised, has now come of age in China – The World’s Last Steam Railway.

It is not without significance that Tickner et al acknowledge the work of Colin Gifford (as well as the Dutchman Hans Steeneken) as their inspiration. China – The World’s Last Steam Railway is a photographic album very much in the tradition of Gifford: it records a gritty, industrial China with its coalmines, pollution and its people (everywhere people), but does so with photographs that have been thought about and worked at. They even manage to make Jing Peng pass look different.

But the book is more than just Colin Gifford does China: its triumph is its use of colour. For, as far as I am aware, this is the first time anybody in a single album has consistently and seriously applied an understanding of colour to Gifford’s conception of form: this is colour meets Gifford. Tickner et al have not put together a collection of photographs in colour, but a compilation of colour photographs (and there is a big difference). These guys understand form and colour in the way Gifford understood form and black & white. The result is a superb photo album with one magnificent photograph after another.

The three photographers have been excellently served by their publisher and the colour reproduction is of a very high standard. The selection of photos includes some in black & white and some in monotones of various hues. A minor quibble is that a few of the colour photos appear to have reproduced a little too darkly and that some otherwise excellent images are marred by being printed across two pages. Most of the 195 photos are printed to full page size. Captions, in true Gifford tradition, are minimalist – they are almost superfluous.

China – The World’s Last Steam Railway is then, like my much thumbed copy of Each a Glimpse, a book to return to again and again; one to savour in the steamless years ahead and one to remind us all why we spent years chasing around the world to phot steam. Everybody involved in this project is to be unreservedly congratulated. China – The World’s Last Steam Railway is a must have, even if you have no great interest in Chinese steam. 

.

CHINA – THE WORLD’S LAST STEAM RAILWAY

by John Tickner, Gordon Edgar & Adrian Freeman



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