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Island’s beauty shines in new photo book

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Third time's the charm for local photographer Roland Skinner.

The veteran photographer will next week hold a book signing for the third version of his popular coffee table book Picturesque.

He spoke with The Royal Gazette about what makes this book a little different — and his opinion, better — than the others.

Q: What inspired you to create a third version of your book?

A: One of the main reasons was because the first book is 17 years old and the other one is ten years old, and as they get around that age, it's fair to assume that most locals already have it. That narrows who I can sell it to down to tourists, so I said rather than print another order of the old books it would be better to come up with a new book with fresh images.

Q: How does this one differ from the other two versions?

A: Firstly most of the photographs are bigger. The other ones had lots of little small images. These are bigger and the quality is better. I'd say the reproduction quality has improved thanks to advances in technology.

Q: Do you have any particular photos that stand out as your favourites?

A: I have favourites in each category of the book. For instance with architecture I love the old buildings in Bermuda and love the colourful architecture here. I believe it's become even more colourful over the past few years. I also love the sunset works that I do. I didn't concentrate on it so much in the other books, but this one has a lot of large sunsets which are absolutely gorgeous. The beach scenes are also really nice and there are some great shots there that are totally different from the older ones.

Q: How long does a project like this take you?

A: I didn't do it overnight. I bring the project along gradually. I am in constant contact with my book dealer in Florida, so I will tell her where I am, send her an image and she will tell me something like ‘That's nice, but if you had this sort of image on the next page it would work even better'. I had been talking about doing another Picturesque book for a few years, but I didn't really start to work on it seriously until last year. I am constantly photographing anyhow so it's just a matter of going back to my images and finding the right ones for the book.

Q: How did you get into photography in the first place? What about it intrigued or interested you?

A: I started out during my school holidays working for the Department of Tourism in their photo lab and that's where I acquired my love for photography. I used to print black and white photos and just loved it. And when I retired from the department, which was then called Information Services, I decided to open up Picturesque Gallery in 1993.

Q: What's the biggest challenge/ reward of the job for you?

A: You know what? I'm still at the stage where I can say I love it. I can't wait to see my results. I will go out and photograph for a day and come home and put in the images on my computer and blow them up. It's rewarding every day of my life that I can shoot a picture. There are days when I won't go out, for instance in the rain, but sometimes I do and even then I find the most wonderful rain clouds to photograph.

Q: What, if anything, do you hope people take from seeing this book?

A: Particularly with tourists I think they will love to have this at home on their coffee table so it will remind them of their lovely visit to Bermuda. And on a rainy or snowy day they can have a nice cup of coffee and open this book, look at it and say, ‘I can't wait until I go back to Bermuda'. For the locals there is still something special in it for them. There are images in here that I'm sure some have never seen. I find new locations on the Island from time to time. It's something I get excitement from especially if it's some place beautiful. There are lots of hidden gems around the Island. I'm sure I haven't found them all yet and I've been doing this for more than 50 years.

Mr Skinner will hold his book signing at AS Cooper's main store on December 11 from 6pm until 7pm. Limited copies of the book are now available for $48 at Picturesque Gallery and at book stores next month.

In the air: An impressive cloud and ocean scene from the new version of photographer Roland Skinner's book Picturesque
Paradise: A quiet corner captured by photographer Roland Skinner for his new version of the book Picturesque

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Published November 30, 2014 at 11:51 pm (Updated December 01, 2014 at 10:06 am)

Island’s beauty shines in new photo book

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