cover image Iceland


Jonathan Porter, Eliot Porter. Bulfinch Press, $50 (18pp) ISBN 978-0-8212-1731-3

Those who envision Iceland as a bone-chilling snowscape will be taken aback by this view of a rocky yet lush, colorful terrain. Exercising his well-known eye for lyric detail in nature, Eliot Porter unveils dramatic contrasts in 56 color photographs: white flowers sprout from the protruding face of a black ash cliff; fiery-hued lichens crawl over gray rock. He also ferrets out complex textures in volcanic rock, homes dug out cunningly from under hills and water in many forms (fjords, glacial lakes, falls, rivers) . Few animals or humans suggest their presence in his uniformly picturesque landscapes, svelte and glistening yet robustly authentic. The photographer's son, chairman of the history department at the University of New Mexico, contributes an able but lackluster essay on a trip to the region. The book reprints a limited edition. (Nov.)