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How many times have you been on a photographic holiday, only to return
and six month's later struggle to remember exactly what you did where?
Alistair Baird confesses that he has an appalling memory, so for a trip
to Leh in India, he decided to keep copious notes in a diary. Upon his
return these have been transcribed into See you in Leh, a travelogue
with copious pictures, which is available as a two-part PDF download.
Both are around 3.5Mb in size and can be downloaded from Alistair's
website for free.
Alistair admits he would be only too happy to see the entire project
turned into a coffee table photographic book, but until a willing
publisher comes along, it's available as a free PDF read. The format
and design is very simple, with large swathes of text, the odd small
picture, and then full page and more dramatic pictures. Most of these
are mono and are very effective. All pictures from the book are
available to buy as prints from Alistair.
If you think Bill Bryson with a camera, you'll get an idea of what is
in store as the text follows a very personal account of the adventure,
from struggling with obdurate taxi drivers, to drunks berating fellow
travellers over the Iraq war. There's nothing in the way of actual
photographic technique, so if you are looking for a guide to travel
photography look elsewhere. There are also numerous typos and
some of the design leaves much to be desired. However, it is largely
entertaining, has quite a bit of local background detail on the areas
visited. The photos vary in quality, but there are some excellent black
and white studies of craftsmen and women engaging in their trades.
If you like the idea of travelling somewhat off the beaten track and
hearing how others with a similarly adventurous spirit managed to do
it, then there is much to enjoy in See you in Leh, and Alistair must be
congratulated on keeping such good diary notes as he trekked up and
down mountain ranges in search of monasteries, villages and people.
You can download the PDF of the book here.