About the book.

Wild Vision is 240pages of photography and essays grouped into seven key sections, Origins and Species, Himal, Africa, The High Arctic, Northern Forests, The Grand Canyon of the Colorado and Home. The images and text build a picture of the wildness, beauty and character of the planet as seen with John Beatty's unique insight and perspective.

The book has been lavishly produced, described by My Outdoors UK as 'the coffee table book of the year' photographs are displayed in 250mm by 300mm pages, bound in hardback and printed on a 170gsm high white artpaper.

The book is published by the award winning Vertebrate Publishing.

An extract...

Crossing Greenland, 1982

The water was boiling in the pan, balanced on top of the tiny paraffin stove. I unzipped my wind suit and crouched to retrieve the pan lid that had been dislodged by the head of steam. At last the tent was warming up. The midday sun, low on the horizon, barely helped the temperature rise from minus 15C.

I heard an unusual sound outside. It was a high-pitched ‘seep-seep-seep’ sort of sound. Unusual because we were in a vast ice desert and had been man-hauling sledges across the Greenland icecap.

It was day thirty-three, we were about seventy miles from land and near the end of an amazing journey. I looked out around the tent flap. Hopping around the snow valence of the tent door was a small bird, a male snow bunting replete with white head and breast, and flecked tawny brown rump and tail. Before our expedition I had read the account of the first crossing of Greenland by the Norwegian biologist, Fridtjof Nansen, from the expedition of 1888. His successful pioneering exploration was close to journey’s end when they too were visited by a small flock of snow buntings. He described this encounter and noted how cheered his party were. My heart soared; we too must be close to the edge of the ice.

Around us now was a deltaic labyrinth of summer meltwater, flowing along in ice blue channels and often blocking our straight line navigation. Rivers blasted down into caves beneath the ice making forward progress interminably slow. Some days in this area, we only made three kilometres, daring ourselves to either tiptoe across fragile snow bridges, or rope down into the water, before wading across and ice climbing up the opposing vertical walls. Eventually, there was little choice but to abandon our sledges and backpack all our survival kit and remaining food and make a dash for the mountainous west coast. It felt strange to be nearing the end of this life-testing journey, an inner journey in many ways, and set in the heart of extreme nature.

We had endured forty-four days of violent winds and penetrating coldness across the ice. At 3,000 metres – the highest part of the central plateau – the temperature dropped to minus 53C. Here the surface was hugged by a bank of ice crystal mist through which the weak midnight sun refracted unearthly colours of burnt orange, rose pink and vermillion yellow. Columns of silver light seared the sky, profoundly beautiful parhelia swelled up like wraiths in the chill, early hours of dawn. We marched on in this ethereal frost kingdom, lost from the world without means of rescue; like astronauts floating in deepest space.

The end was not a mountain summit, but a simple stride off the ice edge onto living land beneath our boots. The scent of sweet grasses overwhelmed me as I buried my hands into a green bank of moss. Ptarmigans whirred round us, a white gyrfalcon flashed over a granite bluff, bog cottons danced in the late summer breeze and we gorged on bitter bilberries. Even the pebbles and lichens seemed vibrant and new. All this life and colour was overwhelming, a kaleidoscope of sensory wonders. For two days we walked in a daze through the coastal mountains toward the American Air Station of Sondre Stromfjord, stopping frequently to marvel at our release from the ice, to gaze backward at our captor, from where we had engaged in a profound physical and mental battle. Ahead of us, we knew adjustments must be made to re-enter the worlds of our complicated lives, and the thought of sinking into the first hot bath for fifty days!

John Beatty :: 1 Joan Lane, Bamford, Hope Valley, S33 0AW
Email :: john@wild-vision.com Tel :: +44 7971 590 210