Australian Colors: Images of the Outback Hardcover – Oct 1998
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Immense, haunting, unique in geology and life forms, the outback looms to the north and west of Australia's urbanized southeast coast. For two years, photojournalist Bill Bachman recorded both this forbidding landscape and the people who dwell--and even thrive--in it, compiling the images for his remarkable book, Australian Colors. Deftly avoiding all the usual clichés--there is not a single kangaroo shot--Australian Colors mixes stunning vistas of twisted cliffs and sweeping plains with more intimate portraits of outback culture. Here are the jackaroos and jillaroos (cowboys and cowgirls) who work the vast outback ranches, the sunken-jawed fishers of isolated creeks and shoals, the well-lubricated celebrants at a bush horse race. Bachman's striking photographs are well matched by his lengthy, colorful captions, which go far beyond typical coffee-table book text. In addition, each of the book's winningly titled 19 sections ("Trees as Men Walking," "Dogs? They Run the Country") begins with a short essay by award-winning Australian novelist Tim Winton, whose evocative, often humorous prose perfectly complements Bachman's images. There is one question that has to be asked, however: why are Australia's aborigines--the outback's original inhabitants--so underrepresented in Australian Colors? By revealing so little of them, perhaps Bachman reveals more of outback culture than he intends. --Rebecca Gleason
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