From the polar desert of Quttinirpaaq to Saskatchewan's dinosaur-bone-, tepee-ring-studded badlands, and from the Pacific Rim's storm-battered rain forests to Terra Nova's glacier-carved fjords, Canada's rich natural heritage has been preserved in its 41 national parks, and now in Roberta Bondar's breathtaking album, Passionate Vision
. The renowned scientist, neurologist, astronaut, and author (Touching the Earth
) was first inspired to photograph the national parks in 1992 while serving aboard the space shuttle Discovery. "Space flight has provided me with a special insight and pride in Canada. I want all Canadians, and the people of the world, to share in the vision of our land and our identity with this special part of our planet. Through my photographs, I have tried to broaden our view of what Canada is really about--by emphasizing the country's diversity, enormity, and sheer magnificence."
And she succeeds, beautifully. With Passionate Vision, published in conjunction with a travelling photography exhibition, Bondar brings her unique perspective to the standard stock of nature albums. Anchored in the tradition of nature documentary photography epitomized by Ansel Adams, Bondar offers exquisite microscopic images of sun dew and pitcher plants, ground views of Group-of-Seven-evocative pitch pines, panoramas of icy monoliths, aerial shots of bison roaming the salt plains, and regional photos taken from space. The pictures are supplemented by a preface by Pierre Trudeau, whose government expanded the national parks network, a technical introduction by Bondar, a map, and an index of plates in which the author gives some context to the image-making.
What the reader wont get here is a detailed history of the National Parks Act, a sustained argument advocating environmentalism, or an educational discussion about geography. For that, interested individuals are urged to check out The National Parks of Canada (with a foreword by David Suzuki). What this book does deliver are flawless production values and superb images that will encourage the viewer to a custodial exploration of the places that are home to rare and endangered species, and to a new attentiveness to the ways the elements sculpt this vast land. --Diana Kuprel
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"If you enjoy nature photographs then you'll enjoy perusing the more than 100 photographs, and six images from space, contained in Passionate Vision
's beautiful photos of parts of Canada's stunningly beautiful natural landscape is a good way to experience Canada's national parks, reserves and marine parks -- at least until you can visit these places in person." (Metroland North