The Mid Fifties by John Birch
The Mid Fifties by John Birch
The Mid Fifties is a collection of stunning nature photographs taken by John Birch.
The sub-antarctic islands of the Falklands archipelago sit deep in the South Atlantic Ocean, about 50 degrees south and 58 degrees west. So, apart from being John's approximate age at the time of his visit, the ‘mid fifties’ (or ‘the furious fifties’ if you are a sailor) is their rough geographic location on planet Earth.
The capital, Port Stanley stands on approximately the same line of southern latitude as London, England's northern latitude, but there is little by way of geographical similarity. The Islands are windswept and virtually treeless. On some of the islands, there are no rodents, allowing for ground nesting birds that can be found nowhere else on earth. There are huge colonies of nesting penguins, black-browed albatross and other antarctic wildlife such as southern elephant seals and pods of killer whales. It is hard to imagine arctic wildife such as polar bears or walruss making London their home!
So maritime is the region, whether travelling east or west from Port Stanley, you would not make landfall until reaching the South American mainland and much of the wildlife demonstrates strong connections to the Patagonian region of the South America.
The photographs in this volume were captured during a fortnight visit in the austral summer of late 2016.
This superb quality A3 deluxe landscape book comprises digital images produced by Aperture Books' on a HP Indigo 5000 printer.
Following the printing process, each page is creased within the book block at a precise position enabling easy page turn on this 300gsm paper stock. This reduces ‘bounce’ when the book is laid open and pages turned. The block is then glued and clamped before being hand drilled and stitched by hand using their trade secret method. The books boast full panoramic ‘across the spread’ capabilities.
The covers are printed on their large format printer, laminated and placed over a double strength and durable 4mm board.
It comprises 92 gloss laminated pages.
The book is one of a strictly limited edition of 250 books. Each one is personally signed and certified by John Birch.
A Word About Pricing
I feel it necessary to comment on the price of these books, having seen more than one person recoil at the cost.
In the first instance, they were produced as an easy means of demonstrating a large number of my photographs without having to cover an entire wall with framed prints. As such, whilst they make regular appearances at our exhibitions and trade stands they were not intended for retail.
They are hand produced, one at a time, and so do not benefit from the cost reductions achieved when bulk producing books using offset printing methods. A print run of 10,000-15,000 might make the cost per book much closer to the price of a ‘coffee’ table book in a high street bookstore but bankrupt me in the meantime!
I came up with a price because so many people asked me if they could buy a copy. In conclusion, even at the advertised price, by the time I deduct production costs and VAT, there is very little left.