Beautiful Somerset published!

My latest book, Beautiful Somerset, has just been published, but with what terrible timing! With almost all book shops and many of the wholesalers closed due to the Covid-19 crisis, options for getting the book out to the book-buying public are rather limited. Thank goodness for the internet, so the book can at least be bought from online stores.

The front cover of the book Beautiful Somerset, by Nigel Hicks

Looks and content

The book does look fantastic, though I appreciate that I am prejudiced. As with the previous books in the Portrait of a County series (Beautiful Cornwall and Beautiful Devon), this is a heavily photo-led book. Divided into six chapters, the first chapter is a mixed text-and-photo piece that gives an overview.

The remaining five chapters consist of a series of photo essays that showcase the most beautiful places in particular regions, such as the Mendips, the Levels and Exmoor National Park. The final chapter is about the cities of Bath and Bristol, the latter not in Somerset but closely adjoining. These two cities taken together are very much the urban heart of this otherwise largely rural region.

All text and photography is by myself, in common with Beautiful Cornwall and Beautiful Devon.

A page spread from the book Beautiful Somerset by Nigel Hicks, showing images from the coast of Exmoor.

Buying Beautiful Somerset

Although Beautiful Somerset will eventually be available through many high street book shops and visitor attractions, for the time being it can be bought online through Amazon and Waterstones online store.

You can also by online from my own shop, Aquaterra Publishing (www.aquaterrapublishing.co.uk), where you can also see sample pages. Click on the link below. A few sample pages are included here as a taster, but many more can be seen by clicking on the link below.

Beautiful Somerset‘s retail price is £9.99, and if bought from the Aquaterra Publishing site is available free of postage for destinations within the UK.

A page spread showing willow cultivation and weaving in the Somerset Levels, from the book Beautiful Somerset, by Nigel Hicks.

Planning for the reopened world

Naturally, I really hope you’ll like this book and will decide to buy a copy. You may not be able to visit the places in this book (unless you already live there), but you can start dreaming and planning for when the world reopens!

A spread of photos of Bath, from the book Beautiful Somerset, by Nigel Hicks.

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Confessions of a professional traveller

I have a confession to make: I love to travel. I’ve travelled professionally for most of my adult life, and I’ve loved every minute of it – well, almost every minute.

That may not seem like much of a confession. But with global warming and in particular the effects of air travel on the atmosphere such a hot topic these days, I can’t help but increasingly engage in a certain amount of guilty navel gazing, fretting about my own personal contribution to the growing environmental tragedy. I’m sure I’m not alone.

A globe-trotting life

But why should I feel more guilt than anyone else? Well, as a professional travel photographer over the years I have racked up quite a number of air miles, touring around the globe, photographing a host of the world’s great locations, from Mt Everest to Tower Bridge, from the casinos of Las Vegas to the volcanoes of Iceland and the Philippines.

Confessions of a professional traveller
That’s me many years ago, looking exhausted and sweaty, with my local guide, in rainforest on Mt Apo, the highest mountain in the Philippines; 1997.

Over the past 30 years my work has fuelled quite a number of very well known guide books and magazines, enticing readers to go see for themselves. It has all been hugely enjoyable and fulfilling, but now I’m left questioning my own contribution to a developing catastrophe. It’s not just my own mileage that’s of concern, but my own small part in enticing all those readers to start travelling.

Perhaps I’m just paranoid, suffering from an delusional opinion of my own possible impact. After all, I’m just one of many such photographers (really very, very many these days), and I have never forced anyone onto an airplane. At least, that’s how I console myself. Paranoid or not, in recent years I have taken a few steps to redress my own perceived imbalance, producing a number of books that showcase the beauty and interest that is right on our own doorstep here in southwest England (Wild Southwest, Beautiful Devon and Beautiful Cornwall), requiring no great travel effort to reach (at least not by us that live here anyway!), and I shall continue to make this my contribution to promoting the ‘staycation’.

Travel and broadening the mind

But even if we agree that international travel – at least by air – needs to be curtailed, there is another side to all this that mitigates hugely in favour of travel. It has long been said that travel broadens the mind, and in general it is absolutely true. Admittedly, the type of travel that limits movements to those between restaurant and poolside sunbed are likely to rather restrict the level of cultural experience. However, for anyone willing to throw themselves out into the local streets, cafes, transport and – dare I say it – language, the mind-broadening effects can be massive, meteoric and sometimes both slightly unsettling and spectacularly exciting. I speak from my own experience.

Confessions of a professional traveller
Hanging out with the Maasai, in the Maasai Mara, Kenya; 2007.

So, before we all give up travelling, just imagine the possible effects of us all retreating back into our borders. After all, it’s not that long ago that our ancestors rather believed that the people of certain countries had two heads and a forked tail. Travel and communication have gone a long way to integrating us all, showing us everyone’s humanity and equality no matter what corner of the globe we live in. A return to isolationism – by whatever cause – would be no friend to continuing that process, and could end up having some very negative consequences for mutual understanding, respect and peace.

Perhaps, then, we should continue travelling, though with more selectiveness and care, travelling in a way that makes the journey longer and itself every bit as much a part of the experience, rather than something to be endured and finished as quickly as possible. Easier said than done, I appreciate. We can’t all get on a yacht every time we want to travel abroad, not matter how much more environmentally friendly it might be.

Confessions of a professional traveller
Lying down on the job, in the Scillies, Cornwall; 2016.

Travelling into the future

As for myself and my photography, well with travel having been so central to much of my adult life, I suspect that only old age will eventually stop me. I shall continue to develop my local projects to help promote the joys of exploring one’s home area, but by the same token I won’t be giving up entirely on some of those long distance projects. My most recent was to produce a book that showcases the incredible biodiversity of the Philippines and the work that’s going on to protect it (Wild Philippines), a hugely under-reported and yet vital area of conservation.

Hopefully, I’ll get to do a few more of those. Meanwhile, I’m guiltily looking forward to an imminent holiday in …… the Maldives. Ah, yes, one of the countries at most immediate risk from global warming and rising sea levels. I can’t think of any excuses for this one, so I’ll just blame the wife. I’ll console myself with the photography I’ll get to do of the islands’ magnificent marine life, capturing it on my camera’s sensor before it all gets killed off. Someone has to do it. Greta Thunberg is going to have a fit.

Confessions of a professional traveller
In the bar reviewing a day’s shoot. Turks and Caicos; 2018.

To find out more about Nigel’s books click on the link below:

Nigel’s books

To take a look at Nigel’s international photo portfolios click on the link below:

See photo portfolios

To find out about Nigel’s photography workshops click on the link below:

Photography workshops

To find out about Nigel’s photography tours click on the link below:

Photography tours

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Wild Philippines is published!

Wild Philippines is published at last! Yes, this long-awaited book is now in the shops (or at least available from them), so you should all be rushing to snap up your copies over the coming weeks!

The front cover of the book, Wild Philippines

A major work

With over 50,000 words and 300 photos, and taking two years to pull together, Wild Philippines is a major work. It represents a much-needed overview of the Philippines’ natural environment and its conservation. Both the information and the photography should appeal equally to the lay person who simply wants something attractive about the Philippine natural environment, and the serious conservation worker involved in research into and protection of the country’s critical habitats and wildlife.

All the text and almost all the photos (bar six, of subjects I couldn’t get myself) are by me.

I know I shouldn’t be immodest, but I think the book looks fantastic!

Philippine Eagle
A Philippine Eagle

Where to buy Wild Philippines

In the UK Wild Philippines is available through all good book shops, and in the Philippines through all branches of National Book Stores. Online, it can be found in all the usual places, including every Amazon website.

Seeing some sample material

A few sample photos are shown here, including the cover. However, many more photos, plus sample pages can be seen at:

http://www.nigelhicks.com/wild_philippines.html

From there, you can buy online directly from me by following the links.

I hope you love this book as much as I do!

Gorgonian sea fan coral.
A gorgonian sea fan type of coral.

Beautiful Cornwall is published!

Yes, my latest book, Beautiful Cornwall, is finally published and available through all good book shops, both high street and online. Coming out on 28th March, it was published bang on time, and since then it has been slowly working its way into bookshops across the southwest of England, as well as to the usual online sites, including Amazon.

Beautiful Cornwall front cover

What you can find in Beautiful Cornwall

At just 80 pages, this is quite a short book, but it is packed with my photography, showcasing many of Cornwall’s most beautiful locations and some of its most popular annual festivals. It is, in short, a very colourful book, and one that shows off Cornwall to be the truly spectacular region that it is.

Beautiful Cornwall contains five chapters, the first a mix of text and photos that sets the scene, introducing its landscape and wildlife, people and culture, and some aspects of its economy.

The remaining four chapters take a tour around Cornwall, looking at East Cornwall, the North and Bodmin Moor, the South Coast, and the Far West. The last chapter also includes a section on the Scillies.

Beautiful Cornwall makes a stunning memento of the county, both for visitors and residents alike.

Finding out more and buying Beautiful Cornwall

I hope you like the few sample pages shown here, but you can see full details of Beautiful Cornwall online, including sample pages and photos, by clicking on the link below:

See sample pages from Beautiful Cornwall

Beautiful Cornwall is available from many book shops (price £9.99) both high street and online. You can also buy it online by clicking the link below:

Buy Beautiful Cornwall here

Beautiful Cornwall is published by my own publishing company, Aquaterra Publishing.

Beautiful Cornwall: the next book

Yes, Beautiful Cornwall will be our next publication, set to hit the book shops from 29th March 2019. A lovely photographic book about this famous British county, we’ve almost finished designing the pages. What’s more, there is now a page on the website dedicated to the book, along with a gallery of sample images.

Beautiful Cornwall front cover

About Beautiful Cornwall

Beautiful Cornwall will be similar to our previous book Beautiful Devon, part of our new Portrait of a County series, and will be a largely photographically led book, showcasing some of the most beautiful landscapes in this famous county, as well as many of its well known harbours, moors and festivals. Essentially, although Chapter 1 will be text-driven, giving an overview of the county, most of the book will be a series of photoessays, each concentrating on a different part of Cornwall. I think you’re going to really like Beautiful Cornwall.

All writing and photography is by myself.

It’ll be a great souvenir book of Cornwall’s great beauty, for both visitors and residents alike.

Surfing at Newquay a photo from Beautiful Cornwall

Finding out more about Beautiful Cornwall

Sample pages will follow in a week or two, but in the meantime, I hope you’ll love the photos. A few are shown here, but to see a much larger gallery click on this link:

See a gallery of Beautiful Cornwall photos

It’ll soon be possible to pre-order the book, but in the meantime if you’d like to book yourself a copy just get in touch at [email protected]

Botallack tin mine from Beautiful Cornwall


New book, Beautiful Devon, is published!

My latest book, Beautiful Devon, has just been published!

A fairly short book, Beautiful Devon is essentially a series of photoessays about the loveliest areas of Devon, a county in the southwest of England, and is intended largely as a photographic memento to this beautiful part of the UK.

Beautiful Devon is published by my own publishing company, Aquaterra Publishing, and is available through all bookshops, both online and high street, and in the UK at least it costs just £9.99.

You can see sample photos and pages by clicking on the link below:

See Beautiful Devon sample pages

  You can buy Beautiful Devon online directly from me through the Aquaterra Publishing website. Simply click on the link below to find out more:

Buy Beautiful Devon at Aquaterra Publishing

I hope you’ll like the book and will decide to buy a copy!

 

Beautiful Devon ready for publication!

My next book, Beautiful Devon, a photographic publication showcasing some of the most beautiful places in this region of southwest England, has been printed and is ready for publication, a whole month ahead of schedule!

The first pages of Beautiful Devon coming off the press in Short Run Press, Exeter, Devon, Great Britain. 5th Jan 2018.

A rather short book, consisting of just 80 pages, but packed with about 160 photos, the series of photo essays that make up Beautiful Devon make this book a memento of the county for both residents and visitors alike.

Publication date is set for 1st March 2018. From then on Beautiful Devon will be available through all bookshops, both high street and online. Price within the UK is £9.99.

Paignton Pier at dusk, Paignton, Devon, Great Britain.

To see sample pages click on this link:

See sample pages and images from Beautiful Devon

You can also reserve your copy online now:

Reserve a copy of Beautiful Devon

Ottery Tar Barrels, Ottery St Mary, Devon, Great Britain. 4th Nov 2017.

We really hope you love this book!

 

A new book published!

Journey through the Philippines

I’ve just had yet another new book published, this one entitled Journey through the Philippines, produced by Oxford-based publisher John Beaufoy Publishing.

The cover of Journey through the Philippines

As the name suggests, this book takes the reader on a tour through the Philippines, travelling roughly from north to south, visiting 30 of the country’s most beautiful and most important visitor areas.

The book’s 176 pages are filled with my text and illustrated by over 300 of my photos, that together give a good and highly entertaining overview of much of the best that the Philippines has to offer.

In the Philippines, Journey through the Philippines is stocked by most bookshops, and around the world is available both in store and online. For the latter option, it can be bought from Amazon, and soon also through my own publishing website at www.aquaterrapublishing.co.uk. The web pages for this are just being created, so more details on this shortly.

Meanwhile, full details, plus a gallery of sample images and a range of sample pages can be seen by clicking here…>

Naturally, I really hope you like this book and decide to get either yourself or a loved one a copy.