Canada: Images of the Land by J. KraulisCanada: Images of the Land by J. Kraulis

Canada: Images of the Land

Photographed byJ. KraulisIntroduction byRoy MacGregor

Hardcover | September 2, 2015

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In this exquisitely photographed record of the Canadian landscape, renowned photographer J.A. Kraulis captures the majesty and grandeur of a vast and staggeringly diverse country. Expansive prairies and forests, impressive coastlines, majestic inland lakes and rivers are captured in these images of the land.

This magnificent collection of over 200 photographs and captions presents Canada at its most visceral: a flash of lightning exploding across a summer sky; a sudden winter storm descending on an otherwise tranquil bay; the surface of a lake caught in a moment of stillness, mirroring the world around it -- scenes of unbridled beauty as captured by one of the country's most prolific photographers.

Canada: Images of the Land is a celebration of a country that will inspire urban dwellers and nature enthusiasts alike.

J.A. Kraulis, among Canada's most prolific and talented photographers, was raised in Montreal, where he earned degrees in science and architecture at McGill University. His work appears in magazines such as Audubon, Canadian Geographic and Equinox. He has been the principal photographer of many books, including Grand Landscapes of Ca...
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Title:Canada: Images of the LandFormat:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 12 × 11.25 × 0.88 inPublished:September 2, 2015Publisher:Firefly BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1770856242

ISBN - 13:9781770856240

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Read from the Book

Introduction by Roy MacGregor For all the accomplishments of Canada's authors, from Thomas C. Haliburton's Sam Slick tales to Alice Munro's Nobel Prize, no writer has ever been able to capture all of this extraordinary land in words. Perhaps the alphabet is just not big enough for so large a country. Instead, we have left the task of capturing just what this country really is to our painters and photographers -- and even here it has not been an easy task. The very painters we today credit with "discovering" the Canadian landscape in their oils, Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven, were dismissed early on for using too much colour and painting with too much exaggerated flair. "Those who believe that pictures should be seen and not heard," the critic for the magazine Saturday Night wrote of a 1916 exhibition, "are likely to have their sensibilities shocked." The snob meant it is a knock, of course, but failed to realize the truth in his statement. In fact, the very essence of the Canadian landscape is precisely that: a shock to the senses, a feeling of wonder, of sheer awe over the vastness of the land, the size of its mountains and the reach of the North. So sprawling is this land called "Canada" that there has never been a full and accurate count of its lakes, their number merely rounded off to three million or so. When it comes to countries, size matters. Fully embracing this huge landscape and its harsh climate was slow in coming. For much of the European settlement of this attic of North America, various governments pretended reality was something else altogether. When trying to attract immigrants from Europe at the turn of the 20th century, government officials forbade any use of the word "cold" and insisted on replacing it with the less-chilling "buoyant." Posters sent across the Atlantic to solicit settlers to the prairies showed a lightly clad nymph lifting a curtain of thick wheat to reveal a bucolic English-style countryside complete with trimmed hedgerows. It took a while, but Canadians, both generational and brand new, eventually accepted their land for what it is, not what it isn't. The land, in fact, is the country, something first noted by the late, great Blair Fraser, then Ottawa editor of Maclean's magazine. In his centennial book, The Search for Identity, he put forward the notion that "What held such people [Canadians] together was not love for each other, but love for the land itself, the vast, empty land." A decade or so ago, my newspaper, The Globe and Mail, launched a series of articles called "New Canada" by commissioning a survey that asked Canadians from all generations and regions what best symbolized their country. We had no idea what they would choose and anticipated a fractured response that would include such disparate ingredients as hockey, moose, maple syrup and saying "Sorry" too often. Much to our surprise, 89 percent, nearly nine out of every 10 Canadians, said that it was "the vastness of the land" that symbolized the country. Janis Kraulis needed no such newspaper poll to tell him that. He had known since the early 1960s when he was growing up in Montreal. An older sister returned from a summer job at Lake Louise with slides she had taken during hikes around Banff National Park. Using an old projector, 14-year-old Janis viewed them on the wall of his bedroom. "That was my first experience with the power of photography," he remembers. "Mountains had been transported to my bedroom. Or I had been transported to the mountains, no distinction need be made there." Janis himself soon went west, working four summers in British Columbia's Yoho National Park. He had studied architecture, but it was in the western mountains that he found what he wanted to do for a living: take pictures of what he saw all around him. Forty years later, J. A. Kraulis is the most-renowned landscape photographer of his generation. As Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven were to painting, Janis has been to photography. It is a comparison he denies. "I don't regard my photos as 'art.'" Janis once wrote. "I think of them as discoveries, the fruits of exploration." In fact, Janis is quick to give as much credit to the camera in his hand or the pilot of the single-engine plane that has taken him to such remarkable spots. He claims he has no particular "vision" apart from the literal sense of the word. The pilot takes him there, the eyes see the shot, the camera takes it. "To imagine that one is thereby creating art," he argues, "is a bit like a backhoe operator thinking that he is a champion weightlifter." In fact, he is a champion landscape photographer, as this breathtakingly beautiful book instantly proves. "When I was a child," Janis says, "I wanted to be an African explorer when I grew up. I didn't know that there were no career openings in that field anymore, that Africa has had more than enough of colonizing explorers and that it wasn't all jungle inhabited mainly by lions and elephants. But as for the explorer part, I guess that is where I ended up." Janis became a discoverer of great natural wonders. He vividly recalls the first time he flew in a small plane low over Niagara Falls. "I remember thinking, this must be what Father [Louis] Hennepin thought back in the 17th century when he came through the forest and first saw the falls." The effect was overwhelming, leaving one small human in awe at the power and grandeur of nature. It is a feeling he has never lost. One small human in a country too large to grasp, to paint, to photograph -- and much too large for any one person to know entirely. Over the span of my own career in journalism, I have been fortunate to stand at Cape Spear as the sun rose on the 21st century. I have waded into the Pacific Ocean at Tofino. I have stood at the end of the runway at Alert and stared across the broken ice in search of Russia. For more than 40 years I have travelled this country -- as a reporter covering federal and provincial elections, Royal tours, northern adventures and hockey tournaments, and on canoe trips and family vacations -- so much so that some have said, though it's impossible to know for sure, that I've seen more of Canada than anyone. Yet I feel no different than David Thompson, the great mapmaker, who spent a lifetime travelling across this country by canoe, horse and foot -- and claimed, near the end, that he had seen but a small fraction of the country he had mapped. To pass one's eyes through this remarkable and beautiful book, you would think that Janis, if anyone, had seen it all -- but he would never make any such claim. What he has done is stare endlessly in wonder, and where possible record what he has seen. His own great "discovery" -- what truly makes Janis an explorer in his own right -- was an epiphany he had early on while photographing the wide prairies and the impossibly big sky above it. "I realized," he says, "that on the ground I had in effect been looking along the surface of a painting that could only be properly appreciated from above." By photographing the land from above, he has shown us a beauty in the flat prairie unknowable while standing on it, and in so doing has especially captured my admiration for his work. The spectacular mountain vistas and breathtaking skies are what one would expect in a book celebrating the natural beauties of this country -- and, frankly, no one does this better -- but there is also great surprise to be found here. Prairie fields such as those on pages 66-67 and 78-79 reveal designs unknowable to those who merely pass by in cars at street level or fly over them at 35,000 feet. Wetlands seen from a small low-flying aircraft, on pages 134-35, feel like Impressionist paintings by a master. But then, he is a modern master. When I look at his photograph of the swirling waters on page 93, I feel that they are a magnet drawing me into the scene. Though readers will find their own roots on other pages, the entire book, in fact, is hom

Editorial Reviews

With his book Canada: Images of the Land, photographer J. A. Kraulis takes us on a breathtaking journey through one of the most picturesque countries on Earth -- our own. Through stunning photos, readers visit the places that make Canada recognized around the world for its undeniable natural beauty. Kraulis's pictures successfully capture the essence of Quebec's landscapes. Through this book, we get to enjoy our province's magnificent forests and its vast bodies of water. You will be especially mesmerized by the pictures of Cap au Trou, on the Magdalen Islands, and of the forest of La Mauricie National Park, majestic with its fall foliage... Kraulis offers a faithful representation of La Belle Province. Kraulis, who was raised in Montreal, is one of Canada's most gifted photographers: If you wish to use this book as a source of inspiration for future journeys, make sure that you have a pen and paper nearby, because you will certainly want to write down the names of the places you will go on your next trip.