Hans B. Neumann is a history lecturer at Scarborough College, University
John de Visser, one of Canada’s heading photographers, has provided the interested reader with a striking visual image of southwestern Ontario, part of a series offered by the publisher devoted to the regions of Canada. A brief introduction of the history of this region is presented by the Rev. Orlo Miller to introduce the pictures that follow.
Above all, this book is a visual celebration of this diverse and interesting region of Ontario as seen through the eyes of an expert photographer. Tastefully bound in hardcover, the book contains 90, almost all full-page, colour photographs illustrating the area. The photographs are well served by the use of high quality, glossy paper. Brief captions accompany each picture.
The picture selection emphasizes the people and their working and recreational environment, as well as the historical city and townscapes of the region. Interspersed are evocative landscape shots taken at various times of the seasons. Water-dominated scenes are common: a recognition of the important role this element has played in the area’s history. The pictures are almost without exception a delight to the eye.
The book would have been aided by the inclusion of a map to assist the reader interested in travel to the region after enjoying the photographs. Captions for the pictures are all too brief for a region so rich in history, culture, and people. The picture (#73) of cheetahs — hardly a common sight in southwestern Ontario — at the Rockton exotic game preserve could safely have been left out.
Overall, the book would represent a highly attractive acquisition for both the general reader and the photographic buff interested in his craft and his country.