Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Picture of Everest, by Alfred Gregory

Alfred Gregory documents the successful 1953 expedition in a pictorial journey to the top of the world in The Picture of Everest. Gregory's photographs are mountain photojournalism at its best---he repeatedly captures what is unique about the expedition and shows it in an action shot, whether a Sherpa ascending a rope ladder in the Khumbu Icefall with a square wood crate lashed to his back, or John Hunt yelling into a bullhorn on their "portable" wireless radio, or looking down at Hillary and Tenzing...and the world from the site of Camp IX on the Southeast Ridge.

This isn't the best book for quality images by Gregory. In his later Alfred Gregory's Everest, the author states that he had no control over the development of the photographs in this volume, as they were developed by lab technicians while he was still on the mountain. Also, color printing for books in 1954 was nowhere near what we have today. The later book (1993), both in printing quality and development is more worth your while. There is a more recent book (2008), Alfred Gregory: From Everest to Africa, that I haven't viewed yet, but I imagine is even more lovely.

This post is a revision and expansion of an earlier one, which can be viewed here.

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