Click to preview Pathways and Portraits   沿径闻绘 photo book

This pictorial journal chronicles my recent travels along the pathways of the Middle Kingdom, China, as well as Tibet and Cambodia, during the summers of 2006 and 2007.
It is FULLY bilingual, English and Mandarin Chinese.


About the Author

Richard Fisher
RBFisher Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Richard Fisher, R.G.D. is a professor of Graphic Design at Seneca College in Toronto, Canada. This pictorial journal chronicles his recent travels along the pathways of the Middle Kingdom, China, as well as Tibet and Cambodia, during the summers of 2006 and 2007. Its creation has provided him with the opportunity to combine his passions for photography, travel, design, typography, and writing. Richard is currently studying Mandarin (zhè shì fēi cháng kùn nan de ! ) in preparation for future journeys to these lands of remarkable contrasts and beauty.

Publish Date  September 19, 2008

Dimensions  Standard Landscape  276 pgs Standard Paper

Category  Travel

Tags  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments (2)


Gailus says

In photography, there are many branches of the craft, each requiring different skills, gifts and tricks. People starting out in photography often learn by doing “the walkabout”, making the best of what comes their way and learning the basics of photography with each new challenge.
Professional and arts photographers often focus in various “specialties”: commercial, studio, landscape, nature, production, documentary, photo-journalism, etc. What can be especially interesting, is when a lifetime of visual skill is reapplied to the walkabout. The circle begins again, but, when skill and appreciation is combined with the pure joy of new visual experience, the results can be more than expected. This is the case with Richard Fisher’s “Pathways and Portraits”. Richard has taken his eye on a pilgrimage through different lands and has returned with a uniquely rich experience.

“Pathways and Portraits” starts our tour in the greatest bastion of Chinese capitalism, Hong Kong. The photo tour criss-crosses China, covering many of its landmarks, and then some. The tour finishes its perspective with looks at Lhasa and Cambodia. The route map on page two, with its visit locations tied together, looks like some newly minted Chinese symbol of script, waiting for new meaning to be attached.

Richard immediately demonstrates a relationship with his subject, and succeeds at grabbing the moment in his travels. As we travel from area to area, a timing and rhythm is established that ties the experience of landscape and architecture to the people who now live there. The skilful placement of “people in their places” gives us a unique reflection of the individual in a larger view. The photos are fragments of a reality which are somehow gradually taking you somewhere. The gaps themselves disappear, leaving us with a book that somehow has a larger picture.

Chapter introductions list essential geo/demo/socio/graphics, giving us some physical sense of the place. A one-paragraph description tells us just enough to understand where Richard is as the traveller, and to set up what is coming in the pages to follow.
The chapter description in both English and Chinese gives us a book of unique candour that will be of equal interest to both English and Chinese speakers.

Perhaps the most overlooked and under-appreciated aspect of any good coffee table book is its graphic design. The unspoken joy of “Pathways and Portraits” is perhaps its greatest achievement. This book is simply beautiful.
Images flow like renderings on a storyboard. Chapter introductions, partial, single and double page pictures are cleverly woven together to create establishing shots, asides, and panoramic overviews.
Black or white matting often gives respectful space around each photo, allowing us to pause and reflect.
The variation in matting and picture placement itself seems in step with an underlying story. Matting, and the spacing between photographs, becomes steps between scenes in our travels.
Colours chosen for title script are perfectly complementary with adjoining photographs. The space around the photos seem to disappear as we look at them.

If I was to level any criticism of this book it would be the lack of accompanying odours. I can just imagine small envelopes of smells attached to each picture adding dimension to the image. But perhaps, instead - and better than “still” - I’ll just go there .

posted at 09:51pm Aug 22 PST


simeonbland says

This lovely book is filled with surprises - vivid depictions of Chinese culture and life, insightfully narrated in both English and Mandarin. Highly recommended!

posted at 04:36pm Sep 03 PST


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