This lovely little book is part of the Pictorial Souvenir series from Ness Publishing which between them cover many of the more scenically inspiring areas of Scotland with titles like Ross and Cromarty, Royal Deeside, Northern Argyll, and The Isle of Skye.
The formula for each book is similar, with a brief introductory text leading you into the photographs themselves, each of which comes with a detailed caption telling you what you are looking at. A book of photographs stands or falls on the quality of the photographs it contains. The photographs that make up Lochaber, A Pictorial Souvenir are excellent, and the care that has clearly gone into selecting a set that show off the best that the area has to offer is impressive.
What you get from the book will depend on how much you already know about the area it covers. The photographs are ordered geographically, taking you on a series of tours within the area: around Fort William; the Northern Wilds; the Road to the Isles; Way out west; and Glen Coe. The end result is an ideal primer for anyone simply wanting to get a feel for what Lochaber is like. On the other hand, we approached the book with a fairly good knowledge of the areas it covers, and the experience of taking many photographs of our own. We were therefore slightly surprised to find ourselves being completely captivated by it, fascinated to see how someone else viewed and presented this magnificent part of the country: while all the time making mental notes of places we have missed and viewpoints we need to visit for ourselves.
What on the surface appears to be, and is called, A Pictorial Souvenir, is easy to dismiss as of interest only to visitors to Scotland, to be purchased alongside the shortbread and the whisky miniature. On closer examination it turns out to be of interest to a much wider audience because, at the risk of repetition, of the quality of the photography it contains.