Sunday 2 December 2007

Tooth & Claw

What is Tooth & Claw? Sure it's a book, an image library and a website. But it's also a campaign, and an idea.

I've had a sneak preview of the book, and it's stunning. 200-plus pages of some of the best wildlife photography I've seen, by Peter Cairns and Mark Hamblin. Here are wolves, sea eagles, foxes, seals and wild cats like you've never seen them before.

© tooth&

We all love to look at beautiful photos of wildlife. It's like that moment when you're waiting for pigeons and a sparrowhawk screams past. Or you're watching through the binoculars and see a fox pouncing on a vole. You feel privileged to see one of nature's athletes doing what it does best.

But the breathtaking images are merely the window dressing for something much deeper. The book sets out to make us reassess how we feel about predators. Like the foxshooter's lamp, it shines a million-candlepower beam on something that was previously hidden in the dark.

The authors fearlessly tackle subjects from foxhunting to keeping pet cats to reintroducing predators like sea eagles, wolves and bears to Britain's countryside. They talk to people on all sides of the debate - preservationists, conservationists, scientists, shooters, keepers and hunters.

And which side are they on? Frustratingly, they don't let on. What comes through is their belief in talking openly and honestly about the way we live with predators.

That's not easy to do in an area where everyone starts from an entrenched position and an attitude of "you're either with us or against us". But that's what Peter Cairns and Mark Hamblin have done, and they've done it very well.

© tooth&

I think this book marks a turning point in the way we talk about predators in Britain. Some of the old school will find it hard to take, but I believe that the debate it sparks can only be good for shooting, shooters, the countryside, and for the predators themselves.

Find out more (and order a copy of the book) at the Tooth & Claw website.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks like a fantasic book. I am in the process of trying to get my first wildlife photography book publishe.. this one looks wonderful..thanks for sharing