Gift Guide 2021

Beyond Words is a specialist seller of photographic books, based in North Berwick. It’s hard to choose just five titles from a year of great publishing but, in this selection, we hope you’ll find something you’d enjoy giving – and that someone would be delighted to receive. 

Edinburgh 1957-66 

Robert Blomfield trained as a doctor in Edinburgh in the late 1950s and early 1960s and created a substantial archive of life in the Scottish capital – from his work in the hospital to people he observed in the street, from the building of the new Forth Road Bridge to the reshaping of the city itself as streets and housing were demolished in the name of progress. 

Isle of Eigg 

A perfect antidote to cold winter nights, especially for anyone wistfully remembering Hebridean holidays. French photographer Charles Delcourt’s Eigg is an oasis where the sun always shines and the inhabitants are uniformly charming (as of course they are!). 

Faces of the North  

Now in its third edition, Icelandic photographer Ragnar Axelsson’s documentation of the lives of hunters, fishermen, and farmers in Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland just keeps on winning new admirers. Signed copies. 

Blue Violet 

It’s hard to improve on the publisher’s summary: “Blue Violet is a vibrant meditation on the procession of seasons, sensory abundance, and the magic in everyday life.” English photographer Cig Harvey’s sumptuous use of colour creates a world of beauty that appeals equally to the photography specialist and the wider public. 

Michael Kenna calendar 

Originally from Cheshire, Kenna has spent most of his life in the US. His black-and-white images of buildings, gardens and wild landscapes from across the globe are widely admired and collectedLong exposures, often in low light, convey a sense of tranquility in a fast-paced world. This is a poster-sized, beautifully printed calendar, now in its 26th year.