Wilmer couple release new e-book of Himalayan photos

A local couple has just released a book on their three decades worth of trips to the Himalayas.

Wilmer residents Pat and Baiba Morrow have been climbing in, hiking in and experiencing the culture of the Himalayas since 1982, and have put together some of their best images and memories of the region in an e-book Heart of the Himalaya.

Here in Canada we go into the mountains when we feel we need to get away from people, said Mr. Morrow. But the Himalayas we go to in order to meet people, to end up having tea in a nomads tent on a 5,000-metre plateau. Its humbling and inspiring.

The idea for the e-book grew out of a photo exhibit on Tibetan culture the Morrows have currently running (October 2014 to January 2015) at the Whyte Museum in Banff. The museums photo curator approached the Morrows about creating an exhibit of their photos, but the overwhelming number of photos the couple has from trips all around the world, meant the exhibition had to be narrowed down to focus just on Tibetan culture. For the book, the Morrows expanded from the exhibitions Tibetan culture focus to look at the entire Himalayan region.

With so many trips to Tibetan areas, the Morrows have developed an abiding respect for the people who live in these places and sympathy for their struggles, which has also provided inspiration for the e-book.

Part of the reason for doing this is to raise awareness about the Tibetan situation now, with the Chinese occupation and how the Chinese took over Tibet, said Mr. Morrow. Tibetan people living outside Tibet are doing well, but Tibetans living in their own country are shackled in many ways.

Mr. Morrow had previously co-authored an e-book on his experiences climbing Mt. Everest (with the same publisher, Bungalo Books) and said the highly interactive nature of the electronic format makes it a great medium for showcasing photos.

Its a great multimedia way to share your still images, audio and video, all in one package, he said. And when you look at the photos on an iPad, with the backlighting, they really pop. It makes them almost three-dimensional.

The book, which thanks to new software can now be read on newer Mac operating systems as well as iPads, contains embedded video clips, thumbnail slideshows along the bottom, a section of links for more reading at the back, a resource section for those planning to trek in the Himalayas, and a host of other interactive features. Readers can double click on any of the spellbinding images to enlarge them.

Photos are the hallmark of the book, although the Morrows have included text from their diaries and past magazine stories, to give the book a storyline.

Theres enough text to hold it together, but really its about the photos, its meant to be an electronic version of a coffee table book, said Mr. Morrow.

The Morrows are looking at potentially doing a photo exhibition (based on the new e-book and the Whyte Museum exhibition) at Pynelogs this spring, as well as a slideshow during the annual Wings Over the Rockies festival in May.

Readers wanting to buy the book can go to the iTunes store and search under Pat Morrow.

To see an eye-catching video preview of the book, check out https://vimeo.com/113500496.

HIMALAYAN SCENE  Villagers in Kinnaur district in the Indian Himalayas dance during the Festival of the Flowers in this 1993 photograph, one of 170 spellbinding images in Pat and Baiba Morrows new e-book Heart of the Himalaya.                                                             Photo by Pat Morrow
HIMALAYAN SCENE Villagers in Kinnaur district in the Indian Himalayas dance during the Festival of the Flowers in this 1993 photograph, one of 170 spellbinding images in Pat and Baiba Morrows new e-book Heart of the Himalaya. Photo by Pat Morrow

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