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Edward Cavell.

2nd ed. Banff (AB), Altitude Publishing, c1983.
Distributed by Altitude Publishing, Box 490, Banff, AB, TOL OCO.
45pp, paper, $9.95.
ISBN 0-919381-08-1.

Grades 4 and up.
Reviewed by William Benson.

Volume 12 Number 5
1984 September

Edward Cavell, in his book, A Delicate Wilderness, is obviously attempting to capitalize on the present high interest in old photos. There is little doubt of the fact that Elliott Barnes was one of the pioneer figures of the Banff Calgary area. That he was as great a photographer as Cavell would have us believe, is very much in doubt.

Elliott Barnes was a family snapshot photographer whose photographs are interesting to look at because of their rarity. The pictures in the art gallery display of his work gain, by their size and framing, a certain majesty that the book is unable to offer. Some of his better shots can only be seen in the gallery displays as they were not chosen for the book.

Basically his pictures fall into two categories. One is historical interest, such as the shots of early main street Banff and the Cave and Basin. The others, and by far the majority, are casual snapshots of friends and local scenes obviously of importance to Barnes but few others.

During his own lifetime, Barnes attempted alone, and in conjunction with Byron Harmon, one of Banff s greatest photographers, to make a living from his photography. He was not noticeably successful. The pictures that have survived give a clear indication of why this was so.

If you have a great love of old photos and an avid interest in the Banff area, then this is a book you should have. But with so many others of better quality on the market, this should certainly not be your first choice.

William Benson, Golden S. S., Golden, BC.
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