Most British cavers will be familiar with the work of Robbie Shone who has been photographing the world’s caves for the last 20 years or more. Now a selection of his pictures has been brought together in a large format book, showcasing his photographs and giving some insight into how he works.
This is not a caving book so much as a ‘fine art’ publication. The vast majority of the pages are taken up with displaying the photos themselves, interspersed with short anecdotes drawn from the expeditions and caving trips on which they were taken. Complementing these are a number of Robbie’s sketches. Some of these are excellent illustrations in their own right, Robbie studied Fine Art at Sheffield University, but others are working drawings, showing how his photos, notably the fiendishly difficult shots of Titan, were planned and executed.
Darkness Below has not yet seen a physical copy of the book, but the publishers, Kozu Books of Bath, have a reputation for delivering high quality products. The book has 200 pages and is 300mm x 240mm case bound, thread-sewn, featuring a cloth-bound cover with a hand tipped-in image and letter foiling. There are three editions available: standard (£45), special (£95) and collectors’ (£195). The special and collectors’ editions come with a handmade slip case and signed and numbered print. There will only be 100 special editions and 50 collectors’ editions. Ordering and publication details can be found on Kozu’s website. Copies can be collected from Robbie at the UIS Congress in June, or in the UK from Starless River. In the US, copies will be available from Speleobooks.