A book you want to keep, October 13, 2011

Eric Guichard

This review is for: Himalayan Portfolios: Journeys of the Imagination (Hardcover)
As soon as I browsed through this book, I felt like I had something very valuable in my hands, the kind of thing you want to handle with care and keep a long time. I have never been to Nepal or Karakorum but discovering those landscapes by Ken Hanson beautiful monochrome photography is a quite a change of scenery in itself. Otherwise than a travel book, and much better, it takes you there. The grandeur of the landscape is in those magnificent pictures. And there is more than a feast for the eyes: The articles and essays of the second section of the book make fascinating reading. Overall you get enjoyment out of everything that is in it. Even the quality of the paper is a caress... 

Un livre qui se regarde, se lit et se garde précieusement, 13 octobre 2011 (

Eric Guichard (FR)

This review is for: Himalayan Portfolios: Journeys of the Imagination (Hardcover)

Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Himalayan Portfolios: Journeys of the Imagination (Relié)  Dès le premier contact avec mon exemplaire (en anglais) j'ai senti que je tenais là un de ces livres qu'on garde précieusement. Je ne suis jamais allé au Népal, ni au Karakorum, autrement qu'en imagination. Là de superbes photos monochromes vous transportent devant ces paysages grandioses mieux qu'aucun guide de voyage en couleur. Les meilleures photos de l'Himalaya depuis longtemps,on ne peut que le comparer à Vittorio Sella, ou encore dans un autre genre aux Tairraz. Kenneth Hanson est un magicien qui, par une photographie traditionnelle en grand format, incorpore la grandeur des paysages dans ses photos. Le plaisir ne s'arrête pas à une fête pour les yeux, une telle qualité du papier est inhabituelle, et c'est une vraie caresse pour les doigts. Et puis pour ceux qui lisent l'anglais, la seconde partie du livre est très enrichissante. Faites une place dans votre bibliothèque pour un livre comme celui-là.

A Unique Publication, May 11, 2010 (

G. Covington (UK)

This review is for: Himalayan Portfolios: Journeys of the Imagination (Hardcover)

Himalayan Portfolios is the culmination of Kenneth Hanson's dedication to photography in the Himalaya. The book is amazing: the pictures leap of the page; the duotones are so subtle; the essays give another dimension; the layout and typefaces chosen all enhance the overall presentation. There are so many books published by photographers, but few really inspire, this one certainly gives inspiration. Do not hesitate, buy it now.

 Himalayan Portfolios, January 12, 2010

Kevin Winter, Sacramento Book Review (Sacramento, CA)

Beautiful. One of the many adjectives that could be used to describe Kenneth Hanson's Himalayan Portfolios. This breathtaking and exciting collection of photographs takes us to the feet of the tallest mountains in the world...with stunning results. Each portfolio begins with a short essay by Kenneth Hanson about the particular region and where he went, followed by one amazing photograph after another. Hanson shows his technical skill by taking his camera to some of the most inhospitable terrain imaginable. Through his many journeys into the Himalayans and his accidental interest in photography, Hanson has given new life to nature photography. 

The portfolios are arranged to go from east to west, starting in Kashmir and working to the very western edge of Nepal. The size of these mountains will simply take your breath away. They just rise into the heavens above the valley floors. The rivers rush down narrow canyons, at times washing away the only road. The villages that are perched right on the edge of cliffs that just seem to hang in the sky. Hanson brings this all to life with his camera. 

A Himalaya book capturing my years of Himalaya experiences, January 16, 2009

Bart Jordans, Author 'Bhutan: A Trekker's Guide' (Copenhagen, Denmark)

For many years I have been guiding treks and technical climbs in the Greater Himalaya and the Karakoram. At last there is a book that captures my experiences: the excitement and wonderful variety of the mountains, the rare unexpected moments that it is impossible to forget, the exhilaration of having crossed the high pass or ascended a peak and viewed a remote, inaccessible and often terrifying world.

Much hard work went into creating Kenneth Hanson's book of over one hundred black and white photographs. A large format camera, a sturdy wooden tripod and boxes of film holders had to be carried for many miles, but the results paid back the struggle. In the book each area visited is introduced by relevant facts, fine maps define the journeys taken and the whereabouts of each photograph is well described. The reproduction of the photographs is outstanding; so remarkable in fact that I am tempted to cut out several of the pictures, frame them and hang them on my walls!

The second part of the book provided a fascinating essay that includes an outline history of the origins of Himalayan mountaineering. The four categories examined are: mountain surveying and geographical exploration, the Great Game and competing national destinies, the Sherpa culture, the invention of technical climbing in the Alps. Photography was on the scene from the 1860s onwards.

This is an invaluable book for those who are thinking of going to the Himalayas, those who have been and for those who wish to explain to others why they went. 'Himalayan Portfolios' will make you want to visit those far off places as soon as possible.

Take a difficult and awesome journey into the Himalayas, December 3, 2008

Katherine M.Latimer (Bethany, CT)

Ken Hanson's book, Himalayan Portfolios, is not a coffee table book, though it is certainly a work of art. To appreciate its power, I found I needed to read it in "chapters' over several days. Ken describes the several different photography treks he took with his view camera in 5 groupings depending on the particular areas of focus. Each chapter is first of all filled with incredibly beautiful high mountain landscapes, but also Ken tells the stories of where he stood, was it dawn or dusk, how high, and the special challenges of doing this work at many thousands of feet altitude. Each chapter invites you to feel as well as see the stark reality of being in the midst of such dangerous and overwhelming landscape. The photographs that also include signs of human community surviving in such harshness are evidence of human spirit and stubborn strength and adaptability. This is a book, certainly for serious photographers, but also for people like me, who will never get to these mountains and still want to experience them without any false sentimentality.

A Magnificent Achievement, October 6, 2008

Lee A. Jacobus “Author of Volcanic Jesus” (Clinton, CT USA)

This book is the product of twenty years of dangerous travel and brilliant photography. I have seen an exhibition print from this collection and found it astounding--brilliantly photographed and just as brilliantly printed. This book holds a deep spiritual message for all photographers and as a photographer who also uses a 4 x 5 view camera I was simply knocked out by the quality of this work and the profound insight of the text that accompanies the photographs. This is one of the truly important books of landscape photography and right in the tradition of Ansel Adams and Timothy O'Sullivan. Extraordinary!

Masterful Photography combined with History, Geography and Reflections on the Sublime. September 27, 2008

Dana Osborne “Photographer” (Middlebury, CT USA)

Kenneth Hanson is a masterful fine-art photographer in the tradition of Ansel Adams.
His signed limited edition book is a comprehensive review of his visits to the Himalayas including over 100 photographs of the region taken over 20 years. as well as review of the History, Geology and Geography of the region with essays on the Philosophy of the Sublime, Himalayan Buddhism, and previous climbers and expeditions.
Included are excerpts from Victorian poets with particular reference to Wordsworth and reflections on the "Mountain Sublime".

Almost all of the photographs are landscapes with the emphasis on mountains but they include some fine portraits. Most of the photographs of the mountains reveal to this viewer some of the sense of awe which the sites themselves must inspire. This, as anyone who has tried it knows, is no mean photographic achievement.

This is a monumental work of an outstanding photographer, a scientist and a philosopher. I highly recommend it to anyone deeply interested this region or in fine-art landscape photography at its best.

Himalayan Portfolio, August 15, 2008

Tony and Tom (Norwich, CT USA)

Kenneth Hanson is a remarkable man. After spending a career as a chemist, Ken retired to trekking the Himalayas photographing the rugged landscape and its people. Himalayan Portfolios is a work of art on many levels. The photographs are at once stunningly beautiful and mysterious. The essay unfolds to reveal the iconography of the mountain ranges and all of its beauty and challenges. The book itself exhibits the careful attention to all aspects of its presentation. Ken Hanson has shared his journey and passage with all of us. This book is a treasure.

Himalayan Odyssey, August 15, 2008

Paul C. Hetzel (Springfield, Ma)

This volume of superb images and prose by Kenneth Hanson is a must for serious photographers and students of the Himalaya. His crisp,large format images are reproduced on high quality paper accompanied by narratives that attest to his passion for the area. This volume will be a classic for years to come.