BOOK REVIEW: Red Grouse Over Pointing Dogs, A Photographic Exploration

I love books. A lot.  In fact, calling me a 'bibliophile' probably isn't enough. I think I am a full-blown biblio-maniac! So in addition to writing (and writing about) my own books, I thought I should start writing about the books of others and start posting some reviews. And I'd like to start with a book that I haven't put down since it arrived in the mail last week.

Red Grouse Over Pointing Dogs, A Photographic Exploration, is an absolutely magnificent book. It is an exquisite collection of photographs featuring pointing dogs, hunters and red grouse on the moors of Scotland and Northern England. Edited by Santiago Hererro, who also contributes many of the photos, the nearly 200 page book is big, heavy, beautifully bound and skillfully printed.

The book is comprehensive and well organized, leading the viewer from one visual treat to another. Photo captions are kept to a minimum. They provide a few details about each photo and occasionally a bit of background information, but remain tastefully unobtrusive. The first section presents the beautifully haunting look of the moors. And, thankfully, instead of the super-saturated, over-manipulated look currently trendy in landscape photography, Hererro opts for images that present a more subtle, nuanced look. He sometimes juxtaposes two photos taken at different times of the same landscape to reveal the ever-shifting light and mood unique to the heather moorland

The next section features photographs of red grouse in their native environment. Contributing photographer Roy Rimmer's images in particular are absolutely mesmerizing and reveal just how beautiful a bird Lagopus lagopus scotica really is.  Herrero's stylish Brittany Valick, -- who also 'wrote' the book's introduction -- is the star of "The Dogs" and "The Point" sections containing fantastic photos of various breeds hunting on the moors including German Shorthaired and Wirehaired Pointers, a Large Munsterlanders, Weimaraners, a Spinone, Vizslas and even a Labrador. "The Shot" section consists of some rather amazing images capturing the moment of a shot being fired or of a bird being hit, sometimes both. "The Retrieve" features photos of dogs fetching game and the book concludes with some exquisitely moody shots in a sections entitled "The Mist". 

This is a thoughtful book that is worth keeping at hand for those times when one feels a need for an
 ...unforgettable journey to the heather moorlands of Scotland and Northern England, home to the sublime red grouse, where perhaps the most spectacular bird shooting over pointing dogs in the world takes place. 
It's a big, heavy volume, worth every penny of its purchase price. It is... 
A book to turn to every time you are longing for the immensity of the moors and the whistling wind in your  ears.

You can purchase Red Grouse Over Pointing Dogs, A Photographic Exploration, on Amazon, at Coch-y-Bonddu Books or through Abe Books.

Happy Reading!


  1. What breed is that on the cover showing such intense point?

  2. It is a German Wirehaired Pointer