Book Review: There and Back — Photographs from the Edge from Jimmy Chin

photo of the cover of the Jimmy Chin There and Back book

When one thinks about photographer Jimmy Chin, that person might envision Chin hanging off the side of a cliff with a camera taking a photo of an ascending climber. Others might imagine Chin’s first ski descent down Mount Everest. Regardless of what comes to mind, there’s a good chance that when one pictures Jimmy Chin in their mind, they are envisioning something your just don’t see every day.

Jimmy Chin is a rare talent, and there truly isn’t anyone like him. Sure, he’s not the first photographer who’s focus has been climbing and mountaineering, and Chin might be quick to name photographers such as Galen Rowell who inspired him; but Chin is a rare talent. Beyond his obvious skills behind the lens, Chin is an athlete who is able to get the shot not just because of who he is as photographer but also because of his skills as a mountaineer and climber. There just aren’t many photographers out there who are spending weeks on Meru or taking on first ascents in Antarctica. And while the film Free Solo was about Alex Honnold and his free solo ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite, how could many of us not be fixated on the scenes of Jimmy Chin hanging from a rope trying to get photos and footage from the monumental climbing event?!

In the world of adventure travel photography, Jimmy Chin is a generational talent who’s jaw-dropping portfolio covers everything from desert landscapes to the highest peaks in the Himalayas. Until now, his work was accessed through occasional National Geographic articles and other magazine features or by browsing his website portfolio, but now, with his book There and Back: Photographs from the Edge, much of his work is now published in an impressive 320 page hardback book.

photo of a two page spread in the book depicting a skier on the top of a mountain

In There and Back, Jimmy Chin takes readers on a journey that begins in Charakusa in 1999 and ends in Antarctica in 2017. In the years in between, Chin takes is to Patagonia, Yosemite, Mali, and more. He captures legends of the outdoors such as Dean Potter, Yvon Chouinard, and Conrad Anker, and as Chin lays out photographs that capture his career so far, he also contributes captions and descriptions of what was happening with many of the photos.

Many of us waited many years for this book, and it is all we could’ve hoped for. For those who love mountaineering, climbing, skiing, and more, Chin’s work offers rarely seen perspectives. And for any enthusiast of adventure travel, this book is a must have.

To learn more about this book from Jimmy Chin, please click here.

And to check out more from Jimmy Chin, please click here.

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