Dozens of local photographers have teamed up to create a coffee-table book that is a visual ode to Ashland and the surrounding landscape.
The full-color book "Ashland, Oregon" captures the town's icons, from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to Lithia Park in all seasons to the annual Halloween parade.
It's also filled with photos of places that only locals may recognize, such as the Fairy Pools that form along Ashland Creek above Lithia Park and a fence festooned with painted combination locks and keys along the Bear Creek Greenway.
In all, 33 photographers contributed to the book, which was the brainchild of resident and photographer Barbara Tricarico.
While living in Virginia, Tricarico was the co-author and photographer for the book "Quilts of Virginia: 1607-1899."
She moved to Ashland in 2010 and noticed a need for a photography book devoted to the town.
"In talking to other photographers, they all said, 'Oh, I should probably write a book. I have so many photographs.' Rather than doing one myself — which would have taken 10 years — I decided to ask other photographers to contribute," Tricarico said.
She said that local photographers were so giving and enthusiastic when they heard about her project that she received 10,000 images.
Being relatively new to the community, Tricarico sought the advice of longtime resident David Vanderlip on an initial version of the book.
"He said, 'This could be anywhere.' I had to scrap my ideas. He was right. I had too many trees and bicyclists and flowers," Tricarico said.
After delving deeper into what makes Ashland unique, Tricarico was able to create a book that will appeal to both residents and tourists.
"People who have looked at the book have all said, 'This is my Ashland.' It was a labor of love," she said.
The book is divided into sections, including downtown Ashland, OSF, Lithia Park, Southern Oregon University, Mount Ashland, the surrounding landscape and community events.
The downtown section covers Main Street stretching to the Historic Railroad District.
It's filled with images including unique Ashland businesses, the lithia water fountains on the Plaza, the tile Peace Wall public art mosaic and the library, does and fawns, Victorian houses and the Coca-Cola mural on the side of the Peerless Hotel & Restaurant.
Lithia Park gets its due in a section that captures Ashland's crown jewel park in fall, winter, spring and summer.
Photographer John Kirk shot a Japanese maple tree in the park with glowingly yellow fall leaves. His photograph is inside the book and also graces the cover.
The countryside section shows the diverse landscape around town, from frost-covered trees in the morning light to a red barn surrounded by a field of thistle-like teasel plants.
Well-known wildlife photographer Daniel Elster contributed photos of a barn owl stretching out its wing, a curious fox kit, a rufous hummingbird and other animals.
A series of perfectly timed photographs by Jonathan Treasure reveal an elusive bobcat plunging its face into the snow and capturing a mouse.
The book features many images from photographer David Lorenz Winston, including breathtaking landscapes. He also photographed farm animals that add to Ashland's character, including a grouping of white donkeys and a noble-looking shaggy goat.
Aerial photographer Fred Stockwell, who is out of the country helping Burmese refugees, allowed Tricarico access to his computer hard drive, which was in storage.
His photos include bird's-eye views of Mount Ashland and crops.
Renowned photographer Sean Bagshaw said he loves Ashland and was honored to contribute to the book and work collaboratively with other area photographers.
His photographs in the book include "Fog's Edge," which he captured before dawn.
"I climbed to the top of a hill outside of town before sunrise one autumn morning," Bagshaw recalled. "I was fortunate to witness and photograph all the elements of the photograph which aligned in a way that I haven't seen since — the full moon, the approaching fog, the fall foliage and the soft colors and light of early twilight."
Tricarico said "Ashland, Oregon" is truly a book about and for the community.
"It was a community effort by all these photographers. They all wanted to give something to the community," she said.
An exhibit of the contributing photographers' work is planned in the Hannon Library on the SOU campus through the month of January.
An opening reception and book signing is planned from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at the Hannon Library during Ashland's First Friday Art Walk.
The books cost $34.99 and are available for sale during the reception and in Ashland at Advanced Photo & Imaging, Bloomsbury Books and other local bookstores.
After Dec. 1, the books are also available for purchase on Tricarico's website at www.barbaratricarico.com.
The book was published by Schiffer Publishing Ltd., a family-owned, independent publisher.
Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or firstname.lastname@example.org.