Melrakki – A Book Review

February 10, 2017 ·

Kevin Raber
Josh Holko settles in and waits for the Arctic Fox

I love books, especially photo books.  I have been amassing a large number of new photo books and over the coming weeks and months I’ll be sharing my thoughts on them.  What I really enjoy is knowing the author of these books and being friends with them.  You probably won’t read anything bad about the books I share here.  I wouldn’t have bought them if I didn’t like them.

Image as it appears in the book

A few months ago, fellow adventure photographer and workshop leader, as well as Luminous-Landscape contributor, Josh Holko, sent me his latest book Melrakki.  Josh is Australian and he and I have ben leading workshops to exotic locations for a number of years.  We know a lot of the same people and have a great amount of respect for each other’s photography.  What I admire about Josh, though, is that he has time on his side to explore some really exotic locations and devote a lot more time to certain projects.


You’ll feel the cold while watching this video

Melrakki is just such a project.  The name is Icelandic for Arctic fox.  The beauty in the name Melrakki shines through this beautiful book, illustrating the harsh life of the Arctic fox in the winter.  There is no harsher place in the winter than Iceland, nor is there a place more beautiful in the winter than Iceland.  This book project took Josh three years to complete.  Over those three years, I got to peek at some of the images that he captured, as well as hear some of his stories about what it took to accomplish those images.  Trust me, it takes a hearty soul to sit in a hole dug from the snow and wait in blinding blizzards to capture this elusive creature. 

The face of this fox defines its toughness and ability to survive such a harsh environment

The Arctic fox is quite an amazing creature.  Their coats change color according to the season.  In the spring and summer, they shed and are light grey in color; then, in the winter, their coats turn an almost blue-grey.  I have had the privilege to shoot these fox, as well as some young pups, in the summer, and they are beautiful creatures.  Their lifespan is only a few years.  It’s no wonder when you see the conditions they must survive in.

What I enjoyed most about Josh’s book is not only the fabulous photography but also the story that he weaves throughout the book about what it took to capture these images.  At times, you feel like you are there next to him as he captures these images.  A number of these images will send chills through you, not only because of the implied cold and harshness of the environment but because they are so well captured and technically perfect. 

This is the kind of place the Arctic Fox lives

Photographers are the biggest purchasers of photo books.  However, this book is perfect for anyone who enjoys nature, especially for the chance to see an animal that not too many people know exists.  I sat down with the book one evening and read it cover to cover and regretted only one thing: that I didn’t get a chance to shoot the photos.  I am now inspired to get out there and do something similar.  Thank you, Joshua.

Josh climbs to the hide he used to photograph from

This is a limited edition book of 100.  is printed on beautiful Lustre 250gsm paper using the Canon DreamLabo digital press; the quality you’ll find is exceptional and almost photographic.  The book measures 22cm x 30cm (8.6 inches x 11.8 inches), and has 96 pages with over 50 photographs.  The book is signed by the author and shipped in a protective cloth sleeve.  With the book you’ll also receive a signed print by Josh.

Josh has been kind enough to extend to readers of this site a special discount of 10% off the purchase price of $245.00 by entering the code “LULA” at checkout. 

I highly recommend this book

ISBN: 978-0-646-95781-4

Kevin Raber
February 2017

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Photography is my passion and has been for 45 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of pictures taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through Rockhopper Workshops and other projects as well as teaching at my Gallery in Indianapolis.

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