Photographer Matthew Thompson, after walking the Camino de Santiago, an 800km spiritual trek across northern Spain, four times, has created a photography book that captures the feeling and mood of the Camino.
The Camino is a special place, a spiritual trek, both solitary and contemplative, yet at the same time social and communal, and is a rare place of international community, in a world becoming more and more fractured each day.
The modern pilgrimage has now swelled to over a quarter million people walking it every year, from all over the world.
Symbolised by the scallop shell, the Camino de Santiago is historically one of the most important pilgrimage routes in Europe, after Jerusalem and Rome. Many pilgrims continue beyond Santiago de Compostela to the sea, at Finisterre.
People walk the Camino for a wide variety of reasons, both religious and secular. Some pilgrims are processing grief, the loss of a loved one, the desertion of a spouse, a bad diagnosis, the beginning and ending of relationships, or simply feel lost in the world. The Camino is also a test of physical and mental endurance and fitness, yet not overwhelming. It is both affordable and easily accessible to travellers of nearly all ages.
Matthew Thompson follows the traditional calendar, both Christian and Pagan, seeking out rituals, traditions, mysteries, contradictions, both ancient and modern, in a documentary way, looking for pictures that show more than just the content. He is currently working on several long-term book projects. The frequent use of black and white, is primarily due to his colour-blindness, rather than any deliberate aesthetic choice. The Camino book was an attempt to also work in colour, despite the colour-blindness.
In the spirit of the Camino, Thompson offers original, limited edition, chromogenic prints from the camino book, for whatever price people wish to pay, subject to availability.
The book is also available at: www.matthewthompson.cz