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Wide Angle: National Geographic Greatest Placesby National Geographic
Synopses & Reviews
In 250 glorious photographs Wide Angle: National Geographic Greatest Places showcases every part of the world. Delving deeply into our century-old picture archive, our new book-the third in the "greatest photographs" series-presents the world's hugely diverse places with epic grandeur, unparalleled intimacy, romantic beauty, and gritty realism. The photographs are landscapes, cityscapes, famous landmarks, and unfamiliar spots that reveal special qualities of geography or culture we might otherwise never see.
National Geographic's quest since its founding in 1888 has been to describe "the world and all that's in it." To fulfill that quest, photographers set out to document every imaginable place on earth, from the most remote to the most familiar; from the most primitive to the most sophisticated. National Geographic photographers have recorded the world's places close up, in sweeping breadth, in depth, and over time.
Wide Angle is divided into twelve chapters, each depicting a unique geography (see list below) and the culture and nature that inhabit it. Chapters are introduced by short, 1,500-word essays. The book's length-504 pages-allows us to develop each chapter to look carefully and deeply at a region's special qualities. The geography and the life within it comes forward with its own unique character, its own special and unforgettable sense of place.
"EAST AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
"CENTRAL AND SOUTH ASIA
"WESTERN AND SOUTHERN EUROPE
"THE CARIBBEAN, MESO- AND SOUTH AMERICA
"Spanning the world, from Northeast Europe to Southeast Asia, these 260 photos offer a spectacular view of regions of unimaginable, often haunting beauty. Many of the images, from the National Geographic Society's 10 million-image archive, have never been published before. Meditative introductions to each region of the world consider questions such as our stereotypical views of Asia and the ambiguity of evocations of the Middle East, their meaning 'depending largely on what one believes.' But the real attraction is the full-color photos: sometimes mysterious, like Karen Kasmaski's photos of sunflowers with Mount Fuji emerging from the shadows in the background; or playful, like Miguel Luis Fairbanks's woman driving in Australia with a young koala bear on her shoulder. Some are charming, like Steve McCurry's image of women in a field in Yemen, their hats bobbing above the lush clover; and still others present the natural world in an original light, like Anup and Manoj Sha's photo of a herd of zebras in Kenya, op-arty with its zigzags of black and white stripes. Not all the photos evoke pleasant images: the ravages of war in Croatia and the 2003 invasion of Iraq crop up, adding a dose of unhappy realities. Still, dipping anywhere into this volume offers a feast for the eyes and introduction to parts of the world most are unlikely ever to visit. " Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
Drawn from the National Geographic's photo archive, many of the 260 color photos of this volume are presented in two-page plates (without a border), though many are in a layout taking them across the fold that makes them more difficult to appreciate. The photos are grouped by region; each is accompanied by a brief caption. The volume is oversize, at 10.25x10.25<">.
Annotation ©2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In 250 glorious photographs Wide Angle: National Geographic Greatest Places documents the beauty and depth of every part of the world. Delving deeply into a picture archive that houses over ten million images, with many photographs being published for the first time, this new book-the third and final in the "greatest photographs" series-presents the world's amazingly diverse places with epic grandeur, unparalleled intimacy, romantic beauty, and gritty realism. The photographs are landscapes, cityscapes, famous landmarks, and unfamiliar spots that reveal special qualities of geography or culture one might otherwise never see.
Spanning more than eleven decades, the images in Wide Angle are divided into twelve chapters, each depicting a unique geography—including East and Southeast Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and the Polar Regions. Each chapter is introduced by award-winning cultural writer and critic Ferdinand Protzman, whose essays accent the stunning photographs by renowned National Geographic photographers. Both essays and photographs carefully examine a region's special qualities, creating unique character and its own special and unforgettable sense of place. In Wide Angle, National Geographic photographers have recorded the world's places close up, in sweeping breadth, in depth, and over time.
About the Author
Ferdinand Protzman, an award-winning cultural writer and critic, is the author of Landscape: Photographs of Time and Place (National Geographic 2003). His reviews, essays, and articles have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the International Herald Tribune, ARTnews, the Harvard Review, Forward, and Zeit-Magazin. Protzman wrote the afterword in Arion Press's limited edition of The Voices of Marrakesh, by Nobel Prizewinner Elias Canetti (2001). He lives in Kensington, Maryland, with his family.
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