Wonders: Spectacular Moments In Nature Photography (book review).

August 7, 2018 | By | Reply More

Wonders: Spectacular Moments in Nature Photography compiled by Rhonda Rubenstein and the California Academy of Sciences
Introduction by Sylvia A. Earle out 7th August (Chronicle Books, £26)

Sometimes I pick out books because the geek in me thinks that if I saw a particular book in a shop then I would at least peak behind the cover. ‘Wonders: Spectacular Moments In Nature Photography’ falls under that category. If you want to be inspired by various aspects of nature and the natural world then you definitely want to peruse and even buy this book. Some of the photographers even share how they took their photos. Some of the creatures even look alien. I was looking at the Jumping Spider and realised I was only focusing on its middle two eyes which shows how we react to what we see. Equally, seeing an eastern screen owl’s plumage conceal it in a tree trunk is a reminder of how animals can adapt to their environment.

These are all winners in the Big Picture Natural World Photography Competition, founded in 2014 by the California Academy Of Sciences with over 100 photos here.

Camouflage Maroesjka Lavigne Black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) Etosha Pan, Etosha National Park, Namibia
Wonders: Spectacular Moments in Nature Photography compiled by Rhonda Rubenstein and the California Academy of Sciences
Introduction by Sylvia A. Earle out 7th August (Chronicle Books, £26)

Oddly, although Suzi Eszterhas does the introduction to one of the parts and has a small photo of hers, she isn’t included in the photographers photo gallery at the end of the book. What she does write is significant as she explains what makes nature photographers go through to get their photographs. This concentration of effort made me realise we’re seeing a different branch of geekiness which normal people don’t really understand. Other introductions are by Dr. Sylvia A. Earle, Dr. Jonathan Foley and Rhonda Rubinstein.

Cheetah
Acinonyx jubatus
Mother and 17 day old cub
Wonders: Spectacular Moments in Nature Photography compiled by Rhonda Rubenstein and the California Academy of Sciences
Introduction by Sylvia A. Earle out 7th August (Chronicle Books, £26)
Maasai Mara Reserve, Kenya

The landscapes shown are truly alien enough for you to think they aren’t of this planet which should show nothing should ever surprise you about this planet.

Guarding the Family Jewels Steven Kovacs Yellowhead jawfish (Opistognathus aurifrons) Lake Worth Lagoon, Riviera Beach, Florida, USA
Wonders: Spectacular Moments in Nature Photography compiled by Rhonda Rubenstein and the California Academy of Sciences
Introduction by Sylvia A. Earle out 7th August (Chronicle Books, £26)

In many respects, the photos speak for themselves with this book. Most are on one side of a page although a few do creep over the centrefold. I would have thought it would have made more sense to reduce the size of the photo that do that. Nevertheless, all are inspiring and some really hard to believe they were taken on this planet.

Cloud Island Shane Kalyn Tumuch Lake, British Columbia, Canada
Wonders: Spectacular Moments in Nature Photography compiled by Rhonda Rubenstein and the California Academy of Sciences
Introduction by Sylvia A. Earle out 7th August (Chronicle Books, £26)

GF Willmetts

July 2018

Antarctica, Cuverville Island, Leopard Seal (Hydrurga leptonyx) lunges after fleeing Gentoo Penguin at water’s edge.
Wonders: Spectacular Moments in Nature Photography compiled by Rhonda Rubenstein and the California Academy of Sciences
Introduction by Sylvia A. Earle out 7th August (Chronicle Books, £26)

(pub: Chronicle Books. 142 page illustrated oblong hardback. Price: £26.00 (UK), $35.00 (US). ISBN: 978-1-4521-6456-4)

check out website: www.chronicles.com

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Category: Books, Illustration

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About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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