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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2009 Holiday Book Guide

The annual OP selection of photography books for outdoor enthusiasts

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Butterfly: A Photographic Portrait by Thomas Marent (DK Publishing, 2008; ISBN: 978-0-7566-3340-0). More than 500 photographs of butterflies and moths fill these pages, showing each stage of their life cycle with detailed, close-up views. Marent has spent nearly half of his life capturing butterflies across five continents. For this book, he shows them in a variety of habitats, from northern woodlands to tropical rainforests, and delivers a comprehensive portrait of some of the 165,000 species found around the world.

The Changing Range of Light: Portraits of the Sierra Nevada by Elizabeth Carmel (Hawks Peak Publishing, 2009; ISBN: 978-0-9776-8771-8). In her second book, Carmel explores the natural beauty of the High Sierra and the environmental challenges it faces because of climate change. Straightforward vignettes by top scientists accompany the photos, along with inspiring quotes and poetry by renowned authors.

Crisscrossing America: Discovering America from the Road by John Gussenhoven and Jim Wark (Rizzoli, 2009; ISBN: 978-0-8478-3323-8). There’s nothing quite as freeing as going on a road trip. Shortly after buying his first motorcycle in 2004, Gussenhoven hit the road, shooting only what he could see from the vantage point of his bike. He logged more than 8,500 miles. For a more complete view of the country, he enlisted help from Wark, an acclaimed aerial photographer. Some 9,000 images were taken between the two of them.

Endangered Liaisons by Don Shay (Alarus Press, 2008; ISBN: 978-0-615-21345-3). Tracing the route of the Great Migration through the Serengeti ecosystem of Tanzania, Shay delivers images of hunting cheetahs, African wild dog pups at play, elephants mating and impalas on alert for potential hunters. This is ultimately a memoir that chronicles his 20-year love affair with Africa. Over the years, Shay has spent more than nine months on safari, going deep into the wild with some of the world’s most captivating and endangered creatures.

Extraordinary Leaves by Stephen Green-Armytage and Dennis Schrader (Firefly Books, Ltd., 2008; ISBN: 978-1-55407-387-0). Leaves are one of nature’s more underappreciated gifts. The 225 color photographs displayed on these pages show them off in full glory with close-ups revealing their incredible diversity of shapes, colors and textures. Accompanying the photos is an insightfully written guide explaining the physical qualities, uses and science behind leaves.

Galápagos: Preserving Darwin’s Legacy by Tui De Roy (Firefly Books, 2009; ISBN: 978-1-55407-484-6). Bringing together highly respected experts, established scientists and a world-renowned photographer, the book offers a comprehensive look at the challenges and successes of conservation efforts in the Galápagos. With candid first-person essays and 600 photos, this is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the islands, which were studied by Charles Darwin and contributed to his theory of evolution by natural selection.

Glimpses of Madagascar: Lemurs and Landscapes, People and Places by Ronald A. Lake (The Other Lake Company, Inc.; 2008; ISBN: 978-0-615-21246-3). In 2007, Lake traveled to this island nation with the Wildlife Conservation Society. His photographs reveal the country’s rich landscape, people and culture. Madagascar is one of the world’s poorest nations, but it’s also one of the richest in terms of biodiversity. Exotic lemurs, ancient baobab trees and humpback whales all can be found there.

India Exposed: The Subcontinent A-Z by Clive Limpkin (Abbeville Press, 2009; ISBN: 978-0-7892-0994-8). With sections on camels, festivals, rice barges and weddings, Limpkin truly covers the ABCs of India. Often referred to as one of the most visually rich places in the world for photographers, the sub-continent comes alive in more than 200 vibrant photographs that capture overcrowded cities, exotic wildlife and more. Limpkin’s commentary is revealing and, at times, humorous.


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