Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A real poser....

So here's my question for the week: if you're going to put together a photographic retrospective from a magazine that has been famous for it's images for over a century, why would you make the book 7 inches tall? Our Annie Leibovitz collection - A photographer's life : 1990-2005 - is almost a foot taller than our new addition to the photography section - National geographic : the photographs. Considering the emotion, beauty and historical significance of the photos it seems a shame to shrink them down to such a small size, and I'm not sure what author Leah Nendavid-Val's motivation was for this.
Having said that, this National Geographic book draws you in and keeps you thumbing through the pages. Mummies, shipwrecks, endangered animals, natural disasters, cowboys, famine victims and new technologies all grace the pages and cover a span of years and locations from a 1906 photo of the explorer Robert E. Peary in the Arctic to underwater photography in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica in the 1990s. The images of children are especially moving, as they always seem to be more inured to their surroundings and honest with their emotions. A smiling line of Moscow children, born without hands due to rampant industrial pollution; a young Peruvian boy weeping over his dead flock of sheep, a financial catastrophe caused by a hit-and-run driver.
Just so you know, the library has back issues of National Geographic extending back to 1888. If you see a photo in our new book that inspires you to read the entire article (or if you want to see the pictures in a larger size), we would be happy to dust those back issues off for you.

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