Book Reviews

The Sacred Balance: A Visual Celebration Of Our Place In Nature; by David Suzuki and Amanda McConnell with Maria DeCambra; Greystone Books, 2323 Quebec Street, Suite 201, Vancouver, British Columbia V5T 4S7; hard cover; 151 pages; $30; (ISBN 1-55054-966-9)
The many different aspects of life on Earth are an endless source of curiosity and wonder. The creative talents of scientist David Suzuki and author Amanda McConnell are expertly combined to fashion this captivating and spiritually uplifting title. Together, they explore the facets of life on this planet and their unforgettable journey is revealed to the reader through lively text as well as an amazing collection of beautiful images from photographers such as Art Wolfe. It's an exciting adventure that is well worth embarking upon so why not own a copy of this book today?

How To Photograph Pets; by Nick Ridley; Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 387 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016; hard cover; 168 pages; $24.95; (ISBN 1-86108-242-8)
To most of us, animals are more than just beloved companions. They are members of the family and as such, they deserve a spot in the family photo album. Ridley will show you how to successfully capture a professional quality portrait of your cat, dog, rabbit, hamster, or more exotic pet that shares your home. He provides plenty of helpful information on reading body language to gauge an animal's mood, the best ways to take indoor or outdoor portraits, how to take action shots, and there are even a few digital goodies as well. With such a wealth of information this proves to be an excellent resource that should help you produce stunning results with ease.

Portfolios That Sell: Professional Techniques For Presenting And Marketing Your Photographs; by Selina Oppenheim; Amphoto Books, 770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003; soft cover; 144 pages; $29.95; (ISBN 0-8174-5543-4)
Every photographer knows that the time and effort put into the creation of a good portfolio is vital to their success. Oppenheim uses her professional expertise to guide you through the process of capturing and choosing the best images to represent your work, production choices, portfolio building options from bound books to CDs and websites, and how to put the end result to good use. With the aid of over 200 sample images and extra helpings of good advice this book can show you how to put together a portfolio that is sure to get you noticed.

The Creative Photography Handbook: A Sourcebook Of Techniques And Ideas; by Lee Frost; F+W Publications, Inc., 4700 East Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236; soft cover; 160 pages; $24.99; (ISBN 0-7153-1537-4)
With the aid of today's photographic advances, achieving high quality images is easier than ever. The only problem is learning how to put all of those fancy gizmos to good use, but that is where Frost's guide book proves it's true worth. Let him teach you how to use light to the best advantage, perfect your composition skills, understand focusing and color, master the darkroom, and capture perfect portraits or landscape images. A wide variety of top notch professional tips and sample photographs make the learning process easy.

Close-Up On Insects: A Photographer's Guide; by Robert Thompson; Sterling Publishing Co. Inc., 387 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016; hard cover; 208 pages; $29.95; (ISBN 1-86108-238-X)
Insects come in a wonderful variety of size, shape, and color that range from delicate dragonflies to fur covered moths. These dramatic differences often make them perfect photographic subjects and Robert Thompson provides a wealth of information on how to capture these tiny creatures on film. Each chapter contains dozens of educational tips that will allow you to craft the perfect image and Thompson wisely provides information on different species and where they might be found. The pages are overflowing with colorful sample images, informative captions, and tips on the type of equipment used in each shot. This book can open the door to many creative opportunities and hours of enjoyment.

101 Salivations: For The Love Of Dogs; by Rachael Hale; Bulfinch Press, 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020; hard cover; 176 pages; $19.95; (ISBN 0-8212-2857-9)
The history of man's relationship with dogs spans thousands of years and our bond of lasting friendship is as strong as ever. Dogs have moved from the position of trusted helper to full fledged family members and this point is certainly well illustrated by the lovingly fashioned portraits of Rachael Hale. She has gained fame in the photography world through these unique yet heartfelt images that are a feast for the eye. The book contains a wonderful collection of portraits that are sure to bring a smile to your face because no human can resist the expressive features and playful antics of our very best friend, the family dog.

Medal Of Honor: Portraits Of Valor Beyond The Call Of Duty; photography by Nick Del Calzo, text by Peter Collier; Aritsan, 708 Broadway, New York, NY 10003; hard cover; 272 pages; $40; (ISBN 1-57965-240-9)
The Medal of Honor is awarded to those unique individuals who perform seemingly superhuman acts of courage while in the service of our country. This fantastic book documents the heroic tales of some of these most extraordinary people. Each page is graced with a brief biography, in-depth information on how the Medal of Honor was earned, and a lovingly crafted black and white portrait. All of these elements combined create a captivating book that you will be certain to cherish and proudly display in your home.

Lost America; by Troy Paiva, foreword by Stan Ridgway; MBI Publishing Company, 380 Jackson Street, Suite 200, St. Paul, MN 55101; soft cover; 128 pages; $19.95; (ISBN 1-7603-1490-X)
At first glance, the vast expanse of America's deserts may seem devoid of life but at one time outposts of civilization attempted to gain a foothold in this arid wilderness. Due to factors beyond their control, most of these towns failed to survive and their decaying remains sit silently in the sand. Photographer Troy Paiva does a wonderful job of capturing the strange beauty of these abandoned places with eerie red highlights against the deep blue background of the night. Join him on his fascinating journey among the shells of empty drive ins, rusting cars, and forgotten buildings before these pieces of our past melt back into the earth forever.