Book Reviews

Reefs And Rain Forests

Reefs And Rain Forests: The Natural Heritage of Malaysian Borneo; by Murray S. Kaufman; Reefs And Rain Forests Publications, 608 North Sierra Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210; hard cover; 276 pages; $49.95; (ISBN 0-9710655-0-0)
Reefs and Rain Forests is a study of these final oasis of nature that have been left undisturbed by man. Kaufman has done an amazing job of capturing the boundless beauty hidden in these alcoves and transformed his collection of vivid images into a breathtaking book. Photographs of colorful fish, bizarre insects, comical primates, and lush green foliage grace each page while educational essays highlight pertinent topics along with information on conservation and technical notes. This is one of the most charming books I've seen so far and I think you will enjoy it, too.

Blue Prints: The Natural World in Cyanotype Photographs; by Zeva Oelbaum; Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 300 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010; hard cover; 96 pages; $35; (ISBN 0-8478-2432-2)
The images on these pages appear as soft blue gossamer shapes that seem to float above the paper's surface. The Cyanotype process is a wonder to behold and Oelbaum has truly mastered the technique. She utilizes it in the manner for which it was originally developed by capturing the inner essence of the natural world. Oelbaum has created a body of work that reveals the intricate beauty of insects, tiny animals, leaves and flowers that are a treat for the eyes as well as the mind. I'd recommend this title for it's uniqueness and clever use of the Cyanotype process.

Lighthouses of the Mid-Atlantic Coast; text by Elinor DeWire and photographs by Paul Eric Johnson; Voyageur Press, 123 North Second Street, Stillwater, MN 55082; hard cover; 160 pages; $29.95; (ISBN 0-89658-570-0)
A lighthouse possess a certain old world charm that matches the importance of its function. These stately structures were built to withstand the elements yet they were often constructed with a sense of regal beauty as well. These components combine to make lighthouses perfect photographic subjects and Paul Eric Johnson has done a marvelous job of capturing these illusive qualities on film. His lovingly crafted images are simply fantastic and are the perfect compliment to Elinor DeWire's lively and informative text. I recommend this title for its valuable historical information and lovely photographs.

Distinctly American: The Photographs of Wright Morris; by Alan Trachtenberg; Rizzoli International Publications, 300 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010; hard cover; 144 pages; $50; (ISBN 1-85894-176-8)
This book does a fantastic job of immortalizing the brilliant black and white images of Wright Morris. Trachtenberg has chosen 80 eloquent photographs and woven them together with his enlightening text that brings the purpose of the book into sharp focus. His care and attention to the legacy of this icon of the 1940s is apparent and should not be missed. I would recommend this title for any fan of Morris' work or for anyone who would like to further their education on this amazing photographer and his contribution to American culture.

Mother Earth: Through The Eyes Of Women Photographers And Writers; Edited by Judith Boice; Sierra Club Books, 85 Second Street, San Francisco, CA 94105; soft cover; 190 pages; $24.95; (ISBN 1-57805-065-0)
Now is your chance to take a very different look at the world through the beautiful images and loving words crafted by women. This revised 10th anniversary edition is filled to capacity with 73 wondrous photos from such well-known artists like Mary Liz Austin, Peggy Bauer, and Robin Brandt. The book is also given a potent voice thanks to the literary works of Diane Ackerman, Rachel Carson, and Alice Walker to name just a few of the talented writers to be found inside these pages. I recommend this title for its high quality and uniqueness.