THE NATURAL WORLD by Thomas D. Mangelsen


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A world-renowned nature photographer celebrates some of the planet’s most beautiful scenery.

In his third large-format book, Mangelsen (Images of Nature, 1997, etc.) travels across the globe to capture stunning images from a diverse range of locales and climates: Iceland, Hudson Bay, South Georgia & the Falklands, Denali National Park, Greater Yellowstone and Namibia, among others. Following a foreword by Jane Goodall, who emphasizes that “we must ensure that the extraordinary beauty of nature, captured here, remains a reality,” Mangelsen embarks on his global journey, echoing in each introduction to the various regions Goodall’s call to conservation. “The Earth is at a crossroads never before experienced,” he writes. “My hope is that we begin a new path, one of enlightenment, understanding, appreciation and tolerance for all living things.” These are certainly important sentiments, but most readers will be drawn to the book not for the words but for the breathtaking photography. Mangelsen seems most comfortable in colder weather, as demonstrated by his extensive coverage of Antarctica and many areas of Alaska. Noteworthy examples include the June 2005 photo of the venerable Mount McKinley and an August 1995 photo of a formidable, “eerily beautiful and seemingly out of place” chunk of glacial ice, beached in a riverbed in Katmai National Park. The photographer also follows polar bears across the Canadian wilderness, a progression highlighted by an adorable shot of a sleeping cub in Cape Churchill, Manitoba. Mangelsen is equally adept at capturing flora and fauna, and his range is not limited to North America. The sections on the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area are excellent as well, especially the precision and color contrast in his panorama of a herd of zebras in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. The extra-large format of the book may be unwieldy to some, but it provides a unique perspective on each scene and is a fitting encapsulation of a master photographer's work.

A top-notch coffee-table book sure to excite photography buffs, conservationists and anyone who enjoys the natural world.

Pub Date: Feb. 28th, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-890310-42-4
Program: Kirkus Indie
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