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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2010
This is one of the most exciting books that National Geographic has published in recent times. One stunning image after another it lives up to its representation by showing the best photos found in the National Geographic archives. There is little text in this book and it relies heavily on the quality of the images selected. The sample photos and the video only give you a taste of what is between the covers. I must admit that I am biased, because one of my photos is in the book. It was an honor to have one of the only photos I ever sent to National Geographic to be selected by Annie Griffiths to be included in the book.

As a photographer, I will be learning from this book for years to come. What makes beauty in a photograph is a question this book answers. It may seem like a small trivial question to some, but Annie gives an elegant answer with some of the most beautiful photos that represent the best of our world. This book helps reaffirm to me that photography can be a medium of how to view this world and live our lives in the simple pursuit of beauty. What greater purpose could a photographer or a person have?

It is no wonder to me that the popularity of this book is rising, and I applaud Annie Griffiths for the theme of beauty that opens before your eyes with each turn of the page.

When I sit for awhile with this book a quote from George Eliot comes to mind:
"The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone." I treasure the moments that each photographer has brought to my eyes.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 15, 2010
National Geographic has prepared a collection of "Simply Beautiful Photographs" into a nicely sized coffee table book. One of the few times, the title of a book perfectly sums up its contents.
The book is quite heavy, mainly because of the heavy stock paper and over 500 pages contained there in.
The pictures have been divided into examples portraying : light, composition, moment, time, palette and wonder. Many are a two page size, beautifully composed , with no print over them and a small description of the photographer and the place - given either on following pages or on a white border. They are stunning pictures.
Turn the pages and they can take your breath away both from form and picture and content.
This is indeed a book for lovers of beauty, of photography and the world around us.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2011
I was very excited when I saw this book arrived at my desk. The front and back covers are really vivid and beautiful as the book's title. However,once I truned the page over. I was very disappointed! Although the book contains a number of beautiful photos, the quality of the printing is very low. It is like looking at the book from the 70's from my parent's bookshelf. Most, if not all, photos are pale and grainy.
With printing technology today, I belive National Geographic could have done much better job, still at this reasonable price, in giving these great photos a respect they deserve. Seriuosly, my small ink jet printer at home can produce much better printing quality than what are in the book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 7, 2010
National Geographic Simply Beautiful Photographs by Annie Griffiths will inspire all budding photographers. As an amateur photographer who has never had any training, works such as this provide not only a classroom in which to study the work of those who are professionals, but also a statement of the beauty around us providing we have the eyes to see it. With 500 pages of photographs and a minimum of text, Simply Beautiful Photographs is a generous peek at the holding of National Geographic.

The beginning of each chapter is headed by a quote from a notable person that relates to photography if not directly, then at least tangentially. Photographs are clearly labeled and provide the name of the photographer. If I have any criticism for this work it is that the date of the photograph is not provided. There are several pictures that are culturally interesting and the date might have provided some context.

Still, this is a five star book from any angle you can think of. Priced at $35 is also a plus. Normally books such as this are $50 or better.

I highly recommend.

Peace always and bless us all.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2010
Without any doubt, the book consists of beautiful photos. What displeases me, as in many other books, is that a picture fill two pages and the meeting of both the center, greatly vex the composition of the photograph by which the book was produced. I do not understand where is the art direction or production of the book not see this failure as destructive of photography. [..]
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2011
I was very excited about this book after I heard Annie Griffiths comments in an interview. The book arrived and I look forward to reading more about what Annie writes on photography. That said I was very dissapointed in the quality of the printing. It is not the high quality print/photo book that I was expecting.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2013
I also found the photos in the book to be dull and murky. I'm finally fed up with all the 5 star reviews saying how fantastic this book is. I just received mine and I'm so disappointed I could cry. This is another book printed in CHINA. It was a big hope that this would be quality but pages aren't even smooth. I think Amazon needs to stated where the book is printed and National Geographic should be ashamed to put this out.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2010
I just received this book and was really excited to open it. I am not an expert and this is my personal opinion so no offence but I am disappointed. Yes the photos are nice from a photographical sense but they are spread over 2 pages and to me seem stretched like when a normal video is stretched to a wide screen; also on a hardcover the middle break lessens the enjoyment of looking at the photos. The pages lack lustre and photos seem kind of hazy (or maybe its just my elderly eyes). I look at the cover and think it would have been better to have the photo on one page. I don't really care about the dabbles either - lets face it this is not a literary book but a photo book ; yes egotists! if I can't pawn this off then I would rip the pages out and frame some of the photos - actually the pages should have been rippable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2012
The best thing about this collection is the way the photos are sorted. The categories of
Light, Composition, Moment, Time, Pallette and Wonder are superb.As a retired electrical engineer
I do not have the ability to take a good photograph. I take a snapshot. My wife, who is a retired
high school art teacher, takes photographs. I envy the artist that can do this. I am in awe over the ability to compose photos like this book displays. A wondrful collection of PHOTOGRAPHS!!!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2011
I have read some reviewers complain about the grainy or low quality pictures in this book. Well, it's true that some of the images are grainy or noticeably old. But this is okey for me. In fact, it helps making this book a deeper experience.

Why so? Because if all the images have exceptional technical quality, your attention will be blinded. To me, this book is a challenge. It is divided in chapters, such as light, composition or colour. These chapters are pretty vague, and some pictures would fit in more than one category. There are some pictures which are pretty similar, but fall under a different chapter. This is good, because the categories make you pay attention to a particular aspect of an image, the chapters guide your eyes and your mind in order to have insights that you wouldn't have otherwise.

Same with technical or printing quality. Every now and then, a photograph is very grainy, but this is not bad per se. A grainy photograph will make you notice the texture in a deeper way, not only of that photograph, but also of the ones that surround it. It adds texture, contrast, and even some poetry, and it will have you asking yourself why this picture has been chosen, and this will deepen your experience of the book, by making you think and by making you pay attention to the non technical aspects.

The selected pictures were picked from the hugue National Geographic archive, and this implies good photographs. Most of them were fantastic images and they were eloquent individually; but they also conversated with the other ones, bringing your attention to a particular aspect and making you notice how the same aspect manifests in a different way in other pieces.

The quotes fitted very well and were interesting to read and think about. One of these quotes, attributed to Confucius, could serve as a clue for those who are unhappy about grainy printings. If I remember it well, it said something like "there is beauty in everything, you only have to know how to find it".
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