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Our Beautiful, Fragile World: The Nature and Environmental Photographs of Peter Essick 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1937538347
ISBN-10: 1937538346
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Recently named by Outdoor Photography magazine as one of the 40 most influential nature photographers, Peter Essick has traveled extensively over the last two decades, photographing around the world. He is a working photojournalist, but his photographs move beyond mere documentation; they reveal the spiritual and emotional aspects of nature and the impact of development on the landscape.

Essick has been a frequent contributor to National Geographic magazine for 25 years, where he has produced 40 feature articles on an array of topics. Some of his favorite and most rewarding stories have been on Inner Japan, the National Wilderness Preservation System, the carbon cycle, global warming, and global freshwater. Recent stories include a June, 2010 cover piece on Greenland and a story on the Ansel Adams Wilderness in the October 2011 issue.

Essick has a bachelor's degree in business from the University of Southern California and a master's degree in photojournalism from the University of Missouri. He is represented by the Lumiere gallery in Atlanta and by Aurora Photos. He lives in Stone Mountain, Georgia with his wife, Jackie and son, Jalen.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 124 pages
  • Publisher: Rocky Nook; 1 edition (December 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937538346
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937538347
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #996,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Conrad J. Obregon VINE VOICE on December 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Peter Essick has a difficult job. He must make beautiful photographs that reveal the way mankind is destroying its environment. That he does so is quite amazing, although he must give the lie to the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. It is often only by reading the text on the full page opposite an image that we realize that a photo is laden with doom and gloom.

Essick has the dream job of many a photographer. He works the environmental beat for National Geographic. He apparently travels the world searching for images that tell us that humans are fouling their own nest. Were the images not so well made, this book might almost be overwhelmingly depressing, especially since the photographer offers few solutions to the many problems. Perhaps the photographer doesn't want to acknowledge that we can only prevent environmental disaster by giving up some of the extravagances, and even what we might consider necessities, of modern life.

Although the book is replete with great images, my favorite is a view of Butte, Montana. The image is divided into thirds from right to left, foreground to background. In the right foreground is a shingled house with a window through which a young boy is looking. In the center, middle ground is a deteriorated wood-board structure. On the left and background is a part of Butte, filled with tipples and mine heads and either an open pit-mine or piles of tailings. One can only wonder what future the boy will face in this damaged landscape.

What a contrast this makes to a book released by the same publisher a month earlier, Jack Dykinga's "Capture the Magic: Train Your Eye, Improve Your Photographic Composition".
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Format: Hardcover
This is a smallish, yet impactful collection. The format is open book -- a photograph on the left, an essay/explanation on the right. The theme is around what we have and what we are rapidly losing.

You will have a favorite photo essay among these. Mine is an aerial shot of a log yard of old-growth trees in Manitoba, Canada. You see what must be one zillion cut trees below you, all stacked, ready for pulping. It is immense and sad. Terrible beauty.
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As always, Peter Essick's photographs are beautiful. The book is made much more special by the text, in which you'll learn much more about the many environmental challenges faced by our planet. Great book!
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Format: Hardcover
This is a very difficult book to review from a strictly photographic perspective. Mr. Essick is an outstanding photographer and story teller and has had the good fortune to take those talents to the highest levels.

His basic subject, as stated in the title, is our BEAUTIFUL WORLD. But he has also seen it from the World's view, the environment destruction that man and time has wrought, so it's the FRAGILE WORLD.

But more important than the above, this book is about one man's exhilarating biography. Every photograph and story that accompanies it, is filled with Peter Essick's life, adventures, emotions, trial and tribulations from the time he was small to the present. As a photographer myself I envy the way he sees images and in most cases actually plans his images.

Not all of the images in the book are "beautiful" but they are important images. Mr. Essick delivers thought provoking imagery every time he clicks the shutter.

Even if you are not a strick enviormentalist you will enjoy this book from a photography point of view, and a biographical point of view.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Peter Essick's book shows perfect photos that capture our beautiful world and the damage that we are doing to it.
He narrates his personal experience beside each picture, describing what is causing the world to be so fragile.
An eye opener that makes us think, but also a wonderful collection of beautiful photos.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Peter Essick's "Our Beautiful, Fragile World" takes one inside the mind of one of the world's foremost landscape and nature photographers. While there is a big dose of beauty, there is also a healthy shot of what humanity is doing to planet earth, and thus, to itself. In short, our beautiful, fragile planet is worth protecting, and we all need to do our part. Fulfilling that stewardship duty will require thoughtful contemplation, which one will certainly do while absorbing Essick's stunning images.

Highly recommended.
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Peter Essick, in his compassionate manner, uses "his eye" to photograph the places he visited to open "our" eyes to how we are using/abusing our planet. Some photos are difficult to look at. “Timing is Everything” reveals how our nuclear waste is being stored at nuclear power plants; “A Coral Paradise Slipping Away” is his up close and personal look at a dying coral reef; and “Looking for Justice in a Dark World” shines an emotional light on the effects of hazardous material on us (humans). His beautiful photographs accompany his first person observations that make you take a second, and sometimes third, look at each photograph. He combines photographs of the physical environment, physical infrastructure, and the creatures that inhabit our planet to present a complete picture (pun intended) of what is happening every day to this planet and the role we intentionally (or unintentionally) play.
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