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Penguin (Icons) Paperback – February 1, 2003

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Editorial Reviews Review

What's more charming than a penguin? A bunch of penguins! Brilliant nature photographer Frans Lanting enters the deep south world of the flightless Antarctic birds to reveal their daily lives, their triumphs and tragedies, and above all, that adorable way they waddle in their little tuxedoes. In his introduction, Lanting writes:
I wanted to create an impression of who these penguins are and what they go through. I hope my work will be seen as an homage to the individual within them all.

Set against the starkly beautiful Antarctic rocks and ice, Lanting's subjects are brilliantly defined, as sure of their purpose in life as they are of krill in the water. Whether going to sea to hunt, or raising their heartbreakingly cute chicks in crowded rookeries, these penguins are sleek, elegant, and funny. Lanting's photos reveal their lives in sparkling, intimate detail. --Therese Littleton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This is the latest book from highly acclaimed nature photographer Lanting (Okavango: Africa's Last Eden), whose work has appeared in National Geographic, Audubon, and other magazines. Lanting traveled to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and Antarctica to capture the approximately 100 remarkable color photographs of nine penguin species that appear in this volume. Penguins are portrayed as they go about their everyday lives, both close up and against backgrounds of vast, breathtaking natural scenery. There is very little text; Lanting lets his pictures tell their own stories. An image index at the back of the book briefly describes each scene. Readers who want more penguin facts and natural history information, accompanied by similarly outstanding photographs, should consider Wayne Lynch's Penguins of the World (LJ 11/15/97). Lanting's Penguin is especially recommended for photography collections.
-William H. Wiese, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Icons
  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Taschen (February 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3822824151
  • ISBN-13: 978-3822824153
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,313,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Martin Giphart on December 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
When you're fond of nature photography, in particular wildlife, then this book is great. Frans Lanting's pictures are fantastic; he is able to capture the essence of the life of penguins, particular those living at or in the vicinity of the South Pole. Mr. Lanting's style of photography is unique; he goes beyond pure registration as often seen in wildlife photography books and even beyond rules of composition. He makes portraits and tries to capture the soul of the animal in a picture. When you like his book 'Eye to Eye' you will also enjoy this book.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 27, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Published Monday, December 27, 1999, in the San Jose Mercury News: Warm look at penguins' cold habitat
ABOUT this time last year, I told you about a wonderful book called ``Eye to Eye: Intimate Encounters With the Animal World'' by Santa Cruz photographer Frans Lanting.
Today I get to tell you about his newest, titled simply ``Penguin.''
Lanting has spent the last 20 years researching and photographing the worlds of wildlife and his books are gifts to the rest of us.
They take us up close to animals in their habitats, help us see in new ways how much we all have in common. The difference, of course, is that we get to learn these things while looking at his books in the warmth of our homes.
Lanting goes to the source.
``It hurts to breathe at minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit,'' he writes in ``Penguin.''
``Even if you are an emperor penguin, you have to hunch and huddle. If you are a human, you have to hide.''
At the time, Lanting lay inside a tent in Antarctica ``holding on to the poles. The blizzard outside has pushed the ceiling down to a few inches above my nose.
``I am uncomfortably aware that only a thin membrane of nylon separates me from conditions I could not survive. Yet outside there are baby birds. They are emperor penguin chicks, and I am here to document their lives.''
As a former photojournalist, I have no problem saying that Lanting's work is very special.
From the cover photo of an emperor penguin family to the series of king penguin chicks and numerous others in the book, ``Penguin'' is a celebration of the uniqueness of each bird, no matter how alike they might seem to the rest of us.
Read more ›
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robin on May 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
No, neither have I but you'll find them in Frans Lanting's beautiful paperback of penguin photos, along with the emperor, gentoo, king, magellanic, chinstrap, adelie and rockhopper, all in dazzling color. As he says in the books short introduction it is not a natural history of these amazing birds but a personal photographic interpretation shot over a ten-year period. The birds are shown in all weather conditions, as huge groups, ten or so and as individuals in very detailed close-ups. Naturally the close-ups of parents with chicks are the most appealing photos in the book.

Many of the photos have captions and rather strangely there are twenty-four pages at the back of the book with thumbnails of all the photos and detailed captions, I would have thought it better to use these pages for more photos and have a caption (where needed) on each page. Apart from this I think it is a lovely book of penguin photographs and excellent value too.
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Format: Paperback
"Penguins" by Frans Lanting is one of the most beautiful nature books I have ever seen. In it he details the lives of various species of penguins through his brilliant photographs and a modicum of text. Make no mistake; this is a book of pictures: it does have a small amount of informative text, but the main attraction is the incredible color photographs. The photos are arranged artfully, but my one nitpick would be the captioning: each photo has a very abbreviated caption (though not always on the same page,) but to find out more detail about a given picture, you must flip to the back of the book and cross-reference the photo in the image index, a feature that I found annoying.

Overall this book is great, and I appreciated that Lanting did not devote the book to the more commonly known King and Emperor penguins, but also detailed the lives of other less well known species like the Rockhopper, Gentoo, and Macaroni penguins. For those interested, Lanting includes a section on penguin and Antarctic conservation in the back of the book. This is a great and visually stunning book, and I recommend it without reservation.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Primoz Peterlin on September 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Dutch-born nature photographer Frans Lanting should be a familiar name to the readers of National Geographic, Audubon, LIFE or several other prestigious high-circulation magazines. With a Master's degree in Environmental Economics, he devoted himself full-time to photography in 1980. Since then, he won numerous awards, including the Sierra Club's 1997 Ansel Adams Award, and was named the Photographer of the Year 1991 by BBC. Lanting now lives near Santa Cruz, California.
This monograph, which is actually his eight book, was conceived during his three visits to the Antarctic waters. The first of them brought him amidst the rockhoppers, gentoos and Magellanic penguins on the Falkland Islands. The second one was a two-month cruise around South Georgia, South Orkney and South Sandwich islands, where he observed the king, Adelie and chinstrap penguins. And finally, as a crown, he spent several weeks among the emperor penguins on the Weddell Sea, Antarctica. In total, there are over 100 photographs. Lanting's photography is always brilliant. True, penguins are always cute, but as other birds, they have no facial expression. It is therefore amazing how he managed to capture the spirit of the moment of a bird's life.
The book will surely attract any nature lover, ornithologist or not, and amateur nature photographer. For these latter, Lanting added some short notes on photographing penguins. And finally, if you are interested, you can learn more about Lanting on his internet site, triple W dot lanting dot com.
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