on May 9, 2003
This is, quite simply, the best set of pictures of North America's west-coast maritime forests that I have come across. These forests are interesting, beautiful, and abundantly alive; they are also very hard to photograph. Through the lens they can seem messy and disordered. The unaided human eye screens out extraneous clutter, but the camera eye does not. There is order there, of course, but it is a chaotic sort of order, with many levels of order-within-disorder. Some photographers strive for excessively neat, tidy compositions, which give an entirely misleading impression of these forests; Graham, on the other hand, conveys the rhythms within the disorder. Many of the pictures are texture-rich without a sharp focus of interest. It is a style well suited to the subject. The text by Wade Davis, what there is of it, is good, but this is most definitely a picture book first.
on December 29, 2011
Davis' introductory text discuss the basics of the natural history and the destruction of these great forests. However, the biggest part of the book is dedicated to Osborne's superb photography. Pictures cover the coastal strip from northern California to British Columbia. Photos are more artistic than realistic nature photos: there are few photos which give a feeling what it is like to stand in the forest. Only 17% of the photos show forest interiors. Instead, waterfalls and streams (like the cover photo) comprise 23% of the photos. Another subject, Osborne favors, is a mess of leafless mossy maple branches and twigs. He also makes good use of the incredible depth of field of view camera, almost to the point where giant mosses in the foreground and dwarf trees in the background become mannerism. Captions give locations and mostly major species of the photos.
on July 8, 2000
This book is really special. Ok I am a mate of Graham's which some might see as a bias - but this book is oustanding none the less. Osborne is a biologist (infact a botanist) by trade I believe. It simply doens't matter though, because clearly what he does best is take photos. *Very* good photos. I don't mean as in 'Oh, thats a nice photo' as my mum would say to me when from four packets of snaps I produced one relatively balanced composition. I mean as in drop-that-frying pan, walk-into-that lampost, draw droppingly good photographs. This guy has had three or four calanders of his work produced for goodness sake. The book, which, ok I admit, he gave me, is always on my coffee table, and I must confess, I have chopped up the calendars and made them into nice framed pictures.
Reasons to buy it:
i) it will enhance your life ii) it will take your breath away iii) it is pretty reasonably priced
reasons not to buy it..
i) you hate temporate rainforests...