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Menagerie Hardcover – November 1, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Menagerie

Features Sharon Montrose’s richly evocative photographs of wild and domestic animals displayed in unusual ways. From the baby porcupine to the kitten to the zebra, each animal has a pronounced identity—not unlike the eccentric uncle or prodigal cousin displayed among family portraits.

About the Author

Sharon Montrose’s definitive photographic style and extensive experience in the animal industry have made her one of the most sought-after photographers specializing in animals. Her work is featured in ten published photography books: Dogtionary and Cationary, as well as the Lightweights and Lightweights Littermates series, Carry-Ons, and Mutts. Sharon also shoots commercially for some of the world’s foremost pet industry brands. Her Animal Series images are part of numerous private collections. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their two dogs.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: ItBooks (December 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062049208
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062049209
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,086,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
**Update. Ok, well, now I feel guilty for writing such a critical review---I wrote in haste and suppose it's possible that hyperbole got the better of me. I want to reiterate that I find Sharon Montrose's work to be amazing; I actually wish that I could wallpaper my office in her prints. My reason for the lackluster review is that I was SO excited to receive this book, thinking it would showcase her work in larger scale. My problem for having different expectations. To that end, if you realize that you're going to be receiving a journal sized, intimate look at her work, then order away and enjoy. Otherwise, go to her website and buys lots of full size prints.**

I'm a huge fan of Sharon Montrose's work, but Menagerie is a true disappointment. The foremost directive of the book seems to be to make sure that no one can buy it in order to pull it apart for prints. Understandable, but I wish that the publisher, or Ms. Montrose, or whoever made the decisions about this book, would've had more confidence in her work.

The majority of the content is pictures of prints, i.e, a photo of one her prints, framed on a wall, from about 10 feet away. So, you can't even see the detail in many of her wonderful shots. Also, the book itself is small--the pages are basically 5x8's, which means that many of her more stunning photos are chopped up by the book's spine (most egregiously with the pink flamingo). Menagerie would be beyond stunning if it had a simpler format to match her simple backdrops, and if the pictures filled the page. Trust me, I would still buy prints separately!

Overall, I think the book could've worked, even in its overly art-directed format, IF it was much larger sized. Then, you could really get the scale of her photos. As it is, I'm squinting to see detail, and essentially bummed out that these gorgeous photographs have been diminished by kitsch.
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Format: Hardcover
Menagerie by Sharon Montrose is one of those quirky little books that you can't help but pick up and look through. Montrose is a sought after photographer of - you guessed it - animals.

She has assembled a collection of photos in Menagerie that somehow mimic a photo album you might pull out to show off your family. The animals seem almost like they have posed in a human manner. Their faces and body language seem to mimic human qualities and in many they seem to be looking straight at us (and the photographer)

The portrait of the slumped bear reminded me so much of a tired man after a hard day's labour. The shot of the two geese brought to mind two neighbours gossiping by the back fence. The photos of 'baby' animals reminded me of those taken by an indulgent parent. I quite liked the row of 'infant' portraits. I can't say I enjoyed the snakes or reptiles as much! Montrose has a real eye, that's for sure. The close ups of some of the wild animals, such as the fox, and the detailed shot of the flamingo feathers were quite stunning.

Many of the shots were framed or hung in unique ways. While some pictures had accompanying phrases, I almost felt like I wanted more...a bit of a essay or explanation of the photographer's intent.

Menagerie is a unique photo book. Unfortunately, the size and layout of the book meant that many photos were cut in half across two pages. A larger coffee table size would have been more friendly to the photographer's work. Or even going with a landscape layout rather than portrait.

That being said, if you're not familiar with Montrose's work, this is a wonderful little book to start with.
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By LLHoward on November 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You may need to be a fan of both design and photography to appreciate this new book by Sharon Montrose, which has been beautifully illustrated by Julianna Swaney, but I think it is very artfully done. Admittedly, my favorite spreads are those that feature Ms. Montrose's images on their own, but maybe I appreciate them more because of the juxtaposition of framed images. Every page offers a new adventure: a clever frame; an intriguing illustration; a beautiful animal, bird, or reptile. (Okay, I'm not fond of snakes, but it is a great photograph!) Because of the book's thickness, the crossover images do lose some of their beauty, but it is a practical matter. Would I want a book with fewer pages so that the crossovers were more successful? No, not necessarily. I do appreciate how much has been packed into this compact format and I look forward to the coffee table version! All I can say is that, in addition to my own copy, I've already ordered two more to give as gifts. Thank you to Sharon Montrose and Julianna Swaney for a book that is clearly from the heart.
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Format: Hardcover
Sharon Montrose is a photographer extraordinaire, with a very distinctive style. She has become well known in commercial photography, specializing in animal photographs. In this book she has combined her love of photography with her love of animals.

Divided into sections, Sharon includes both domestic and wild animals. The photographs are taken from unique angles, featuring interesting expressions and views. She has a keen eye, seeing the animal as it is and drawing attention to what others may not see. Her portraits are exceptional and beautiful.

At the back of the book, Sharon gives credit to the animals. She lists them in order of appearance. She also lists resources including websites, and acknowledgements.

The book is a beautiful tribute to the amazing animals, their beauty and their uniqueness. This is a book to own and to give as a gift to any animal lover.
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