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Sensual Africa Hardcover – February, 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Edition Stemmle; First Edition edition (February 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3908163137
  • ISBN-13: 978-3908163138
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 11.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,196,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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My god, I can't believe anyone would pay $75 for this book! It's not really bad, it's just that there are so many better photo books on Africa (recommendation at end). I paid about $12 for it used, and actually took a moment to decide whether to keep it. (I kept it.)

Although each section of the book (covering Tanzania, the Cape Verde Islands and the Himba people of Namibia) has a one-page general description of the people, there is no text about the pictures. All we have to explain what we are seeing are scanty captions of two or three words, sometimes just a single word. The "black & white" (or brown & white, sort of sepia) pictures are on flat, off-white paper. Frankly they seemed too dark. If I were looking at them in Photoshop, I'd lighten them and then tweak the contrast.

The book opens with an "Interview with Peter Beard." We aren't told who he is (another photographer of the continent), but he treats us to, well, essentially a rant against the outside economic and political forces that are playing havoc on Africa. Some rants are true, and I don't think anyone would disagree with the basic premise of this one, but its angry tone doesn't mesh well with pictures said to portray "sensual Africa."

At first I was even more turned off by this interview, when I logically assumed (but incorrectly) that it was the photographer of the book in hand who was being interviewed. The interviewee (Beard) talks about regretting "even being in the medium of photography because it's true that I'm only interested in the subject matter. I'm not interested in photography. I'm not interested in illustrating or being a messenger-boy...." I later realized, to my relief, that the interviewee was not the photographer of this book.
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Beautiful photography.
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By A Customer on February 15, 2002
I enjoyed the beautiful photographs of Africa and its people in this book.
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