National Geographic Greatest Places
written by Ferdinand Protzman
National Geographic | ISBN 9781426208935
Hardback – 504 pages
Part of the National Geographic Collectors Series series.
Member’s price: $22.46
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Spanning the world, from Northeast Europe to Southeast Asia, these 260 photos offer a spectacular view of regions of unimaginable, often haunting beauty. Many of the images, from the National Geographic Society's 10 million-image archive, have never been published before. Meditative introductions to each region of the world consider questions such as our stereotypical views of Asia and the ambiguity of evocations of the Middle East, their meaning "depending largely on what one believes." But the real attraction is the full-color photos: sometimes mysterious, like Karen Kasmaski's photos of sunflowers with Mount Fuji emerging from the shadows in the background; or playful, like Miguel Luis Fairbanks's woman driving in Australia with a young koala bear on her shoulder. Some are charming, like Steve McCurry's image of women in a field in Yemen, their hats bobbing above the lush clover; and still others present the natural world in an original light, like Anup and Manoj Sha's photo of a herd of zebras in Kenya, op-arty with its zigzags of black and white stripes. Not all the photos evoke pleasant images: the ravages of war in Croatia and the 2003 invasion of Iraq crop up, adding a dose of unhappy realities. Still, dipping anywhere into this volume offers a feast for the eyes and introduction to parts of the world most are unlikely ever to visit.