Preeti's Reviews > Archipelago: Portraits of Life in the World's Most Remote Island Sanctuary

Archipelago by David Liittschwager
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's review
Jan 21, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: hawaii, photography, conservation, animals, oceans
Read from January 21 to 25, 2012

I picked this one up prior to my trip to Hawaii. Archipelago explores the remote Northwestern Islands of Hawaii, so not exactly where I'd be heading, but it was a photography book, about animals, and about Hawaii, so that's a pretty good combo for me.

This book is full of stunning photography. Hats off to Liittschwager and Middleton for their exceptional work. Most of the photos come from their studio setup, which included a tank, lighting, and a black or white background. While this doesn't show the species in its actual habitat, their reasoning for this type of aesthetic was so that they could highlight and glorify the animal itself. I have no problem with this. There were also photos of some animals and plants, especially the various bird species, in their native habitats. This was because it was often difficult to bring those species into a studio setup.

The book was also filled with a lot of text, which I didn't expect but was happy to see. Instead of just looking at the photography, it was really great to read about their work to shed more light on this area and its inhabitants. I also enjoyed reading about the work of the scientists that are on these islands. I think it's important that more people learn about places like these and the impact that our actions are having on the environments and the species. I can totally understand the pairing of these beautiful portraits with this text, to convey the immense loss we could be experiencing soon if things don't change.

I'm definitely looking forward to checking out more books from this pair. I also did some Googling and found some of Liittschwager's recent work, in particular, his One Cubic Foot project which is really freakin' cool. I just love discoveries like this and also, I can't believe I hadn't seen this earlier.

The end of the book is filled with mini species profiles, detailing facts about each of the animals/plants photographed. I've been trying to read through each of these, but it's hard to read more than a few at a time. Also, this book is not exactly portable, so I finally decided to just write this review as I try to go through the rest of the profiles.

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Reading Progress

01/21/2012 page 93
01/21/2012 page 93
35.0% "Love this book! Amazing photography."
01/25/2012 page 242
92.0% "Love this book."
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