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Through the Lens: National Geographic's Greatest Photographs
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Through the Lens: National Geographic's Greatest Photographs

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  938 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
A collection of famous and lesser-known works of historical significance, culled from more than a century of photography, is divided into geographical regions and includes a special section on space exploration.
Hardcover, 504 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by National Geographic
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Oct 01, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book is divided into sections on Europe, Asia, Africa & The Middle East, The Americas, Oceans & Isles and The Universe. Most of the introductory text is written in a bizarre sweeping style of Earth-for-aliens from a colonial perspective. Some of the within-section introductions are ridiculous:
In France, young Gypsies still find time for the pleasures of childhood despite the nomadic ways of their families
I tweeted it and later storified the conversation. But really, how did this sed
Nov 25, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: photography
Lots of images. Some are really nice. If these are NG greatest photographs I am worried. I have seen better photos from children. It's their collection not mine. It does cover the years but what an interesting choice of pictures to call them the greatest.
Kristal Cooper
May 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: library
Granted, it's probably the hardest (though also most enviable!) job in the world to pick 200 or so of the "best" photographs in the history of National Geographic... but this book could have been much, much better. For me, the "best" are stunning, sharp photos like the one on the cover. Some would also be historic and there would be a few that are artsy just for art's sake. Unfortunately, most of the ones that are included in this book are real head-scratchers. Part of the problem is that they t ...more
Ray Dunsmore
Sep 25, 2014 rated it liked it
A nice book of photographs, though nowhere near the "greatest photographs" published in National Geographic. The majority of these photos are okay, nothing to write home about, things I could've taken in my own town with a cellphone camera. Interesting in parts, but most of it is nothing to write home about. The nicer pictures in this collection, however, (most of them to do with motion blur) are enough to bump this up a star.
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
A surprising collection of Photographs that are deemed National Geographic's Greatest. Really? I look over my collection of travel snaps and have to say perhaps I could work as a Photographer for this company.... Disappointing. Perhaps if I was looking at the original photo I would be impressed. They seemed flat and lacked lustre and questioned the "eye" behind the lens.
F.C. Etier
Apr 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring photography!
Sadly, just not that interesting...
May 26, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great photos - interesting that they're presented in this rather small, square format. It works surprisingly well.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a great book the pictures where amazing and I learned a lot from the information about each countries segment and the captions of the pictures.
Kathleen Messmer
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
While this book is rather extraordinary, I found some of the "great" images to be not so.
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Leah Bendavid-Val is a historian of photography who has worked with Russian photographers for more than two decades. She is the author most recently of Song Without Words: The Photographs & Diaries of Countess Sophia Tolstoy (published in October 2007). Her two earlier books about Russian photographers and themes are Propaganda & Dreams (1999); and Changing Reality (1991).

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