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H2O: The Underwater Photography of Howard Schatz [Hardcover]

Howard Schatz , Owen Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 69.50
Price: CDN$ 43.79 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Nov. 12 2007
Acclaimed photographer Howard Schatz broke new ground in the 1990s with his books WATER DANCE and POOL LIGHT, two collections of luminous photographs of dancers, some clothed and some nude, all taken underwater. His underwater photography has been called uncanny, lithe and athletic, exquisitely real, and mysterious, and has been widely imitated in art and advertising. The dancers seem to transcend time and space to become floating, ethereal objects. Schatz's new underwater photographs are shot in a state-of-the-art, custom-built pool fitted with studio lights and covered with a giant dome to regulate temperature. The results are stunning. His unique images---at once lyrical, fantastic, and palpably real---express the beauty of inspired movement magically free of the restrictions of gravity.

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About the Author

Howard Schatz lives in New York with his wife and business partner, Beverly Ornstein. His work has been exhibited in museums and photography galleries internationally and has been published in numerous magazines as well as in fifteen books of photography including the critically acclaimed ATHLETE, BOTANICA, and IN CHARACTER: ACTORS ACTING. Owen Edwards has written about photography for 30 years, for American Photographer, New York Times Magazine, New York, The Village Voice, Saturday Review, Vogue, Smithsonian, and many other publications.

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A DreamWorld! Nov. 29 2007
Format:Hardcover
H2O exemplifies a master artisan working at the height of his powers. Howard Schatz showcases once again his unparalleled genius in capturing the elegance of the human form. And short of attending Cirque du Soleil tripping on peyote, this work is unlike anything you'll ever experience again. It's one of those rare publications that literally transport the viewer into another realm; a dreamworld where beautiful, swanlike models float like angels in a surreal water ballet. Where reality is twisted into some sort of magical, impressionistic state of being. Refracted light, color, even the airy magnificence of water bubbles all go into engineering each impossibly delicate image.

It's no secret nor a coincidence that Schatz uses professional dancers, ballerinas, and athletes to populate his underwater stage - few others could so gracefully perform the unimaginably beautiful feats that construct this work.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wet and wild Jan. 12 2008
By wiredweird - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
For all its variety, this collection has one underlying theme: water. The most dramatic photos in the collection are like the cover shot, dancers floating underwater. The amazing results shown here come from an equally amazing adventure in developing the techniques for taking these pictures.

In most of the photos, the artist and model both release their breath underwater until the air in their lungs no longer floats them to the surface. Then, the model is free to pose in ways that would be impossible in air. The model need not worry about balance or support against gravity, true. The water has subtler effects on the figure, too - for example, breasts float, giving them higher, rounder forms than gravity normally allows. Schatz's one zoftig model, Alexandra Beller, has the curves to show that effect in the most striking way. And, as the cover shows, hair and gauzy drapes can reach a flowing lightness that just isn't possible elsewhere.

Schatz found that dancers, and very few others, could work as his models. For one thing, they had the muscle knowledge and physical skill to use weightlessness effectively - after all, hadn't so many dancers been trying for that all along? For another, most women naturally bob to the top of pool. Dancers and other athletes typically have more lean mass, so can reach netural buoyancy much more easily.

Although the free-floating forms caught my attention most firmly, Schatz uses water on other ways, too. Its reflective surface, whether seen from above or below, creates baffling mirror-pairs of arms or legs that pierce that surface. Underwater bubbles or above-water droplets adorn the models, and bubble-trails create unearthly auras. Then to push his imagery even farther from the world of gravity, Schatz somtimes rotates or inverts his photos. In a few, the model faces her rippled reflection in the water's surface - but the image is turned so the surface of the pool appears to be a vertical plane.

It's a stunning collection, and not just because of the gorgeous figure studies. Schatz has done something truly new: he has freed the figure from gravity, and in doing so he has changed the shape of the figure itself.

-- wiredweird
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent and unique photography Nov. 5 2007
By Ray Sullivan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Howard Schatz' creation is indeed a work of art. If you appreciate creative photography and the human form you will marvel at the detail in creating this masterful collection of underwater ballerinas and professional performers. Nuances of color, shape, shadow in conjunction with the dynamics of fluid motion are brought to life in this unusual and breathtaking book. The images are large and the models are credible artists in themselves. Each page is breathtaking and speaks volumes for the painstaking skills of the authors.I have not seen any of his other photographic compendiums but this is one book I will savor and review again and again. Add this to your collection right away.
Amateur photographer
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A DreamWorld! Nov. 29 2007
By Michelle7 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
H2O exemplifies a master artisan working at the height of his powers. Howard Schatz showcases once again his unparalleled genius in capturing the elegance of the human form. And short of attending Cirque du Soleil tripping on peyote, this work is unlike anything you'll ever experience again. It's one of those rare publications that literally transport the viewer into another realm; a dreamworld where beautiful, swanlike models float like angels in a surreal water ballet. Where reality is twisted into some sort of magical, impressionistic state of being. Refracted light, color, even the airy magnificence of water bubbles all go into engineering each impossibly delicate image.

It's no secret nor a coincidence that Schatz uses professional dancers, ballerinas, and athletes to populate his underwater stage - few others could so gracefully perform the unimaginably beautiful feats that construct this work.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What more can be said? May 5 2011
By Buck Field - Published on Amazon.com
The superlatives heaped upon this title are well deserved.

Page after page of fascinating, beautiful imagery ranging from visions of aquatic heaven to Alice in Wonderland surrealism.

Much of this art seems to touch the deep human instinct to both love and fear water, as well as our fascination with the human form.

I did not notice any inferior production mentioned in the only 3 star "review", but then although I've spent my life around books, worked in bookstores, and have quite a library, I'm no glue expert...nor inclined to become one. I disagree the paper used was mid-grade however, judging it to be up to presentation of this amazing collection.

In fact, I recommend purchasing a Jasmine Book Stand (Bookstand / Bookstands / Holder / Cookbook / Music), you will want to display your favorite pages.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Stunning!! Jan. 1 2010
By Wicked Photo Girl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have long been a Schatz fan and actually had the pleasure of meeting him once in his studio in NY and I have to say - he is an incredibly kind soul. H20, his latest work, continues to showcase his talent and how it grows and swells with beauty. Worth every penny.... each of Schatz's books that have been of human subjects have gone on (when out of print) to be VERY high in value. This is a fantastic gift for any photography fan.
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