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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on January 9, 2002
This is not just a coffee table picture book! This is a compilation of stories and pictures which you read page by page to get amazing world and cultural perspectives over the past 100 years. National Geographic did an great job compiling the most comprehensive set of photographs taken since the early 1900's. The book features breathtaking pictures of foreign lands, wildlife, people, etc. divided into sections which are narrated in story-like form. For examples, the first section in the book explores the history of photography and the role that the National Geographic played in the development of the technology and the art. I liked the story/photograph format and especially liked the mix of photograph size/style published. Overall, it's a great deal for the price!
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on April 25, 2004
How can we best describe the National Geographic's publication, The Photographs? Creative, aesthetic, unnatural perspectives, abstract, ultra realistic, surreal, vibrant, and the list of adjectives is endless! However, I guess what best sums up this book is that it constitutes one of the most important and impressive contributions to photojournalism.
It is in reality an excellent survey or synthesis of photo images that permits readers to follow the evolution of photography dating back one hundred years until today. In fact, as mentioned in the book, although the techniques may differ, some of the earliest photos still compare favourably with those of today.
This is quite evident when you view the 1902 photo shot by photographer George Shiras lll entitled Loon Lake, Ontario, Canada. Here we notice a lynx sitting proudly along the banks of the lake and unfazed by the photographer's lantern that detects the glow of its eyes. However, as indicated, the lynx was alarmed by the flash photography. As an added detail, the reader is apprised of the fact that Shiras pioneered nighttime close-ups of wildlife and the use of remote-control devices. It is noteworthy to mention that scattered throughout the book are these very interesting tidbits pertaining to the history and science of photography.
Fast forward to the cover and back of the book where we immediately are exposed to the renowned photographer Steve McCurry's spellbinding images of the young Afghan girl with the penetrating eyes taken in a refugee camp in Pakistan in 1984 when she was 17 years and rediscovered in Afghanistan in 2002.
In all of these instances we see the superb focusing of the lens on the subject matter and the reflection of someone or something. It is an encouragement of some sort of reaction or level of contemplation. Moreover, the creation of a great photograph lies in the photographer's ability to use the full range of options at his or her disposal. It is these essential ingredients that are continuously prevalent in the multitude of impressive images contained in the five sections of the book dealing with such topics as science, astrology, archaeology, wildlife, underwater, and cultures.
What enhances the value of this spectacular book is the many captions, articles, essays and descriptions that have been contributed by the editor Leah Bendavid-Val and her many National Geographic assistants. Without these contributory writings the book would not have been able to effectively aid the reader in appreciating the moving and penetrating characteristics of the photographs, as well as following the evolution of the history of photography.
Norm Goldman Editor of
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on December 6, 2014
not a bad book I have alot of national geographic hard covers they are the best for inspiration in my artwork but the picture is very missleading saying the book is 8.6 inchs when it is really 7. the dimensions are accurate on the description unfortunately I didn't check the size in the description. so not a bad buy but its much smaller then the scale picture leads you to believe
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on February 27, 2002
A book of fantastic photography, it covers 25 years of work by National Geographic photographers. An oversized book (as it should be in order to appreciate the full beauty of the photography), it is organized into five parts: The Land, Underwater, Science, The United States and The World. Leave it out for guests to leaf through and enjoy because they will once they see it. Of course it is not all just pictures, if you've ever wondered about those photographers behind the pictures it includes informative comments about them and their achievements.
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on July 7, 2015
Buyers beware you are not actually buying a book, its more like half a book with really small photographs that deserve to be in full color and size not this half a book size. It has wonderful photo's per the usual National Geographic photo's but the sheer lack of size of this book takes away from it. Avoid it in this "mini me coffee table size" and find it at regular size where it's a 5/5 book.
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on December 29, 2014
For a 'new book', it certainly didn't look new. The edges were raggedy and several pages inside were folded down and now sport an ugly crease. Highly anticipated book and now I'm super disappointed.

....And as I try to submit my bad review, they system doesn't allow me. #failamazon
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on January 9, 2016
Very disappointed in the size of book. Given the nature of the photos it would have been better suited as a coffee table sized book. This was very small. Great photos.
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on January 27, 2014
Arrived very quickly, met expectations. As advertised and Excellent price. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes beautiful photos.
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on June 3, 2013
National Geographic never disappoints! I bought this years ago for a gift and always wished I'd kept it! Fantastic book with amazing photos!
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on December 3, 2013
National Geographic has always been integral in my education about the world and its people. Love this book! Would recommend it as a gift.
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