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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars $18 is worth it
For $18, this is a huge book with enough full-page images to fill your lazy Sunday tea time.
Just as much as many of Henri-Cartier Bresson's publications are a rehash of previous publications plus new images, I found only several of the images are from previous old publications. However, I consider these as almost symbols of the NG series.
As a photographer, I...
Published on Nov. 3 2003 by Greenbloody

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the "greatest" NG photos
*AHEM* I don't see what anyone sees in this book. These photographs are NOT National Geographic's greatest! I have been a fan of NG ever since I was a child, always picking up the curiously bright yellow magazine and fliping through it to uncover stunning, magnificent photos and articles. Sadly, I must say that this book is a poor representation of NG's greatest...
Published on Nov. 15 2003 by Mina


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the "greatest" NG photos, Nov. 15 2003
By 
*AHEM* I don't see what anyone sees in this book. These photographs are NOT National Geographic's greatest! I have been a fan of NG ever since I was a child, always picking up the curiously bright yellow magazine and fliping through it to uncover stunning, magnificent photos and articles. Sadly, I must say that this book is a poor representation of NG's greatest photos. :(
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars These photographs deserve better printing, Oct. 11 2003
This would be a wonderful book if National Geographic had spent a little bit more money on the color reproduction. If I was a photographer whose work was included here I'd be really disappointed at the muddy print job.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars National Geographic Through the Lens - A Review, March 1 2004
By 
"buckshepherd" (greenwood, ar United States) - See all my reviews
An avid reader and fan of Nationl Geographic for 5 decades, I was
disappointed in the book. More than half of the featured photographs were recent, many taken in the last 5 years. So many of the breath taking pictures that I remeber were not included. I cannot even guess at what the critera was for photographs to be included in this book but, in my opinion, these are not the best of National Geographic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars $18 is worth it, Nov. 3 2003
By 
Greenbloody "greenbloody" (Sammamish, WA United States) - See all my reviews
For $18, this is a huge book with enough full-page images to fill your lazy Sunday tea time.
Just as much as many of Henri-Cartier Bresson's publications are a rehash of previous publications plus new images, I found only several of the images are from previous old publications. However, I consider these as almost symbols of the NG series.
As a photographer, I have since gone thru the book 3 times and I find the images entertaining and lovely to soak in.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good Value for Some Outstanding Photographs If You Like Small Reproductions, Jan. 11 2010
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Through the Lens: National Geographic Greatest Photographs (Hardcover)
"Though your beginning was small,
Yet your latter end would increase abundantly." -- Job 8:7

Before starting my review, let me note that at the time I wrote this review Amazon had mixed up reviews for the larger size hardcover book available at $30 with the smaller size hardcover book available at $16.95. I am reviewing the smaller format book that came out in September 2009 (6.6 inches by 6.1 inches by 1.5 inches). Unless you don't care what size your photographs are, I recommend you spend the extra money and get the larger size version that came out in October 2003 (10.7 inches by 10.1 inches by 1.8 inches). I think in the larger page size the book is a five-star resource for any photography lover. If you are a National Geographic subscriber or admirer, why wouldn't you want to own that book?

Like many books of photographs, many of these reproductions will appeal to you more than others. I happen to like nature shots that provide me with a new perspective on life against a backdrop of stunning beauty. Obviously, National Geographic could have filled many volumes with just such images. A boy diving backward off a water buffalo into a muddy river filled with water buffalo perfectly captures the sort of thing I mean (James P. Blair, 1993, in Bangladesh), as does a meerkat keeping watch (Mattias Klum, 2002).

There are also some marvelous wilderness shots that take the civilization out of you in meditative ways (Maria Stenzel, 1996, islands on the Fond du Lac River; Steve Winter, 2001, jaguar in Belize; and Jim Brandenburg, 1987, arctic wolf)

More typically, these images are about people. I particularly liked the ones that put nature's scale against human accomplishment (Hiram Bingham, 1912, portraying Machu Picchu; Gordon Wilstie, 1994, mountaineers in Chile; Michael S. Yamashita, 2003, the Great Wall of China).

Much of the book is social commentary. Depending on your point of view, you'll be amused, outraged, or left musing.

For my taste the book could have included a lot more space and ocean images.

Inevitably, there are images of bare-breasted women from lesser-developed countries, views of whom have provided such controversy over the years about National Geographic. I could have done without those.
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4.0 out of 5 stars beautiful photography, March 24 2004
By 
Joe Sherry (Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
More than the articles, when I think of National Geographic Magazine I think of the photography. I have long considered the photography in National Geographic to be some of the best magazine photography that I have seen. The images are typically stunning and give me a visual idea of locations that I would not even be able to imagine. I cannot speak to the technical craft of photography because I know nothing about that. Since I also have not looked at other National Geographic Collections, I cannot speak as to what is included in those collections and how it compares to this collection. What I can speak to is what I thought about this particular collection.
Bottom line: I liked it. Since I am not a regular reader of National Geographic, all of the pictures were new to me. This is an excellent collection of photography for someone who just wants to look at some wonderful pictures. One can look through the book casually and enjoy the pictures (as I did), or one can study the pictures and see exactly what is going on and find nuance within the pictures. Either way works. Good pictures, good book, and it was an enjoyable time looking at some of the best of National Geographic's photography.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth the price, but..., Feb. 18 2004
Through the Lens is an excellent collection of National Geographic photos, and for only $30, well worth the cost. The book has several well known photos, as well as other beautiful, but not as publicized, pictures. The book is divided into sections based on continents, which (usually) makes it easier to find a specific picture. This book does have its share of problems however. There's no index, so you can't look for pictures with a specific theme. The majority of the pictures are centered in the middle of the two pages, so the middle of the pictures disappear into the binding. The pages are another problem entirely. The book is printed on glossy paper that absorbs liquid (apparently). Oil from your fingers is left as prints or smudges, even if you only are touching the page for a few seconds. These marks DO NOT disappear over time, and you can espeacially see them on the black pages. Even with these problems, this book is worth getting for the spectacular pictures inside.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent collection, Oct. 1 2003
By 
zhiyi (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
It never goes wrong to buy photo collections of national geographic. Hardcover, 500 pages, high-quality pictures, at price $30. What do you expect?
The book is in high quality, in terms of binding and printing. The pictures included are also very interesting. About 250 photos are included, and usaully, one photo will cover too pages.
But I have a complaint. Most photos are not the original. The editor cut the edges, and only show the "main" part of the photo in this book. This causes two problems. First, I believe that when the photographer took the photo, he/she has special purpose for framing. Different photographer has different style. But now, the style of all photos look consistent!!! I want to see the original photos. Second, since a portion of the orignal photo is enlarged so much, the color is not as vivid as before.
But anyway, despite the drawback, it is definitely worth buying this book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not Especially Satisfying, Dec 24 2003
I'll give 3 stars to this book for the hidden gems in it, and for the expansive collection of photographs. However, National Geographic seems to have chosen quantity over quanlity. I was genuinely surprised at the lack of pictures even worth being denoted 'good'. Some of them looked like the sort of thing the average person takes on a short vacation.
Most photos in it are across both pages, and the large size makes almost every picture look grainy. It also makes the book seem like there are more pictures than there really are. The truly wonderful photos are pretty much all ones we've seen printed elsewhere, multiple times, like a humpback whale with seabirds about it by Flip Nicklin. I've even seen that one used in advertisements.
Don't waste your money or time buying this book; there are others of much better quality and lower pricing. In short they are NOT the "Greatest" photographs.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a wonderful book that everyone will enjoy, Oct. 17 2003
By 
C. Catherwood "writer" (Cambridge UK and Richmond VA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is a great book - it is just so wonderful to see all one's favourite pictures over so many years in one wondrous book. No one takes pictures like the National Geographic - so what if the reproduction is occasionally slightly muddy? This is just the kind of book to give your favourite nephew and niece for Christmas (OK - I am that old and have been reading the National Geographic THAT long), because it will introduce them to the wonderful world that is out there for them to explore and enjoy. Christmas is coming, folks and this is just the kind of gift to give! Christopher Catherwood, long time National Geographic reader and author of CHRISTIANS, MUSLIMS AND ISLAMIC RAGE (Zondervan, 2003)
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Through the Lens: National Geographic Greatest Photographs
Through the Lens: National Geographic Greatest Photographs by National Geographic (Hardcover - Sept. 15 2009)
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