Horses Hardcover – Sep 17 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Over the course of 15 years, Arthus-Bertrand (Earth from Above) traveled the worldfrom Argentina and Iceland to Senegal and the United Statestaking photographs of horses proud and humble, purebred and wild. In this visually stunning ode to Equus caballus, he gathers over 200 photos of stocky Scottish Clydesdales, lithe English Thoroughbreds, speedy American Quarterhorses and many other breeds, each reproduced in glossy, vivid color. While standard equine portraiture calls for a horse to be photographed in profile, its clean lines clearly visible against a plain canvas background, Arthus-Bertrand favors portraits that depict the horse in motiontail flicking, mane flyingand often paired with its owner or trainer. In one particularly arresting series, he captures French saddle horses mid-leap, as if suspended over jumps in an indoor ring. He often retains the canvas background to excellent but slightly ironic effect, as when he pulls back to reveal whats often cropped out: while one page shows a horse and his owner in sub-Saharan Africa standing on a rug in front of a plain canvas backdrop, for instance, the following page displays them in the larger context, complete with spectators, spotlights, and the rope thats supporting the canvas strung up between two trees. Theres plenty of informative text about the different breeds, but most people will be too entranced by the gorgeous photographs to notice.
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About the Author
Jean-Louis Gouraud is widely respected as one of Europe's preeminent experts on horses, with the distinction of having traveled from Paris to Moscow on horseback.
Yann Arthus-Bertrand, traveler, photographer, and former hot-air balloon pilot, is world renowned for his astonishing photography books. His seminal work, Earth from Above, has been published in numerous languages and was the basis for a worldwide photo exhibition. Arthus-Bertrand's work regularly appears in Geo, Life, National Geographic, and Paris-Match.
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Top Customer Reviews
He is able to portray a standing animal and seemingly allow you to understand its feelings and culture in a photograph.
He traveled the world taking a painted canvas backdrop and lighting equipment wherever he went... photographing animals in their natural habitat - looking like it is photographed in a studio due to the standardized backdrops and lighting.
Yann Arthus-Bertrand also included local owners and cultural dress to portray the horse's natural habitat.
This is definitely one of the best animal photography books available - highly recommended!
Along with that, there is commentary on each horse species with a description of the history of the species. It is well written and interesting, even though I bought the book as a gift for the photographs.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
But "Horses" is not just another beautiful picture book. It also has a very dense, satisfying text, in the manner of a French natural history: opinionated; filled with wonderfully obscure facts; and most elegantly written (and translated). The author does ignore most North American horse breeds such as the Saddlebred and the Tennessee Walker, in a rather snooty Gallic fashion. Instead, he showcases many African, South American, and French breeds that were completely unknown to me. To someone who is used to leafing through English and American encyclopedias of horse breeds, this book will be a real eye-opener. For instance how many readers will have heard of the Augeron, the Kabardin, the Nivernais, the Trait du Maine, or the Auxois? Would they realize that the oldest horse race in France features the Auxois, which is a Burgundian draft horse?
"Horses" has over 225 color equine portraits taken over the course of fifteen years. A dark brownish-black backdrop allows the reader to focus on the horse in all of its majesty, and on the relationship between horse and human. It is truly the most beautiful book in my library.
I love the way it is not just the horses but also the people. You get an insite into the way the horses live not just your typical photo of a horse galloping or grazing in a field.
This book is well worth the money and apeals to not only horsey people but all who look at it.
If you are happy with the boring "Calander" photos then this book isn't for you, but if you wish to see horses in a different light then this book is amazing!