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on 27 July 2006
No artist's studio should be without the indescribably beautiful Light on Earth. You're bound to find something in there to cure even the most severe creative block. Unless you're a photographer, in which case steer clear; when you realise just what you've got to compete with, you'll be burning your portfolio! It's spoiled me for other books in its field - I bought "Wide Angle: National Geographic Greatest Places" at the same time and it left me cold.

Light on Earth is very well printed (I speak with some authority on the subject!), the captions insightful and its appeal is wide enough to make it the perfect reserve present to have tucked away somewhere incase you forget a birthday. Whether it ends up on a coffee table or squeezed between Kipper's Sticky Paws and The Very Hungry Caterpillar, it's going to be cherished. Even my 18 month old nephew was mesmerized.
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on 4 April 2008
This is one of these books which, if given as a present, results in the recipient being somewhat distracted for the foreseeable future.

The pictures in it are diverse, well presented and accompanied by just the right amount of introductory text. This is a book to examine and wonder at, to browse through and remember why we ought to be treating this planet better then we do, and what we are going to lose or have already lost.

What you are not going to get from this book is the 'how', although looking at the pictures it is obvious that you need to stop getting up and going to bed at the normal time and be very patient. And probably use a tripod. And make your next birthday list one that says "long, fast lens".

It is going to give you ideas for photography, scenes, light, composition and places and things to go to , see and experience. And hours of pleasure too.
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on 14 March 2013
The pictures of wild life in the book are of awe inspiring beauty. Many of them are stunning and you feel spellbound. But from the very beginning, I advise the reader to also read the text, both the essays preceding each chapter and the captions accompanying each picture for there is poetry in them too and you obtain both an insight on the merit and personal qualities of the photographer as well as the artistry behind their creations. When you view the photographs the usual feeling for the photographer is that of talent and skill and there is certainly ample of both but in addition there are strong emotions, commitment, perseverance, physical endurance, and on occasion real risk taking, even a touch of heroism.

The 170 images in the book represent a special selection of entries from 20 years of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition organized by BBC 'Wildlife Magazine' in conjunction with the Natural History Museum in London during which more than a quarter of a million images were submitted and more than two thousand were selected.

The book is organized in seven thematic chapters: 'Illuminations'; 'Moments'; 'Formations'; 'Reflections'; 'Formations'; 'Connections'; 'Compositions'; and 'Portraits'. Each chapter is preceded by an essay which gives a flavor and the passion of the artist and provides the reader with an insight as to what transforms records of Nature into art while each picture is accompanied by a caption which reveals the story and the artistry behind its creation.

I shall conclude the review by citing without additional commentary two of the captions.

The first concerns the photograph which graces the book cover:

'Burning of the mist'

To take such a picture took more than 200 days of photography over eight winters in Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico - the famous wintering site for 30,000 or more snow geese. In all that time, the photographer only twice witnessed a scene like this, when heavy mist rising from the water was irradiated by the early-morning sun, enveloping the waking geese in a celestial glow.

Arthur Morris 2001

The second concerns - what was for me - the most poignant photograph in the book.

'Eye of the zebra'

This is a haunting picture - a photographic record with a difference. The zebra is dead, shot by Western trophy hunters in the Okavango, Botswana. It was a licensed kill, justified on the basis that the bounty paid on the animal's head enters the local economy. The graphic pattern of stripes is striking, but it focuses attention on the strange eye. The black that surrounds it resembles make-up that appears to be running, as if the eye had been weeping. It highlights the green of what at first seems to be the pupil. But in place of a pupil is a reflection of the triumphant hunter with his gun, the photographer taking his shot and another figure, perhaps the tracker, standing back from the scene. Though the photographer makes no judgment, his image remains a disturbing statement.

Frans Lanting USA 1991
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on 27 July 2008
This a good book, full of wonderful photos, which you keep picking up to have another look through. Minor negative points are that having seen the past 5 exhibitions I don't think the best photos have been included, but I guess that is personal choice. The layout is also disappointing as the photos are printed landscape on a portrait page so only use half of the available space, with the description taking up as much space as the photo.
I would still recommend the book for anyone with an interest in wildlife as the pictures are fascinating.
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on 12 December 2011
This is a superb production of some utterly stunning images. Its a compilation of some of the best nature images taken for the BBC Wildlife Photography Competition and every page is 'gasp-worthy'. Its a Christmas presie which I know everyone is going to spend hours pouring over and exclaiming for everyone else in the room and outside too to 'come and have a look'. Its gorgeous.
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on 5 December 2005
This is a beautiful book. Every photograph is absolutely stunning. Well worth buying!
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on 24 October 2007
This book is simply beautiful. I am a great fan of the natural world, and am also into photography. As other reviewers have mentioned, these shots are too good to even try replicating. The selection on offer is broad and diverse. Most of all, there are a number of images that seem to have the power to inspire me, to speak to me, and to connect with me in an uplifting way.

One of my treasured possessions.
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on 10 March 2006
A fabulous collection of images from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Makes you want to try and capture images as stunning. A great coffee table book.
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on 3 April 2006
I had high expectations of this book. The prestigous wildlife photographer of the year competition draws on the talents of the worlds top wildlife photographers, so you would expect some top notch imagery. Take the best of these images and compile them into a book that celebrates 20 years of the competition and you would expect to see a collection of the most stunning, draw dropping shots of the natural world. Sadly that hasn't happened. There are well over 100 photographs in this book, and out of those I would rate about 12 of them as draw dropping. Most of the rest are very good, with about 25% of the shots being very much "so what" in terms of visual impact. None of this is helped by less than top quality printing. I suspect that many of the shots have made it into the book more because of their scientific interest than anything else.
If it seems that I'm being a bit harsh it's because this book has a lot to live up to. The photographs in this book are very good, but they should be better - most of them are not the best wildlife images I have seen. If you want to see pictures of wildlife for their scientific content, then you will be quite happy with this book, but if you want page after page of stunning, draw dropping imagery then, like me, you are going to be dissapointed.
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