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The Earth from the Air Hardcover – Nov 2002


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 462 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd; 2nd Revised edition edition (Nov. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500542627
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500542620
  • Product Dimensions: 30.2 x 37.6 x 4.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 430,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Yann Arthus-Bertrand, the world famous photographer, is renowned for his aerial photography. His bestseller include The Earth from the Air, which has sold over a million copies. He lives on France.

Product Description

Amazon Review

French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand and his devoted team have spent five years putting together this voluminous gallery, selecting 195 images from 100,000 photographs taken from helicopters in the skies over 75 countries. It is a staggering achievement and precisely shows how vaguely we know our world. Statistics play a secondary, but vital, role; the text that accompanies the shots (a paragraph each, with a short essay adorning every chapter), highlights the degree to which we have abused our Eden, providing a sobering adjunct to what can at times be mistaken for a planetary holiday brochure. Of primary concern, however, are the pictures. Almost every plate is double page, reproduced in sumptuous vibrant colour, with helpful fold-out notes for each shot. The standard is a visual treat but, damn it, books should be luxurious sometimes. Huge African cotton bales become cauliflowers, logs floating down the Amazon are nothing more than matchsticks, the extraordinary contours of Turkey's Cappadocia are more like lunarscapes and South African sea-lions gathered to mate eerily echo an earlier crowd of curious humans in Côte D'Ivoire. In contrast, a solitary human figure frequently gives perspective to a shot, though occasionally superfluously, for the obliquity of perception can add resonant depth, reducing mighty river courses to glistening snail trails. Much on show is conventional, exceptional landscape photography, but Arthus-Bertrand also trains his lens on our fingerprints smudging the idyll, such as the depressingly overcrowded shanty towns, favelas of Rio de Janeiro or the sprawling communal rubbish heap of Mexico City. However, the hovering eye, like a benevolent celestial deity, cannot help but impose a fragile beauty even on these blights, reclaiming the scarring chaos from its despoilers and harnessing the sense of mortal finitism necessary for a solution of ecological sustained development to be convincingly reached. Arthus-Bertrand's desire to take his art "beyond the anecdotal", to give his subject the space in which to impose its own beauty, allows a gleefully conspiratorial voyeurism, at once empowering and humbling, that at its best captures something quasi-religious in its intense calm. As Louis Armstrong once growled, what a wonderful world. --David Vincent

This text refers to the first edition.

Review

'Breathtaking glimpses of life on our planet' - The Times 'A picture book on an altogether higher plane' - The Sunday Telegraph 'Stunning' - The Irish Times

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By "enpmdg" on 25 Dec. 2004
Format: Hardcover
I don't feel I can add much to the overall comments that have been raised, the images are indeed first rate, however I'd like to emhasise that the arrangement in this book seriously detracts from it, a travesty given the wonderful images it contains.
The use of double page spreads almost exclusively is visually awkward in a book you cannot actually lay flat, and the focal point of many images lies directly in the fold. There are many images that are 'written off' purely through poor layout in the book, and for a book of this price (and images of this merit) I expect better. There is some justification in that the images are well ordered and plenty of good background detail given, but this is a book that presents the images, and adequate presentation of these images must be paramount, ahead of all other concerns. I concede that the images will be secondary to many, but I feel this is marketed as a book of photos, and hence these must take precedence.
I only write this as it is such a waste, the images themselves are extraordinary, I feel a sense of frustration that common sense couldn't prevail and images could not have been kept to one page or arranged in a less damaging manner. The more I look through the book the angrier I get, as so many images are impaired in this way. The fact that the images are so good is really the cause of my anger - I keep thinking of 'what could have been', and how simple it could have been to achieve it.
If the French version does indeed use single page images (as suggested in an earlier review), I would urge everyone who is interested to seek out a copy of that instead, the images deserve far better presentation than has been implemented here.
I cannot state strongly enough, the images are very good. Unfortunately I must include the caveat that questionable production has severely dented their impact.
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Claudine PROWSE on 2 Feb. 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book holds so many diverse photographs - some geographic, others funny, others abstract and some reflecting the incredible features of nature, using images from all round the world. The photographs are informative and artisitc at the same time and the quality of precision and colour are fantastic. From dye wells in Morocco, camels with their shadows in the desert, flamingoes in their masses to field shapes and rows upon rows of tulips, this book offers unending scope for looking so closely at detail and texture. I would reccomend this book to anyone interested in photography, geography or just wishing to enjoy a great mixture of images from different cultures. It really is stunning...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Oct. 2004
Format: Hardcover
A fabulous book with masses of inspired and inspirational photograhy, and all supported by great explanations/facts about our planet. Its an enormous tome and great value for money.
An outdoor exhibition of the photos is currently touring the UK. It's been in Birmingham all summer, understand its in Bristol and London for the Autumn. This exhibition is well worth seeing - 'cos when you have you will HAVE to buy the book.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By mabolek on 21 Oct. 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a really amazing book, and the photos are stunning. It would, though, have been better if the book was printed in landscape format with one photo on each page. In this book many of the photos are totally ruined by the fold, which effectively splits the images into two separate entities. This is especially annoying when you consider that the center of the image - the part obscured by the fold - often containes the focus point (a tree or a man). Buy this book if you must, but if you can: buy another version!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mary R on 1 Dec. 2004
Format: Hardcover
I'm an art student and have always loved the way nature produces true masterpieces and we don't even notice it! This book shows us that we will never beat it's beauty. The photographs are fantastic, inspirational and gives you a sense of awe and wonderment. I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves photography, landscapes and just beauty in their surroundings :)
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