Top positive review
A companion to 'Portraits' and an interesting book
on 26 June 2012
This is a true companion to NatGeo's 'Portraits' and complements it.
'Portraits' very obviously concerns itself with images of people worldwide, from the earliest days of the 20th Century until today. This volume includes photographs of a similar range of ages including a proportion of people images but the majority can be otherwise categorised. Some are landscapes, some street photography but many could be considered as 'travel' or 'human interest' as that is the nature of the magazine in which some will first have been published. Many of its images are previously unpublished and seen here for the first time in any publication.
The photographers behind these images are not necessarily world famous and most will have been freelancers or staff photographers employed by the magazine's editors, as were those in 'Portraits' and many are common to both.
The chapters are primarily organised by continent with another for Oceans and Islands and one Called 'Universe' where space exploration and related matters are the subject. Within most chapters, there are further sub-categories such as 'Work' and 'Women', although not in any natural progression in date.
The images may not individually be masterpieces but none is poor. Some of the oldest are of necessity of slightly lower image quality than those that are more recent but that is a reflection upon the available equipment of the day more so than the photographer concerned. If you ignore any such shortcomings, and there are not very many, the images have a story to tell. Therein lies their interest.
It is an interesting collection of images and, at the current price, it would be churlish to over-criticise. The print quality is very good, as you would expect from NatGeo, and they are to be congratulated for that.
A worthwhile addition to any photographic book collection, or for anyone interested in the world, its people, places and customs and who are able to appreciate the efforts of all photographers involved, past and present.
I would add that my copy arrived very slightly damp, although it was not raining at the time of delivery, and many pages were sticking very lightly together at the edges. The book had the typical odour of damp paper but I was not able to see any obvious damage to any of its pages. I chose to keep it rather than return it to exchange for a fresh copy. It is the first time that I have had this happen with any of the many books purchased from Amazon or from any other on-line supplier.