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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 Many of its images are previously unpublished and seen here for the first time in any publication.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.
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on 5 April 2016
I knew the book was going to be small but ordered it anyway in the hope that the images themselves would overtake the size ...... they don't and I am very disappointed. The detail of the photographs is almost totally lost in this format and constantly having to press out the centre spine to see the entire picture reminds me of old photo albums where the prints would fall down into the centre; the effort to see them meaning you rarely opened the book. That will be the fate of this book I'm afraid.
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on 9 July 2013
Bought this book for a photographer friend. He really appreciated it - but then I think anyone would. The pictures are stunning. It is the type of book you can loose yourself in for hours as the pictures transport you to other places and cultures and you almost end up seeing through the eyes of other human beings in different countries and from different eras. It is both uplifting and thought provoking.

I liked the book so much I ordered one for myself - or I thought I did - my book was a tiny little thing that came through. My fault for not checking the size when I ordered. There are a couple of versions of this, clearly. I much preferred my friends impressive large sized book. Nevertheless, a wonderful book to flick through at your leisure; informative, glossy and high quality. Would recommend.
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on 24 July 2010
I know National Geographic mainly for the stunning Nature photography. I have also seen some brilliant photography and articles about tribes or more urban areas and high tech themes. So I had expected to find some of these brilliant photos in this booklet. This was not the case.

The booklet (it is small) contains mainly photos from urban areas, cities, daily life of people. Mainly the daily life I would say. Some images are clearly brilliant and outstanding but for most of them I had the impression some people had been given a camera and asked to make just a few photos during their day. It seems like a collection of very average images. This is clearly a matter of taste. It is not to my liking.

The print quality is high and good paper was used. The best images are shown in the "look inside". The more chaotic ones are the more common ones in this book. If you like them then this is your booklet.
2 people found this helpful
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VINE VOICEon 29 August 2004
As most should come to expect from the National Geographic this huge collection of high-detail photos deals very intimately with human nature and environment. It doesnt deal with wildlife and nature as much as it deals with the human world, looking with compassion and intimacy at developing countries and their many exotic and astounding traditions. Some genuinely inspired pictures.
I bought this book to give me some ideas with my own amateur 35mm SLR photography, and certainly this book is an excellent example of original photographic methods.
76 people found this helpful
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on 2 February 2017
National geographic books need to be bigger. Buy it second hand if its cheap but don't buy it full price as other photographic books are much better to look at. Or you could put a magnifying glass in your shopping basket when you buy it.....
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on 15 November 2014
Saw this book at a friend's in the USA and spent an afternoon looking at all the wonderful images.
I have since bought it for a friensd for Christmas.
Small book, great photography and well priced. I particularly like William Allard's images.
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on 24 April 2018
Great book.
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on 14 December 2017
Great photos ,small book .
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on 19 September 2013
I have just reviewed several National Geographic books lately.
This one is as great as the others.
I am not a portrait photographer but I can appreciate the talent.
I just enjoy great work.

If you cannot be inspired by the contents it's time to hang up the Leica!
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