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4.0 out of 5 stars Too small to do justice to its contents and their photographers, 13 April 2012
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This review is from: National Geographic: The Photographs (Collectors (National Geographic)) (Hardcover)
An aficionado of photography or someone with an interest in National Geographic Magazine would probably question the decision to publish a book with many iconic photos in such a small format. If price was a constraint, a soft-back could have been used and that would permit a proportionately larger format whilst maintaining the cover price. I have since discovered that there are one or two others in a 'series' that share a common format.

The cover picture, alone, is probably one of the most memorable photographs of the 20th century and has been reprinted many times in books and magazines worldwide. Most of the remaining photographs are less well-known outside of the original magazines. A pocket-sized book, for that is what it essentially is, is simply too small to do full justice to the many highly-skilled photographers who travelled to some of the world's remotest, and in some instances dangerous, locations to take the many pictures within.

National Geographic Magazine was a magazine I would occasionally read at school. I could not then afford to buy it as an 11- or 12-year old but one of my teachers did buy it and the copies were later very obligingly donated to the school library. At the time, I had no interest in photography - that was to follow some years later when I could afford to buy a 20-year-old second-hand folding camera that lasted until I could afford something more modern - but I did have an interest in geography and the world and I would probably be able only to read a single article in the time available during a lunch break.

Some years later, I would buy a copy if it contained an article of interest, but not regularly. I also did have a 1-year subscription that was not renewed as finding the time to read them was a problem.

As many world famous photographers have worked for the magazine on assignment, the quality of its photography is very high and much of its content is literally a once in a lifetime opportunity. The photographs are mostly wonderful, there is little dispute in that, but the book fails to provide the scale of size that they truly deserve. The book is moderately priced but I would have happily paid more to see the photos properly displayed in a suitable size, possibly closer to 8 x 10 inches. Less memorable content is sometimes offered in a coffee-table-sized version; why not this?
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