Author: National Geographic Society
Summary: This was awesome! Fantastic photography, fascinating history – I loved it.
This collection of bird photography, organized to cover bird conservation and National Geographic history, was fantastic. Unlike many coffee table books, the text was substantive. There wasn’t so much of it that this couldn’t be enjoyed just to look through, but what was there had depth. I loved learning about the way bird photography has changed. Seeing the older pictures and thinking about technical limitations of the time was fascinating. And even among these older pictures, with their technical limitations, there were picture I’d have been thrilled to take. In the newer pictures, there are some where it would be a peak life experience if I were able to take a picture like that. Which is to say that, like the text, the pictures did not disappoint!
A few of my other favorite parts of this book were the fun features comparing the past and present scattered throughout. Some covered interesting topics like what we know about migration, while others focused on interesting birds. I thought it was hilarious that photographers used to have an assistant whose job was just to walk away, assuming birds couldn’t count and would be fooled into thinking all the people had left. The parts on how WWII shaped the way birds were covered in National Geographic were delightful. I loved getting to learn about history and birds and society all at one go. Another awesome feature were quotes from the National Geographic articles that went with the pictures. Many were written by the photographer and gave a great glimpse into bird behavior. The only very small negative thing I have to say about it is that I’d loved it even more if every picture included location information.
This is by far my favorite National Geographic coffee table I’ve picked up. The pictures were stunning and I learned a lot, despite being able to page through it pretty quickly. I’d highly recommend it as a gift for the birder or photographer in your life. I enjoyed this immensely.
For more reviews, check out the other stops on the tour.