It never goes wrong to buy photo collections of national geographic. Hardcover, 500 pages, high-quality pictures, at price $30. What do you expect? The book is in high quality, in terms of binding and printing. The pictures included are also very interesting. About 250 photos are included, and usaully, one photo will cover too pages. But I have a complaint. Most photos are not the original. The editor cut the edges, and only show the "main" part of the photo in this book. This causes two problems. First, I believe that when the photographer took the photo, he/she has special purpose for framing. Different photographer has different style. But now, the style of all photos look consistent!!! I want to see the original photos. Second, since a portion of the orignal photo is enlarged so much, the color is not as vivid as before. But anyway, despite the drawback, it is definitely worth buying this book.
Not Especially Satisfying2003/12/25
I'll give 3 stars to this book for the hidden gems in it, and for the expansive collection of photographs. However, National Geographic seems to have chosen quantity over quality. I was genuinely surprised at the lack of pictures even worth being denoted 'good'. Some of them looked like the sort of thing the average person takes on a short vacation. Most photos in it are across both pages, and the large size makes almost every picture look grainy. It also makes the book seem like there are more pictures than there really are. The truly wonderful photos are pretty much all ones we've seen printed elsewhere, multiple times, like a humpback whale with seabirds about it by Flip Nicklin. I've even seen that one used in advertisements. Don't waste your money or time buying this book; there are others of much better quality and lower pricing. In short they are NOT the "Greatest" photographs.
Definitely worth the price, but...2004/2/19
Through the Lens is an excellent collection of National Geographic photos, and for only $30, well worth the cost. The book has several well known photos, as well as other beautiful, but not as publicized, pictures. The book is divided into sections based on continents, which (usually) makes it easier to find a specific picture. This book does have its share of problems however. There's no index, so you can't look for pictures with a specific theme. The majority of the pictures are centered in the middle of the two pages, so the middle of the pictures disappear into the binding. The pages are another problem entirely. The book is printed on glossy paper that absorbs liquid (apparently). Oil from your fingers is left as prints or smudges, even if you only are touching the page for a few seconds. These marks DO NOT disappear over time, and you can espeacially see them on the black pages. Even with these problems, this book is worth getting for the spectacular pictures inside.
An International Project of Great Worth2006/1/1
National Geographic Magazine, long the definitive resource for armchair discovery of the world, has published this very fine volume that has been translated in many languages and distributed around the world. The contents are simply (!) rich color photographs for which National Geographic is so widely respected and well known. Divided into sections - Europe, Asia, Africa & the Middle East, The Americas, Oceans and Isles, and The Universe - the editors have selected a terrific cross section of images from the depth of underwater photographs (apparently these were the first ever made!) to images of the distant most stars. And of course including images of the planet's surface and habitants in the fine tradition of the magazine.
Some of the photographs will be familiar to readers of the magazine while many will be the first glimpses of how fine the representative 84 photographers truly are. This is one photography/art book that would rest comfortably on any coffee table. It provides a wonderland for children's imaginations, reveries for travelers, and stimuli for every eye that journeys through the book. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, December 05
More than the articles, when I think of National Geographic Magazine I think of the photography. I have long considered the photography in National Geographic to be some of the best magazine photography that I have seen. The images are typically stunning and give me a visual idea of locations that I would not even be able to imagine. I cannot speak to the technical craft of photography because I know nothing about that. Since I also have not looked at other National Geographic Collections, I cannot speak as to what is included in those collections and how it compares to this collection. What I can speak to is what I thought about this particular collection. Bottom line: I liked it. Since I am not a regular reader of National Geographic, all of the pictures were new to me. This is an excellent collection of photography for someone who just wants to look at some wonderful pictures. One can look through the book casually and enjoy the pictures (as I did), or one can study the pictures and see exactly what is going on and find nuance within the pictures. Either way works. Good pictures, good book, and it was an enjoyable time looking at some of the best of National Geographic's photography.