Frans Lanting, Penguin (Icons) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2003/3/24
This work presents intense, intimate encounters with penguins through Frans Lanting's lens.
"This book is a personal interpretation of the penguins I met, rather than a natural history of all penguins," Frans Lanting writes. "I wanted to create an impression of who these penguins are and what they go through. I hope my work will be seen as an homage to the individual within them all.
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BY LINDA GOLDSTON
ABOUT this time last year, I told you about a wonderful book called ``Eye to Eye: Intimate Encounters With the Animal World'' by Santa Cruz photographer Frans Lanting.
Today I get to tell you about his newest, titled simply ``Penguin.''
Lanting has spent the last 20 years researching and photographing the worlds of wildlife and his books are gifts to the rest of us.
They take us up close to animals in their habitats, help us see in new ways how much we all have in common. The difference, of course, is that we get to learn these things while looking at his books in the warmth of our homes.
Lanting goes to the source.
``It hurts to breathe at minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit,'' he writes in ``Penguin.''
``Even if you are an emperor penguin, you have to hunch and huddle. If you are a human, you have to hide.''
At the time, Lanting lay inside a tent in Antarctica ``holding on to the poles. The blizzard outside has pushed the ceiling down to a few inches above my nose.
``I am uncomfortably aware that only a thin membrane of nylon separates me from conditions I could not survive. Yet outside there are baby birds. They are emperor penguin chicks, and I am here to document their lives.''
As a former photojournalist, I have no problem saying that Lanting's work is very special.
From the cover photo of an emperor penguin family to the series of king penguin chicks and numerous others in the book, ``Penguin'' is a celebration of the uniqueness of each bird, no matter how alike they might seem to the rest of us.
``There's a lot more than meets the eye,'' Lanting said. ``A penguin is not a penguin, is not a penguin.''
I've seen two of Lanting's books and quickly added both to my list of favorites.
Lanting is a photographer with a purpose. He won the Sierra Club's 1997 Ansel Adams Award for using his photography to further conservation.
Many of the photos have captions and rather strangely there are twenty-four pages at the back of the book with thumbnails of all the photos and detailed captions, I would have thought it better to use these pages for more photos and have a caption (where needed) on each page. Apart from this I think it is a lovely book of penguin photographs and excellent value too.
Overall this book is great, and I appreciated that Lanting did not devote the book to the more commonly known King and Emperor penguins, but also detailed the lives of other less well known species like the Rockhopper, Gentoo, and Macaroni penguins. For those interested, Lanting includes a section on penguin and Antarctic conservation in the back of the book. This is a great and visually stunning book, and I recommend it without reservation.
This monograph, which is actually his eight book, was conceived during his three visits to the Antarctic waters. The first of them brought him amidst the rockhoppers, gentoos and Magellanic penguins on the Falkland Islands. The second one was a two-month cruise around South Georgia, South Orkney and South Sandwich islands, where he observed the king, Adelie and chinstrap penguins. And finally, as a crown, he spent several weeks among the emperor penguins on the Weddell Sea, Antarctica. In total, there are over 100 photographs. Lanting's photography is always brilliant. True, penguins are always cute, but as other birds, they have no facial expression. It is therefore amazing how he managed to capture the spirit of the moment of a bird's life.
The book will surely attract any nature lover, ornithologist or not, and amateur nature photographer. For these latter, Lanting added some short notes on photographing penguins. And finally, if you are interested, you can learn more about Lanting on his internet site, triple W dot lanting dot com.