Treasured Lands: A Photographic Odyssey Through America's National Parks ハードカバー – 2016/10/11
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Luong, who is featured in Ken Burns’s and Dayton Duncan’s documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, is one the most prolific photographers working in the national parks and the only one to have made large-format photographs in each of them. In an odyssey that spanned more than 20 years and 300 visits, Luong focused his lenses on iconic landscapes and rarely seen remote views, presenting his journey in this sumptuous array of more than 500 breathtaking images.
Accompanying the collection of scenic masterpieces is a guide that includes maps of each park, as well as extended captions that detail where and how the photographs were made. Designed to inspire visitors to connect with the parks and invite photographers to re-create these landscapes, the guide also provides anecdotal observations that give context to the pictures and convey the sheer scope of Luong’s extraordinary odyssey.
Including an introduction by award-winning author and documentary filmmaker Dayton Duncan, Treasured Lands is a rich visual tour of the U.S. National Parks and an invaluable guide from a photographer who hikedor paddled, dived, skied, snowshoed, and climbedeach park, shooting in all kinds of terrain, in all seasons, and at all times of day. QT Luong’s timeless gallery of the nation’s most revered landscapes beckons to nature lovers, armchair travelers, and photography enthusiasts alike, keeping America’s natural wonders within reach.
". . . Luckily, this year the centennial of the National Parks Service has been the occasion of exhibits, documentaries, presidential proclamations, and many books. The most glorious of these is Treasured Lands. No one has captured the vast beauty of America's landscape as comprehensively. . ." – The New York Times商品の説明をすべて表示する
The Short Version: STUNNING – BUY IT! Buy a copy for yourself and buy copies as gifts!
The Long Version: This is a stunning book. “Treasured Lands” is not just a stunning book of photographs of scenery within our National Parks; it is a book that I find stunning from every aspect from which I have looked at it.
The photography is excellent, and the author has spent a large part of his adult life taking superb photos in every single National Park of the United States. Here you will find images of sweeping scenery and of intimate locations that you might walk past if you were not paying attention. Here you will find images from locations in parks like Yellowstone that are on the bucket lists of many, many people, and images from locations like the National Park of American Samoa that distance means most of us will never visit. Here you will find images from iconic locations within familiar parks, and images from almost unknown jewel-like scenes within the same parks.
But “Treasured Lands” is much more than that. The author has provided maps to help you find the locations within the parks from which the photos were taken, and descriptions of how to get to those locations. Many photos talk about the time of day that was needed to capture the image. None of this is unique, and I have books of excellent photos from places like Yosemite that do the same thing in even greater depth – for THAT specific park. But none of those books have done the same thing for *every single National Park in the United States*! This book is 457 pages long, which allows the author to cover the parks in greater depth than any of the other multi-park books that I have seen.
But all of this still does not begin to do justice to “Treasured Lands”. The text that accompanies the photos also provides the reader with a rich experience in other regards. If you want to know more about a given park, information is there - in clear and useful text. With text that ranges from the eco-system of Olympia to the geology of Bryce, you will end up with no excuse for saying, “I’m not sure if I will find anything interesting other than pretty scenery if I go to that particular park”.
Another area that I found stunning was the sheer value of the book. I have other books of landscape and other photography that are a fraction the size of “Treasured Lands”, for which I paid comparable prices – or more – and felt were good value. The content is superb, and the production values of the book are excellent. FWIW, I am putting my money where my mouth is – I have already ordered three additional copies from the author – all autographed.
My comments above probably make me sound like one of the “fanboys” about which snide remarks are frequently made on the web these days. I am 76 years old (and a fan of the National Parks), so I don’t think that any form of the word “boy” other than “old” is applicable to me. However, I will add that when I look at the glowing endorsement on the book cover that Ken Burns has given QT Luong and “Treasured Lands”, I feel comfortable in believing that my opinion still has validity.
There are more great pictures than in any other book, generally printed big on a full page. They are amazing as you'd expect from a celebrated photographer who has worked for the last quarter-century in the National Parks, visiting each of them five times on average to capture the best light and seasons. They are carefully selected to let you discover not only the diversity of the National Parks as a whole, but also the diversity within each of the National Parks. The author illustrates the lesser-known National Parks, often passed over in other books, with at least five pictures. He introduces each National Park very well by pointing out the natural history facts that make it unique.
A few coffee-table books in my collection contain equally great photography, but after feeling inspired to visit the places pictured, I often found myself perplexed about their locations. Some of those books do not even include captions. By contrast, for each picture, Treasured Lands provides at least a paragraph identifying the location and how to get there, and also frequently explains how the author got the picture - like following a master photographer and looking behind his shoulder. This is a feature that I have not seen in any other National Park book.
There is more first-hand information than in any other photography book. Given how unobtrusive the text is, at first I didn’t realize its extent, which is the equal of a guidebook. Treasured Lands rewards a careful repeated reading if you are inclined so, but otherwise you could spend hours just thumbing through the amazing pictures. I have only two (small) reservations. First, the information is printed with a tiny font hard on my aging eyes. Second, it is so useful for planning that I would have loved to take it along on my trips, but Treasured Lands being such a lavish coffee-table book, I am not sure I want to toss it in my truck!
Finally, the value. I do not understand how an obscure publisher can offer the book at this price, since they do not have the economies of scale of the likes of National Geographic - and by the way, Treasured Lands easily outclasses any of the National Geographic efforts on this topic. You may think it is expensive, but when compared with the other books I own, Treasured Lands offers at least twice as much contents, of higher quality, for not much more money. I would have paid twice as much for what is the definitive work on the National Parks. It is a massive tome, almost 8 lbs, gorgeously designed and printed. All my friends were mightily impressed. I plan to give out many this holiday!