Tree: A New Vision of the American Forest

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9781402728181: Tree: A New Vision of the American Forest
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The format's more modest, but the visual splendor is as huge as ever. This miniature Tree offers James Balog's groundbreaking portraits in a smaller but equally beautiful format, with three gatefolds. Makes a great gift!
Acclaimed photographer James Balog's groundbreaking tree portraits now come in a miniature but equally gifty format. This new edition preserves the sense of awe found in the original book, with stunning looks at North America's most superlative trees--the old, the massive, the tall--in whatever landscape they remain. Immense portraits of sequoias and redwoods as no human has ever viewed them are captured in thousands of tiny frames as the photographer rappels down a neighboring tree. We see thoughtful portrayals of trees that have survived by sheer hardiness or luck, standing poised on the edge of northern wilderness, isolated on a golf course, or pardoned by the mark of a forward-thinking logger. Three gatefolds display Balog's signature multi-image works. With accompanying essays by the photographer, this pictographic volume truly delivers a new vision of American trees.

"James Balog photographed 92 superlative specimens in novel ways...But it [is] his full-length images of the big guys...that required every bit of Mr. Balog's ingenuity."--The New York Times

"Here comes the sap-a-razzi! James Balog goes to dizzying heights to take stunning photos of trees."-- People magazine

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From Publishers Weekly:

In his innovative 1990 book, Survivors, nature photographer Balog used the conventions of fashion photography to make portraits of endangered species: he posed a mandrill on a stool, for example, and snapped a Florida panther against a white sheet. It was a method that simultaneously highlighted their individuality as creatures and their status as threatened species. Later, he began to photograph trees that way, using cranes to hoist giant white backdrops and capturing oaks and cottonwoods against their clean billowing lines. But, as Friend writes in his introduction, Balog wasn't fully satisfied, and eventually, he hit upon the method highlighted in this book: multiple digital photographs snapped from hundreds of angles and then arranged into a composite photograph that combines pure, detailed realism with the playful dynamism of cubism. The portraits gathered here are a stunning tribute to majestic trees across America, and paired mini-essays offer a wealth of tree trivia. Readers will learn that chlorophyll and blood are "nearly identical substances" differing "by only a single atom out of the 137 atoms in each of their molecular structures," and that lightning strikes oak more than any other species of tree. Those who imagined arboreal photography as a leisurely process will revise their opinions upon reading about Balog's efforts to photograph the coastal redwood nicknamed the Stratosphere Giant. Strung up in a "sort of Tyrolean traverse" 35 stories up and buffeted by winds, Balog took photos while fearing for his life. The end result: 814 frames, taken from the top all the way down, which he then assembled into a single giant mosaic photograph (in this book, it's a fold-out three-pager). It's a mind-boggling image-one of many in this gorgeous volume.
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Balog, James
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