Photo Ark Review

Review of The Photo Ark: One Man’s Quest to Document the World’s Animals, Joel Sartore, Photographer

Friends gave me The Photo Ark as a gift, one I have very much appreciated. I have not seen the PBS special. I do plan to watch it when it reruns. I wrote this review at Amazon:

My Photo Ark Review

My first copy of this book was a gift from friends. When I opened it, I could not put it down until I had at least briefly seen every image, even though I had visitors. Each image of many diverse animals was compelling. The “animal portraits” were created against black or white backgrounds, eliminating all distractions from the animals themselves. Sartore knew he could not photograph such a wide range in the wild even if he had several lifetimes. With a goal to document animals alive on earth, and with many in decline and/or facing extinction, he knew the best chance would come from photographing animals in captivity and in breeding programs. That does not mean the photography was easy! As a photographer, I appreciated a series of vignettes scattered through the volume on “Making the Photographs.” The images alone are reason enough to buy the book.

The collection of images was meant to convey messages about the fragility, beauty, and interconnectedness of life on Earth. It does that powerfully. I appreciated the interspersed vignettes on “Heroes” scattered throughout the volume.

A few reviewers stated that the paper and printing of the book were not of the quality they expected. Personally, I was both amazed and grateful that this beautiful book was available at a price many people could afford. A true art book would be beyond the reach of many people, which would defeat Sartore’s purpose in creating the book. I’m quite satisfied with the quality of this volume.

I have now purchased this book as a gift for friends, who I know will share it and discuss it with their grandchildren. The next generation will painlessly learn about biodiversity and our responsibilities as caretakers of our Earth.

A wonderfully conceived and beautiful effort everyone can enjoy.

I have enjoyed this book, received as a gift. Thank you, Char and Pilar!

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