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Poles Apart: Parallel Visions of the Arctic and the Antarctic by Galen Rowell

I was reared in the company of books by Eliot Porter, an artist and naturalist of such mastery that the work of less traveled, less informed, and less patient photographers seems merely a joy, and not a revelation. Galen Rowell, however, approaches Porter's benchmark and often matches it.

Poles Apart let me experience the polar regions in a way I'd never thought possible without a lot of expensive airfare and down clothing. The light, the ice (so much ice...), animals finned and furry, the peoples both indigenous and expatriate, all are represented here. But how they are represented! Rowell's obvious care with every exposure expresses the depth of his passion for these remote places, and beseeches us to look deeper ourselves. And his policy of not manipulating images either in the darkroom or on the computer screen gives them an additional weight in this era of photo-collage. All is accompanied by perceptive text and extensive technical notes.

Note that this is among the first color photography books printed using stochastic screening, a reproduction process that yields remarkably sharp, well-registered images with no visible halftone dots. Quite nice.


ISBN: 0520209028

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