Read Earth from Above by Yann Arthus-Bertrand Free Online
Book Title: Earth from Above|
The author of the book: Yann Arthus-Bertrand
Edition: Harry N. Abrams
Date of issue: November 1st 2005
Loaded: 2264 times
Reader ratings: 5.9
ISBN 13: 9780810959477
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 668 KB
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This book is the antidote to the news. And today I really need an antidote to the news.
Well okay, a lot of it is. You do get pictures of Chernobyl and rusting tanks in deserts, but even the grim images are drenched in glory. And it's as huge as it's wonderful - you almost need a removal van to get it home. Marshall McLuhan used to say that when people moan about the news always being full of depressing stuff, they're overlooking the adverts - they're the good news, he said - housewives, smile! this will rid your floors of waxy yellow buildup - gentlemen, this men's fragrance plus this rebranded lager means you'll believe you're attractive! If only for a moment! And so on.
But The Earth From The Air is the real good news - this planet is stunningly beautiful, and it's not dead yet. And camels cast extraordinary shadows in the desert. And people always smile at a photographer in a balloon. Some of this stuff proves that J G Ballard was right when he said that Earth is the only alien planet. I would like to wax lyrical about more of the images in this book of books (the fruit markets of Mombasa! the cloth dyers of Fez!) but this is a book which makes words a bit superfluous.
(Village in Er Rachidia region, Atlas Mountains, Morocco)
There are pages of text here and there amongst the giant photos, I haven't read them, but they seem to be full of the standard jeremiads about the ecology, global warming, deforestation, overpopulation, and all of that. Then I turn the page and the multifarious gorgeousness of the Gobi desert or the forests of Sumatra kind of sweeps all those concerns away. That's the experience we have all the time, I guess -
There is a creeped out grue of Western aesthetic self-accusation to be had quite frequently as you leaf through. Did we, the West, cause the ugliness whilst everyone else caused the beauty? And that alluring photogenic quality of poverty never disappoints either - do the denizens of the markets of Ouagadougou know how startlingly gorgeous they all look or are they just scruffing their way through another dreary day with not quite enough food? With these photos, they're big enough that you think you could just lean over and light their cigarette. With knowledge comes doubt. This is always true.
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Read information about the authorYann Arthus-Bertrand was born in a renowned jewellers' family founded by Claude Arthus-Bertrand and Michel-Ange Marion. His sister Catherine is one of his closest collaborators. He's been interested in nature and wildlife from an early age.
From the age of 17 he became involved in the movie industry. He gave up the movie industry in 1967 to run the Château de Saint Augustin wildlife park in Château sur Allier (centre of France). He then left the country with his wife Anne when he was 30 (1976) to live in Kenya in the Massai Mara national park. He lived amongst the Massai tribe for 3 years to study the behaviour of a lions’ family and took daily pictures of them during those years. He thus discovered a new passion for photography and the beauty of landscapes when observed from above in hot air balloons. He understood the power of a picture and how to communicate using this means.
He came back to France in 1981, published a photography book Lions in 1983, and became an international journalist, reporter and photographer specialising in documentaries on sports, wildlife and aerial photography for French magazines such as Paris Match and Geo. He photographed ten Paris-Dakar rallies. Every year he published a book on Rolland Garros, the tennis French open. He also took pictures every year at the Paris International Agricultural Show, and of Dian Fossey and gorillas in Rwanda.
In 1994 Arthus-Bertrand started a thorough study on the state of the Earth sponsored by UNESCO. Therefore he made a picture inventory of the world’s most beautiful landscapes taken from helicopters and balloons. The book from this project, Earth from Above (‘la Terre vue du ciel’) sold over 3 million copies and was translated into 24 languages.
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