Whew. Where do I begin? Paul Chesley is a travel photographer whose most notable work is for National Geographic. That should clue you in to the standard of images that are in this book. Right off the bat you will notice that the images in the book are extremely rich, vibrant, beautiful, and make the viewer want jump into the scenes of many far away lands.
A very striking aspect of the book is that you don’t just get one particular style of photography. The book covers many photographic styles that employ certain technical know-how and artistry. Even though Chesley is a self described “not very technical” photographer he uses a wide array of techniques to capture singular moments that speak volumes. His work in this book could be considered the reason many become photographers and that is to capture life in different surroundings.
The book itself is gorgeous. It is a large format photo book with great paper stock with the print quality capturing every detail of the frames within. This would make a great coffee table book and conversation piece based on the cover alone. There is weight to this book and upon opening up its pages – seeing the images – reading the words – there will be weight to your conversations as well. This is one of those photography books that you can proudly hold to someone and say “Hey, look what I got.” Although, scholars rarely say such things. I wouldn’t know about that.
Another aspect of the book that I LOVE is that it is filled with historical information regarding the settings of many of the photos. I have a thirst for learning about new things and found this addition to be incredible. If you’re reading this the chances are that you have picked up a photography book or two. That being said you also know that most photography books are just that – pages of photos. The work stands alone and I understand that. However, when you are traveling the world to places that people have never even dreamed about a bit of a history lesson helps. It may help enough to get someone in the book buying audience off their couch and into an airplane with this book in tow just to see what Paul may have photographed or even experienced.
For me National Geographic always symbolized the amazing world we live in and those who dared to capture it even though it could mean certain doom. As a kid I was a fan of watching National Geographic and was always fascinated by the imagery it represented. This book illicits those same feelings of watching National Geographic as a kid with my mom and grandmother (mi abuelita) waiting for the next breathtaking scene or visual that would burn itself into your memory. This book will burn into your memory through the wondrous photos and descriptions within. All you would be left saying is “Wow.”