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Two Extraordinary Works About Nature
Alex Steffen, 31 Aug 07
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My interest in nature films and photography has picked up recently, as I've spent time time with an incredible book and a phenomenal documentary:

The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss is quite simply one of the cooler photography books I've ever seen, brimming with images of the fantastic beings that swim and drift down in the darkest parts of the oceans. In an era when the oceans are under dire threat, anything that awakens us to their importance is probably a decent tool, but The Deep goes a lot farther than that -- it brings the sea depths into our conception of place, in a way that's smart enough for the most probing adult and weird enough for the youngest kid. I'll be giving this at Christmas.

Planet Earth is similarly mind-blowing. Ranging back and forth from pole to pole, down into the realm of caves, up through the forest canopy and across deserts and mountains, the photographers in this BBC-produced series manage to convey the majesty of our planet while delivering stunning eye-candy in shot after shot. David Attenborough narrates, and the writing is decent enough. Definitely worth getting for the long winter nights to come.

How about you? Do you have a favorite nature documentary work we ought to know about?

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Comments

I love Planet Earth, I think Penguin Safari is awesome, Nigel Marven did a very good work.


Posted by: Daniel Correa on 1 Sep 07

Planet Earth was excellent but I think I preferred the Blue Planet which came before. Some truly awe inspiring moments from under our seas.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/programmes/tv/blueplanet/


Posted by: Scatter on 2 Sep 07

Canadian photographer Gregory Colbert collaborated with animal species around the world to create "Ashes and Snow," which he calls a 21st-century bestiary that captures the poetic beauty in our relationship to the animal kingdom. In his TED appearance Colbert shows an 8-minute film: http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/15

He then announces his new initiative, the Animal Copyright Foundation, which aims to collect royalties from companies using images of nature in their ad campaigns.


Posted by: Zeynep Arhon on 2 Sep 07

Canadian photographer Gregory Colbert collaborated with animal species around the world to create "Ashes and Snow," which he calls a 21st-century bestiary that captures the poetic beauty in our relationship to the animal kingdom. In his TED appearance Colbert shows an 8-minute film: http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/15

He then announces his new initiative, the Animal Copyright Foundation, which aims to collect royalties from companies using images of nature in their ad campaigns.


Posted by: Zeynep Arhon on 2 Sep 07

My favourite remains David Attenborough's Life of Birds series, which take an unconventional look at the whole range of bird life, focusing on themes (such as flying, feeding etc.) and not on species.


Posted by: Stefanie Zimmermann on 2 Sep 07

My favourite remains David Attenborough's Life of Birds series, which take an unconventional look at the whole range of bird life, focusing on themes (such as flying, feeding etc.) and not on species.


Posted by: Stefanie Zimmermann on 2 Sep 07

My favourite remains David Attenborough's Life of Birds series, which take an unconventional look at the whole range of bird life, focusing on themes (such as flying, feeding etc.) and not on species.


Posted by: Stefanie Zimmermann on 2 Sep 07

My favourite remains David Attenborough's Life of Birds series, which take an unconventional look at the whole range of bird life, focusing on themes (such as flying, feeding etc.) and not on species.


Posted by: Stefanie Zimmermann on 2 Sep 07

My favourite remains David Attenborough's Life of Birds series, which take an unconventional look at the whole range of bird life, focusing on themes (such as flying, feeding etc.) and not on species.


Posted by: Stefanie Zimmermann on 2 Sep 07

Thanks for the tip! Although it is more "sciency", _The Shape of Life_ gives good biomimicry insights into the ocean's lifeforms and how we emerged from them.
http://www.amazon.com/Shape-Life-4-Pack/dp/B000815FL0/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-9021873-7507165?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1188787366&sr=1-1
Curt


Posted by: Curt McNamara on 2 Sep 07

I also love the Planet Earth series. But I also have a major complaint about it. With it's excessive focus on the predator and prey aspect of nature, it continues the myth that nature is all about survival of the fittest and strongest. While there is a lot of survival of the fittest aspect in nature, there is an even more important survival strategy in nature that this thinking ignores. There is susrvival by cooperation, co-evolution, symbiosis. Networks of fungal mycelium intertwined with tree roots sharing nutrients and water help make each other stronger. Bees pollintaing flowers benefit themselves and the flowers. Birds eating fruit and then excreting out the seeds. The examples are endless and need to be featured and told to a much wider audience. In a world with far too much emphasis on military might, it might just help shift more perspectives toward peace and cooperation in human society if more people see how that approach is often working very well in nature.


Posted by: Michael Laurie on 3 Sep 07



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