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I won't pretend that I'm a disinterested reader; I wrote the introduction to the paperback version of this photographer's book "Creatures." But I'm a recovering photography critic, and I like to think I've learned a few things about what's good and what's merely glamorous. In "Aquatics," Horenstein has continued on a recent path, an approach to photographing animals and fish without going into the bush or strapping on tanks and going underwater. He does this by spending his days at zoos and aquariums, at no risk to his life or equipment (except maybe on trips to the Bronx Zoo). The advantage this gives him is that rather than worrying about survival, he can think about artistry. And the art that results is mysterious and wonderful. In "Aquatics," we see, in glorious black and white, sea creatures of surpassing strangeness, seen by a photographer who celebrates that strangeness with an unforgettable vision. It's an us-and-them world that Horenstein shows us, with fish, reptiles, jellyfish, and all manner of other oddities, coming into view in a way both beautiful and scarifying. He shows us denizens of a darker, colder world as we might encounter them through the glass of a face mask, but far closer than we might want or ever be able to manage. And the best thing is that, for all the sense of being right there with these critters, neither we nor Horenstein had to get cold, wet, or scared to death. This is an elegant and terrific book (and I didn't write the introduction).
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I review other baseball books on my baseball...........
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If you want a simple introduction into photography in general, I would recommend checking out books by Lee Frost - "The A-Z of Creative Photography" and "The complete guide to night and low-light photography".
I would appreciate any suggestions for good B&W photography books.
By its very nature, it realizes that not every aspect of professional photography will be covered. Hence, professional finishing techniques (among other things), while alluded to, are not explored in detail (nor should they be). If the text were meant to be a comprehensive volume covering all aspects of photography, the size and technical detail would be intimidating to someone new to the field. Since, however, it is meant as an introductory text, it succeeds quite well. All of the information that an inexperienced photographer needs is contained herein (camera design, film ratings, aperture, speed, processing, basic finishing, etc.). I recommend it to anyone interested in photography and the basics of photographic technique.