The Splendor of Birds: Art and Photographs from National Geographic

By National Geographic | National Geographic Society | 2018 | Hardback | 512 pages, colour & b/w photos | ISBN: 9781426219672

The Splendor of Birds: Art and Photographs from National Geographic

The Publisher’s View: An elegant collection of the best artwork and photography from the National Geographic archives depicting the magnificence of birds.

Bird, nature, and art lovers alike will treasure this sumptuous visual celebration of the colors, forms, and behaviors of the winged wonders who share our world as they have been explored, displayed, and revealed throughout the years by National Geographic. The Splendor of Birds moves chronologically so readers witness the tremendous growth in our knowledge of birds over the last 130 years, as well as the new frontiers in technology and observation – from luminous vintage paintings and classic black and white photographs to state-of-the art high-speed and telephoto camera shots that reveal moments rarely seen and sights invisible to the human eye.

The wide diversity of pictures captures beloved songbirds outside the kitchen window, theatrical courtship dance of birds of paradise, tender moments inside a tern’s nest, or the vivid flash of a hummingbird’s flight. Readers will delight in seeing iconic species from around the world through the eyes of acclaimed National Geographic wildlife photographers such as Chris Johns, Frans Lanting, Joel Sartore, and Tim Laman and reading excerpted passages from Arthur A. Allen, Roger Tory Peterson, Douglas Chadwick, Jane Goodall, and other great explorers. Exquisitely produced and expertly curated, this visual treasury displays as never before the irresistible beauty, grace, and intelligence of our feathered friends.

Other Views:[…] National Geographic, along with other organizations, have proclaimed 2018 to be the Year of the Bird, seeking to inspire a renewed commitment to bird conservation in honor of the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The Splendor of Birds: Art and Photographs From National Geographic was intended to “commemorate and amplify” this initiative, and it proves to be a worthy capstone for the year. When I open this book I feel the same sense of awe as that kid, rifling through those wonderous, yellow-covered magazines.

– Grant McCreary (08-11-2018), read the full review at The Birder’s Library

Fatbirder View:I don’t really know what to say about this. I approached it as a ‘coffee-table’ book – its too heavy anywhere else. Ultimately, I was disappointed. The idea is following photographic bird images through history. While there are an awful lot of splendid photos there are a lot that disappoint because of the technical limitations of the time and a lot that disappointed me not sharing the same vision of the camera artist. While there will no doubt be lots of birders who like it, it doesn’t have what I consider birder appeal. More of interest to photographers of course. Given it provenance its hardly surprising that its pretty US oriented although there are plenty of portraits from other parts of the world. I’m going to sit on the fence about this one… take a look for yourselves.

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