Dec 9, 2014

Through the Eyes of the Condor

An Aerial Vision of Latin America
by Robert B. Haas

I picked this book up from the library at the same time of Through the Eyes of the Gods. It's a similar tome featuring aerial photography- in this case crossing the rivers, deltas, mountains, jungles, cities and deserts of South America. I was a bit disappointed- for some reason I did not find the imagery as compelling as the prior book, although in this case the writing wherein Haas describes his work and vision (the technical aspects, travel difficulties, thrill of discovery, art of working with the camera from diverse angles created by banking aircraft) was more interesting. The forward was lovely, very poetic writing. My favorite photograph is one showing an expanse of giant lily pads- the kind that can support a person! If you look very closely you can tell that this isn't a pond like a Monet painting- on one lily pad a caiman rests, looking small as a salamander from the distance. I also really liked a particular photo showing salt pits just off a coastline- making a curious abstract pattern against blue waters- and one of crops, the tight circular heads of cabbage in straight geometric rows, bold green on reddish soil. Other images sent me to look for more information- lithium fields, the Huayllay "rock forest". Things I'd never seen before.

Rating: 3/5    232 pages, 2007

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