Two absolutely stunning books appeared on my doorstep the other day, review copies of new photography books on the theme of global warming, courtesy of the high-quality publisher Harry N. Abrams.
Storm Chaser (Abrams); Photo: © Jim Reed
They are both remarkable works of art, but Storm Chaser, which depicts the extreme weather conditions thrown up by the climactic changes of global warming, immediately caught my attention with its direct visual impact.
In shot after shot, veteran photographer Jim Reed captures the exquisite tension between the beauty and the raw power of nature at its most elemental. The text is fascinating too, as Reed and his crew keep a journal of their travels through disaster after disaster.
This video of their journey has footage of the artist photographing hurricanes Katrina and Isabelle that had me perched on the edge of my seat:
Vanishing World is a bit more cuddly, with its focus on the endangered-species poster-child the polar bear, but no less spectacular; arctic light has got to be some of the most magical phenomena on the planet.
The artist, Mireille de la Lez, takes you deep into a world few have ever experienced, and from the looks of it, this key part of our global climate system is disappearing so fast fewer still will get the chance to see it in the future.
But Vanishing World leaves us on a high note, with the optimistic belief that if this book motivates just one person to take action to protect the polar regions, it will have fulfilled its mission. In my opinion, this optimism is well-founded indeed. I can’t imagine anyone not being powerfully moved by this glimpse into the beauty of this region and those creatures who live there.