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Portfolio 1: photographs and stories of extraordinary birds

By Rafael Armada

Lynx Edicions, 2024

Hbk, 176pp; many colour photographs

ISBN 978-84-16728-67-1; £37.00

 

Before I had a chance to even open this book, it was prised from my hands by my (non-birding) partner – and I didn’t get the book back until he’d leafed through every single page. It was, he said, ‘a ten-out-of-ten’ and it’s received the rare distinction of being allowed to stay on the living-room bookshelves along with the other ‘nice’ books, rather than being filed away in my office.

It's perhaps not surprising that it was bestowed with such high praise. The photographs in this book are works of art. From pin-sharp portraits to blurry reflections, each and every one is a joy to look at. 

The book is split broadly into three: the low southern latitudes (penguins, mostly); colours (tanagers, hummingbirds and other tropical birds); and seabirds. Each photograph comes with a title, a species name and a location, and most are accompanied by a short section of text. Sometimes this is personal, sometimes it’s related to the species depicted; other times it’s practical, such as how the photo location was accessed, while sometimes it’s deep and philosophical. There are no technical details – neither for the photographs nor for the identification or taxonomy of the birds photographed – and, while the obsessive birder inside me longed for a little more in some cases, the simplicity of the text helps to make the book what it is.

All in all, this is a beautiful book that will appeal to both birders and, as proved, non-birders alike. 

Stephen Menzie

Volume: 
Issue 5
Start Page: 
282
Display Image: 
Subtitle: 
photographs and stories of extraordinary birds

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