Sunday, December 20, 2009

Book Review of One Hundred Butterflies by Harold Feinstein

Harold Feinstein whose previous works include The Infinite Rose, The Infinite Tulip, One Hundred Flowers, One Hundred Seashells, Foliage and Orchidelirium recently released another beautiful collection of photographs in One Hundred Butterflies.

"Who among us has not at one time or another gazed at a butterfly with a sense of awe? In the journey of completing the photographs for this book, it was not unusual for me to cry out in astonishment while looking at these creatures. I had been transported. The earth laughs with flowers, but it dances with butterflies."
- One Hundred Butterflies by Harold Feinstein

One Hundred Butterflies
One Hundred Butterflies is a collection of artistically compiled and detailed photographs of butterflies from all over the world. The colors and wing designs range from striking greens, blues, and yellows and oranges to the discrete patterns that allow the butterfly to camouflage itself in the wild.

The book will surely interest those who already appreciate the butterfly. But for those that have a basic knowledge of the animal, Harold Feinstein teaches us about its life cycle and unique characteristics.

Did you know that the colorful wings are a collage of microscopic scales that are much like shingles on a roof that protect the wing from moisture? Our eyes only perceive a fraction of the wing's color patterns, but the full beauty can be seen under ultraviolet light - which is what butterflies' eyes see. Some of the yellow "sulphur butterflies" that we see come across to other butterflies as a flashy blue.

The adaptation of butterflies is fascinating. Some wing have evolved to look like leaves and animal faces, others use bright warning colors that announce "I'm deadly, eat me at your peril," and others mimic the color of their poisonous cousins.

As the author points out, "Butterfly museums and books are just some of the ways to tell people, 'Look what is out there in the world we live in every day. There is so much more than butterflies. . .yet look how much butterflies there are!'" One Hundred Butterflies affords us a rare glimpse into this rich and diverse world of butterflies.

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (November 4, 2009)128 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author, courtesy of the publisher:

Harold Feinstein began his career in photography in 1946 at fifteen. By the time he was nineteen, Edward Stieichen had purchased his work for the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art and exhibited it frequently during his tenure there. Early in his career, Feinstein was best known for his black and white documentary style work. In early 2000, Feinstein began to master digital technology as an artistic medium, resulting in six color books published by Bulfinch press and Little, Brown and Company. The celebrated One Hundred Flowers (2000) is now in it’s third printing. His trend-setting in the arena of digital photography earned him the Smithsonian Institute’s Computerworld Smithsonian Award, in 2000. Feinstein’s photographs have been exhibited in and are represented in the permanent collections of major museums including the Museum of Modern Art, the International Center of Photography, the George Eastman House, the Museum of Photographic Arts, the Musee d'Art Moderne, the Museum for the City of New York and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. His portfolios, photo essays, and articles have been published in major periodicals around the world including, LIFE, Aperture, Audubon, Connoisseur, L'Illustriazione, and Popular Photography. W. Eugene Smith, with whom Feinstein collaborated closely in his early years, said of his work: “He is one of the very few photographers I have known or have been influenced by with the ability to reveal the familiar to me as beautifully new, in a strong and honest way.”

Thank you so much to Anna and Hatchette Book Group for this review opportunity!

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