Book Review: Earth Is My Witness by Art Wolfe

In what is the “most extensive collection of Art Wolfe photography ever compiled,” this huge hardback, “coffee-table” book was impressive from the moment the weighty parcel landed on my desk. The book looks at a variety of different ecosystems through both new and previously unpublished work by Wolfe.

Art Wolfe is somewhat of a household name in the nature photography world, and our previous interview with him last year was oozing with inspiration. This book is no exception, and nearly 400 pages of photographs are sure to provide ample creative juice to any aspiring or active nature photographers.

Emperor Penguins and chick, Antarctica

Through the book, Wolfe looks at 5 key ecosystems: Mountain, Polar, Desert, Ocean, and Tropical. The book is, effectively, a miniature gallery of Art Wolfe imagery that you can have in your own home. I say miniature, but the book is large itself. With a mixture of double-page-spread images, as well as smaller printed shots, there is enough wow-factor in here to last you a long time.

Kea or mountain parrot, New Zealand

Each of the chapters is started with a couple of pages of narration from Wolfe. After that, you’re treated to pages of images. If you’re looking for a photography book with more of a narrative throughout, then perhaps look to some of Wolfe’s other many publications. This is a book which may be short on words, but is most definitely not short of high-quality printing and photographs.

Aerial of camel train. Sahara Desert, Morocco

The blend of both wildlife and human photography explores the boundary and relationship between humankind and the natural world, and that is something unique about Wolfe’s work. You don’t often see both those areas explored in photography by the same person, but in this case Wolfe shows expertise in both fields.

Chimbu men in bamboo, Simbu Province, Papua New Guinea
Karo warriors, Omo River Valley, Ethiopia

My only real hang-up with the book is that I want to hear more from Wolfe. It would be nice to read in-depth stories behind each image, but because of the sheer number of photos that would be not one book, but a huge number of volumes. There is a section in the back with captions about each photo for those wishing to learn more. Like they say, always leave them wanting more!

Here is a short introduction to the book:

If you’re looking for a book that will inspire you, then this is most likely it. There are images from all corners of the world within its pages, and they will likely give you ideas for new ways to explore photography. This is a book that you can sit down by the fire with and flick through again and again.

Earth Is My Witness, published in October 2017, is available for $50.

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Earth Is My Witness by Art Wolfe
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