Visions of Paradise
National Geographic, $35
Is there heaven on earth? If so, where does it exist? That essentially was the assignment that the photographers whose work is represented in this volume were given. The book is divided into three main sections: land, water and air. Everyone, of course, has their own opinion of what makes a paradise, and the photographers here are no exception.
In the land section are majestic images of the open sky country of Montana but also a cozy cafe in Paris; a pair of camels in the middle of a dust storm in Mali; and sunflowers buried under winter snow in Hokkaido, Japan. The water section depicts penguins swimming underwater in Antarctica, surf up in Hawaii and an Inuit man hunting seals on Canada's Baffin Island. And the air section shows butterflies before sunrise in Mexico, Halley's comet in the night sky on Easter Island and birds soaring above Rawaki Island in Polynesia.