Photographs by Frans Lanting.
Taschen, Los Angeles, 2005. 256 pp., 7¾x9½".
“This book is a personal vision of jungles. It is about the feeling of the forest rather than the science of it.” —Frans Lanting
Jungles is a personal exploration of nature in the tropics by master photographs, storyteller, and naturalist Frans Lanting. In a unique collection of images made over a period of 20 years in jungles from the lowlands of the Congo to the cloud forests of the Andes, Frans Lanting interprets the aesthetic splendor and the remarkable natural history of the tropical rainforest—a realm of bewildering complexity where nothing is the way it first appears. “While the essence of photography is to show, jungles hide, or at best, suggest,” Lanting writes. “So I opted to show impressions of jungles to evoke a sense of their kaleidoscopic nature—the glimpses of faces that melt into shadows, the bursts of color and shimmering light.”
The book features four portfolios of images that blend the results of travels years and continents apart. Within the portfolios are stories of field expeditions into tropical wilderness areas. “Water and Light” shows the interplay of these elements with plant and animal life, and ends with a story about life after dark in the jungles of Central America. “Color and Camouflage” explores the need to hide and the desire to be seen, and details a journey to a remote part of the Amazon Basin to document macaws. “Anarchy and Order” features impressions of growth and movement, and leads to a trek up a mountain in Borneo whose forested flanks show a unique layering of life zones. “Form and Evolution” is an ode to the wonders of natural selection, and culminates in encounters with primates in the forests of Madagascar and Africa.
In photographs that range from spectacular gatherings of rainbow-colored macaws to the misty exhalations of a forest at dawn, Frans Lanting evokes the luscious sensuality and intricate natural order of the forests that shelter the ultimate expression of life on earth.
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