I bet you thought the next post would be Part 2 of the Mute Swan post. I felt bad having to go back to the bird topic so quick after the barrage from Project Chekov so trying to ease you back onto the feathered features. Instead figured it was about time to throw out another Book Recollection. Today’s recollection comes to us thanks to Melissa Farris who compiled a product she called Deadly Instinct. I can’t remember what made me aware of this book, but my guess would be one of the wildlife photographers I follow on Google+ brought it too my attention. No need for a lot of convincing past the cover which had the National Geographic seal along with a Lion bringing down a Wildebeest – I’m in. Big thanks to Linda who ended up getting me this book for Christmas. Technically, coming in at only 180 pages, it is really more of a photography book than a reading book. There was a setup at the beginning of each chapter that set the tone for the set of images. Once that page or two was consumed, it was on to a nice collection of shots… umm let me correct that. There were some FANTASTIC shots, a lot of cool wildlife shots and then some I simply put in the TOTAL CRAP category. I’m sorry, but I like my pictures to be in focus and the attempt to show speed by throwing the shutter speed way low resulting in a blur you wouldn’t even know what it was unless they told you is not worth my time – trust me, there were more of these shots than I would have expected alongside the other quality shots. I wouldn’t let the bad shots deter you from enjoying all the good shots, but note to author – there were plenty of better shots you could have used of the Gorillas. The best part of the book was it had a number of pictures from my favorite photographer – Joel Sartore. If you recall I featured one of his books previously called Rare (link here). I had a feeling some of his work would be included based on the National Geographic stamp on the cover. Pretty used to his style these days and can usually pick out his work without seeing the credits first. Was surprised to learn he started on his naturalist journey after seeing the harsh conditions of the Galveston coast. Always cool to learn more about the background of photographer’s you spend a lot of time following.
I should probably mention something before people run off to purchase this book to see the “purdy” pictures. The pictures are not all “pretty” in the hang on your wall and let your visitors gawk over mode. The truth is the intent of the book is to show how lethal, dangerous and aggressive wild animal behavior is. If you are weak of stomach or god forbid a PETA member save your money and go watch the Muppets Movie instead. This book is full of violent, bloody wildlife on wildlife encounters. Oh, and a lot snakes so Linda has been warned to never open the book herself – about 5 pages in there is a particular awesome picture of a Vine Snake that even made me hesitate when I turned to that page. Also very appreciative of the heavy paper stock she used which helps maintain the quality of the pictures. Kudos to the photographers that provided all the outstanding shots to this book. It always inspires me when I see the work of photographers that are clearly on top of their field. A pretty short recollection but the book only took me two nights of light reading before hitting the hay.
Hit the jump to see my takeaways.