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From Library Journal
The authors, who have worked with endangered species in their previous photographic work, Witness (Chronicle, 1994), here turn their cameras to Hawaii, home to over a quarter of the specimens on the U.S. Endangered Species List. As in Witness, they present most of their photographs in the form of stunning portraits of individual specimens against a stark black background. Each animal or plant appears almost jewellike in perfection of form or color. Some, like a pair of grinning monk seals or an inquisitive thrush, are playful as well. Over 140 portraits are presented, as are some scenes of unique terrain such as the Silversword Bog and the top of Mauna Kea. Brief articles detail the natural history of the islands, changes wrought by humans and introduced species, and the struggle to preserve fragile species. A foreword by the poet W.S. Merwin, who lives in Hawaii, and an afterword by Environmental Defense Fund Senior Ecologist David S. Wilcove round out the volume. An exhibition based on this book will travel to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, and other locations in the United States. Despite the price tag, this is an important book for both conservation and photography collections. Recommended for most libraries. Beth Clewis Crim, Prince William P.L., VA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
*Starred Review* Hawaii is home to the richest and most diverse collection of island flora and fauna on Earth--in fact, it has been said that more species have been lost from this island chain in the last 200 years than from the entire North American continent since Columbus made landfall. New species are still being discovered, even as other species' existence hangs by a mere thread. In glorious color, Liittschwager and Middleton's wildlife photographs show plants and animals teetering on the brink of extinction. They follow botanists as they rappel down sheer cliffs to pollinate rare plants whose pollinators are extinct or to collect specimens and seeds for propagation in botanical gardens. They are present at the discovery of new species, and their photographs become the first recording of these species. In fantastic close-ups, rare plants shimmer against black or white backgrounds (their trademark style) or are seen in situ; a portrait of a bat reveals cowlicked thick fur; honeycreeper finches show off their multitude of bill shapes; and caterpillars feed on leaves. Vignettes show the photographers at work, and the text provides both the ecological background for the rarity of Hawaii's living things as well as the travails of documenting them. Species profiles at the end give biological and photographic details for each portrait. This magnificent collection from our fiftieth state is highly recommended for all libraries. Nancy Bent
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Renowned natural history photographers David Liittschwager and Susan Middleton have devoted the last decade to capturing images of endangered plants and animals in the United States. Remains of a Rainbow, their groundbreaking and unprecedented coverage of the Hawaiian Islands, transforms these statistics into living beings with faces, unique characteristics, and beauty, through vivid and poignant photographic portraits. With more than 300 images, this splendidly vibrant volume will be showcased in traveling museum exhibitions over the next three years at major natural history venues.
Remains of a Rainbow focuses on the native species that have evolved on the islands of Hawai’i, one of the biologically richest places on Earth, and also one of the most threatened. Working closely with expert field biologists, Liittschwager and Middleton capture images of ecosystems full of new discoveries (species not yet known to science), rediscoveries (species thought to be extinct), and the exotic habitats in which these species fight to survive.
The text and elegant photographs tell a powerful story—of the rare creatures of the world, of little-seen habitats in the wild, of human interference that threatens their survival, and of the people who devote their lives to preserving them.