Leave No Trace — brilliant aerial photography book

September 24th, 2011

I’d like to think that we don’t need an aerial photography book to help us appreciate nature and the last wild places in North America, but a new full-color book by photographer Jim Wark and essayist Roderick F. Nash might educate you on just how little you really recognize our wilderness.

The book is Leave No Trace: The Vanishing North American Wilderness.

Even though I really dislike flying, I have to admit I do envy  Wark’s decades of flying above the wilderness. At least he’s sharing his beautiful landscapes! (Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book.)

Before Leave No Trace, I’d never given much thought to visiting Southern Utah, but the images of Canyonlands National Park convinced me to put the many parks in that area on my vacation list. Just a few of the other places photographed include Michigan, Oregon, Hawaii, Alaska, California, Colorado, Washington, Canada, Newfoundland and Costa Rica.

The more than 300 images in the book were photographed at low altitudes, sometimes dangerously close to mountains. Leave No Trace is divided into several sections according to geographical characteristics, but pretty much anything amazing you can imagine is represented: deserts, hoodoos, coasts, woodlands, tundras, prairies, wetlands, volcanoes, glaciers, dunes and the list goes on. It seems like the only thing that was forgotten was to print the book on recycled paper.

The essays by wilderness historian Robert Nash

I hate to call Leave No Trace a coffee table book. It seems like so much more than that, but… if you’re searching for a coffee-table-type book as a gift to someone you love, or as a treat to yourself, you’re likely to be really amazed with this choice. Happy viewing and reading.

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