The Earth is Beautiful From Above

I stumbled upon this book one day in a library, just randomly looking for stuff to browse through. Oddly enough, I never borrowed fiction books from libraries – I only ever checked out non-fiction stuff. Now that I tend to buy my books, I tend to only buy fiction. Very odd.

Digression aside, I picked up (tried to, I hauled it more likely) this book because it was the biggest damn thing in the shelf and pretty hard to miss. Also that heart shaped tree clearing on the cover…

how can you walk by it without wanting to find out what the book was about? Great choice of photo, I like it much better than the picture they chose for the revised version.

It was a big damned book (37 x 29cm, and weighing 4.64kg!), and for good reason too. In a day where we mostly deal with black and white text in mini paperbacks, it’s such a luxury to be able to see these beautiful pictures in such large format and mindblowing colours. I happily plopped myself in the corner and had a merry time ooh-ing and aah-ing over the pix.

Here’s a youtube slideshow I found of some of the pix:

but do check out the pictures from the author Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s website. There are a lot more pix there. Or if possible, head to your nearest bookstore or library and see the pictures in print! The computer screen does no justice to such beautiful pictures. Also, there are short paragraphs of text along with the pictures, providing some socio-economic commentary, giving context to these beautiful pictures so you know exactly what you’re looking at.

There was an outdoor exhibition, right here in Singapore a little while back. I walked by it but sadly, never really found the time to stop in.

I like that while you’re far away enough to see the patterns, you can also still make out what forms them, like the trees or the camels or the people. Considering I was also a huge fan of Art Attack and the Big Art Attacks, this feels a lot like the latter, only on a natural scale.

You can get the book here from Amazon (old and new version) or Open Trolley (old and new version), and if you’re feeling particularly wealthy, there’s a $2,000 version which is landscape (bigger pix) and its own display stand. Nobody seems to have shelled out for that yet, though.

Pictures are taken from Open Trolley.

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