Friday, December 10, 2010

33. That's Amazing!

I Dreamed of Flying Like the Bird, written and photographed by Robert B. Haas, National Geographic, $17.95, ages 9-12, 64 pages. As Haas leans out of the doorless opening of his aircraft with a camera lens to his eye, he snaps wild moments that only a bird flying by would normally see. In this inspiring journey across the surface of wild places, photographer Haas shares pictures of animals in herds and hunting for prey that he took from helicopters and small planes over remote parts of the world. In one outing, the National Geographic photographer captures flamingos on a mystical run across the water. As they prepare to take off like planes, they run faster and faster until their feet seems to barely touch the surface.

In another stunning moment in the shallow waters off the coast of Mexico, thousands of pelicans unwittingly flock together into the shape of bird, only to sweep into another pattern seconds later. Throughout this stunning collection of photographs, Haas chats with the reader about every shoot, and shares some of the thrills and challenges of photographing from low-flying aircraft. Typically he shoots from aircraft with the door removed. Strapped into a harness so he can hang out of the opening for a shot, he has the sensation that he's gliding over a herd or is right on top of the birds he's shooting. Photographing from this vantage point has allowed him to capture deserts, swamps, glaciers and jungles that few people have ever seen, as well as new ways of looking at wildlife and understanding their behavior. In one amazing picture taken over Alaska, Haas photographs a bear's first steps out of its den after hibernation and in another in Botswana, he snaps a rare scene of a crocodile swimming away with his prey. For Hass, aerial photography is a boyhood dream come true. In one of the book's final photographs, a once-endangered white-tailed eagle patrols the air around an Arctic glacier. "While I stop to think about it," Haas writes. "I realize I am a lot like that white-tailed eagle. We both glide above the Earth searching for something to capture."

No comments:

Post a Comment