Adélie : Terre & mer – A book review

A brief look inside the two books. Enlarge by clicking in the image.

Recently, I stumbled upon a documentary on one of your TV channels. That channel is a cooperation among public TV stations from Germany and  France. So, we literally have two channels with the same programs, but one is in German and one is in French.

That documentary was about two french photographers (Vincent Munier and Laurent Ballesta) working for some time in the french research center in Antarctica. They were there for taking photographs of the landscape and the emperor penguins among others. One of the two photographers was focused on the white landscape and its habitants, while the other one was active below the ice as a diving photographer. Every now and then, there were standing images (photographs) shown in the documentary for a few seconds. Really fantastic images, taken in both areas: above and below the ice.

When the documentary ended, I did some research about the two photographers, to find out, if there is a book available containing these fantastic images. And fortunately I was successful to find it. It’s called “Adélie: Terra & mer” (meaning “land an sea”). It’s not only one book, but two of them combined in a box as a single product bound together as two aspects of a foreign world. Each photographer assembled one of the two books. Because of the origin of the two photographers, the entire book is in French. My French is very, very limited. So, it was kind of risky to order the book. There was no “look inside the book” or even sample pages available. Will I be able to understand anything inside of them? Despite all of these considerations, I ordered an exemplar. Two days ago, I received my box.

Inside a solid box, there were two books with 90 full-sized images distributed on 104 pages in each book. The books are sized a little bit bigger than DIN A 4 (35 x 25 cm) and very high-graded produced. The images are printed on a thick fine-art paper. The book by Vincent Munier is white and contains the images taken above the ice. Laurent Ballesta was the diver. His book is dark blue and contains the images taken below the ice. Although, it’s very pricey, it’s worth the money.

And yes, I’m very happy with the books. Fortunately there is only a short foreword in French. Next, there are all these fantastic images: one full-sized image per page without any disturbing text. At the end of each book you can find an appendix of three pages with thumbnail images and a (very) short description of the contents of the image. One can handle it with support of a dictionary. 🙂

Adélie: Terre & mer. (land and sea)

For the first time, photographers Vincent Munier and Laurent Ballesta have travelled together to discover the natural treasures of Adélie Land, in Antarctica.

Vincent Munier explored the ice field and the bird colonies, while Laurent Ballesta dove under the ice; one observed the emperor penguins and snow petrels in the open air, while the other dove with the Weddell seals and photographed the astonishing and unknown biodiversity of the Antarctic depths… Both have brought unique pictures from this exceptional trip, where the whiteness of the ice contrasts with the submarine blue.

« Adélie, Land & Sea » is the result of artistic and technique challenges, as well as a very fine object: it gathers two volumes (one white, one blue) in a beautiful slipcase.

Text in French only (very short – two poems by director Luc Jacquet)

source: publishers website

You can order your own copy via Amazon in France, Germany, UK, US (and several others, too) by following my link above and simply changing the “.de” in the URL to the TLD of your Amazon store (i.e. “.co.uk” , “.fr” or “.com”)

Take care!

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