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Living Jewels

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Living Jewels
Rating:3.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 5
Author:Poul Beckmann
Publisher:Prestel
ISBN:3-7913-2528-0
Price:116.46
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I've seen the odd beetle scuttle by over the years, but I never realised there was such a variety of fascinating colours. Living Jewels has just opened my eyes! It's a book of close up photos of dead beetles carefully arranged so that the legs are splayed uniformly and the body is square on to camera. The photos are excellent with insects reproduced to fill the 9.5x13.5inch pages each with a lovely subtle shadow that's almost like a ringflash effect. The only thing that lets the book down are pages where the pattern on the back of the beetle has been cropped and enlarged to fill the whole page. Most are digital and the pixels show along with artifacts of the digital images. View from a distance and they are fine, but you tend to hold a book within arms length. However this is a small criticism of an overall excellent insight into the world up close.

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