Library JournalPrimarily a collection of strikingly beautiful photographs of marine plants and animals that inhabit the world's oceans, this volume also includes text describing the author's diving adventures, background information on the subjects of the photos, and technical information on photographic equipment. Wu, a professional underwater photographer and diver who has done graduate work in marine biology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, views the ocean as the last true wilderness. He has arranged the photos by habitat: open ocean, coral reef, sand community, kelp forest, and deep sea. Boyce Thorne-Miller's Ocean: Photographs from the World's Greatest Underwater Photographers (LJ 12/93) is similar in format but has more substantial text than Wu's volume. However, Wu's photos of pink jewel anemones, a school of amethyst anthias, and strawberry anemones are dazzling accomplishments. While not an essential purchase, this volume would be of great interest to many recreational divers, photographers, and young people contemplating a career in marine biology.-Judith B. Barnett, Pell Marine Science Lib., Univ. of Rhode Island, Kingston
Ray OlsonPerhaps the number-one crowd-pleasing book is still the how-to on teaching your cat golf, but surely the underwater photography tome nips its heels hard in the race for reader-browser acceptance. Wu has been snapping shots below the waves for the likes of "Audubon" and "National Geographic" for years. Here he serves up more than 250 of them, all in those lurid, highly saturated colors that light filtered through salt water conjures and that so many coffee-table gawkers find so absorbing. They're arrayed in an introduction and five chapters corresponding to types of oceanic region: open sea, coral reef, bottom sand, kelp forest, and deep sea. The text and sparse captions that accompany them efficiently and accessibly relay information about how Wu made the photos and about the creatures in them. The pictures appear in an attractive range of sizes, but of course, the ones spread across two 10-inch-square pages tend to be the most impressive.
- Levin, Hugh Lauter Associates
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