"Thirty years of work on the African continent have carried Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher across 270,000 miles and through remote corners of 40 countries in exploration of more than 150 African cultures. In the process, this team of world-renowned photographers has produced 15 widely acclaimed books and made four films about traditional Africa.
While the lifeways they document may appear timeless, these committed explorers are driven by a sense that they work against the clock. They view Africa’s traditional cultures as threatened, the ancient ways in danger of being lost in a vast melting pot of modernity. According to Fisher and Beckwith: ‘These unique cultures possess a wealth of knowledge that should be celebrated, shared, and honored. It is our life passion to document and create a powerful visual record of these vanishing ways of life for future generations.’”
About the book:
Life in Color is arranged by colour in a rainbow of beauty. Each chapter, devoted to a colour, begins with a short, inspiring essay that explores the qualities, meaning, and symbolism of that colour. Colour chapters include photographs that are predominantly blue, orange, green, yellow, purple and red. Smaller sections present images in silver, brown, black, gold, white, and “unseen colour”—not seen with the naked eye, such as laser, the universe, and microscopic images. Throughout, interesting quotes and surprising short insights in the captions give the reader an entirely new look at the colour in the world around us.
“Near the city of Morondava, on the West coast of Madagascar lies an ancient forest of Baobab trees. Unique to Madagascar, the endemic species is sacred to the Malagasy people, and rightly so. Walking amongst these giants is like nothing else on this planet. Some of the trees here are over a thousand years old. It is a spiritual place, almost magical.”
[Image: Ken Thorne/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest]
Visions of Earth
In a series called Visions of Earth, National Geographic shows us the world through the photographer’s eye. Sometimes, in the spheres of our own lives, we can forget how richly diverse nature and humanity can be—but these moments captured in time are visual proof that this is a world that deserves to be marvelled at. From a human bee-wearing contest in China, to the camouflage filaments of a striated frogfish, to a world record attempt at creating the largest raft—these photos remind us that no matter how far we reach out into space, we should always be proud to call this planet home.
Deserts are traditionally imagined as unbearably hot places, like the Sahara, but they’re not actually defined by their heat—a desert is a region that receives less than 254 mm of precipitation per year. Under this definition, the Sahara isn’t the largest desert in the world—at just over 9 million square kilometres, it’s easily trumped by the desolate 14.2 million square kilometres of—surprise—Antarctica. A place of deadly snowstorms and impassable ice sheets, Antarctica is the coldest and windiest place on Earth, but also the driest, receiving less than 50 mm of rain per year. 98 percent of the continent is covered in ice and snow, so sunlight is reflected rather than absorbed. The average temperature is -50 degrees Celsius and it is often too cold for any kind of precipitation—cold air can’t hold as much moisture as warm air. However, moisture in the atmosphere is what interferes with the light of stars and planets, causing them to twinkle, so in the dry, high-altitude Antarctic air, the sky is crystal clear—perfect for astronomy.