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Anna Atkins & the World's First Photo Book - Objectivity #5. Ethereal Images From World's First Photo Book Released. Robert Clark photographs feathers in his book Feathers: Displays of Brilliant Plumage. Robert Clark, courtesy Chronicle Books Even the most common feathers are evolutionary wonders.

Robert Clark photographs feathers in his book Feathers: Displays of Brilliant Plumage.

Robert Clark would know. In 2011, he made the photos accompanying Carl Zimmer’s National Geographic article, “Feather Evolution: The Long, Curious, and Extravagant History of Feathers,” which took him all over the world to study the ubiquitous appendage’s long history, all the way back to fossilized feathers that appeared on birds’ predecessors. Driven to continue exploring on his own, Clark has since seen thousands of varieties of feathers and photographed hundreds, including those designed for warmth, camouflage, and sexual competitiveness. In his book, Feathers: Displays of Brilliant Plumage, which Chronicle Books published this month, that diversity is on spectacular display. Clark’s goal was to make the feathers “look as if you could pick them up,” so he used macro lenses in his shoots.

California botanical art of J.W. Fike. For his recent series of botanical photographs, Phoenix artist Jimmy Fike often foraged in alleys, ditches and empty lots to find his specimens — all edible.

California botanical art of J.W. Fike

“I’m really trying to find the balance between scientific imaging and something more mystical, like a vision a shaman would have about what plant is edible or medicinal,” Fike said. After a scavenging run, Fike brings specimens back to his studio and pins them on a white backdrop, meticulously arranging the plant to showcase distinct features such as a delicate flower, interesting leaf or unusual root. Once the specimen is photographed, the Photoshopping begins.

Fike may digitally illustrate an image over the course of three or four months. Edible parts are rendered in color. “I want it to look like a psychic and mystical space,” he said of the plants, which appear to float in an infinite black expanse. If the title of the exhibit, “J.W. Follow The Times' arts team @culturemonster. Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times. HEIRLOOM HARVEST BY AMY GOLDMAN. Sometime, even I discover books and authors in the most traditional of ways ---from a friend.

HEIRLOOM HARVEST BY AMY GOLDMAN

I made such a discovery last week - via a friend, of course. A few weeks ago, I received a package in the mail containing a gem - Amy Goldman's brand new book (being released this week) HEIRLOOM HARVEST - Modern Daguerreotypes of Historic Garden Treasures (Bloomsbury) with beautifully illustrated with surprisingly engaging Daguerreotypes by noted photographer Jerry Spagnoli. It is a book which surprised me in a few ways, because it delivers on so many levels.

I like to imagine that if it appealed to me on these levels, that it may appeal to you to. I came to know Amy Goldman quite indirectly - through my dear friend Abbie Zabar, the artist, author and plantswoman who frequently fills my email box with delightful "must reads" and "Matt-must-get's". I knew about Amy Goldman's work, but only on a superficial level. Did I mention that she was also nominated for a James Beard Award. Exploring the Beauty of Life. Ancient Trees: Photographer Beth Moon's portraits of the oldest trees on Earth. "Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time" is one of the most beautiful books to come out in 2014.

Ancient Trees: Photographer Beth Moon's portraits of the oldest trees on Earth

Filled with "mesmerizing black-and-white photographs of the world’s most majestic ancient trees," San Francisco photographer Beth Moon's masterpiece makes me want to follow in her footsteps and see these beauties for myself in real life--before they become extinct. Here are some of the spectacular images from the book, which was published this year by Abbeville Press, and is available on Amazon and other online booksellers. report this ad What if school was out, forever? Today a future without schools. Lament for the hard drive Where are our petabyte drives? Oompa Oompa stick it in your Jumper Overnighter Travel Bag —now 24% off.

Visual botany Niki Simpson digital botanical illustration. Rachel Sussman's photographs of the oldest living things in the world. Eckhard Völcker.