Reef by Scubazoo (Amazon) (5 sea stars)
Scubazoo describes themselves as "a team of professional underwater cameramen and photographers who have an intense love and appreciation of the marine world." Each page of Reef is a testament to this love and appreciation they profess to. For no other way could one have the eye for detail and patience to capture nature in its hidden glory as well as they have. They have the credentials to back it up too having filmed and shot photography for National Geographic, Discovery, the BBC as well as several T.V. stations. This team of professional SCUBA divers, photographers and videographers has compiled an edge of the couch tour of reef environments, mainly in the Southwest Pacific. Not content to provide just a coffee table conversation piece, included is a 30 minute DVD with even more pictures and video. At the current Amazon price of $26.40, all 360 pages of this marine behemoth is practically a steal!
The invertebrates are very well represented here and rightly so since they make up the backbone (corals, sponges, tube-building polychaetes) of the reef ecosystem and, well, 95%+ of animal life on this planet! They make well use of macro lenses and provide exhilarating close-ups of shrimp, cephalopods, anemones and coral polyps and many others. Each picture tells a story about the natural history of the organism captured on film. From tiny fish nestled among anemone tentacles or coral polyps to sea urchins riding shotgun on the back of a crab. Accompanying each photo is description of you are seeing including the common AND scientific names or each organism.
This book will inspire people of all ages. My 2 year-old son seems enthralled by the colorful and beautiful photos chosen for this timeless collection. Even as a deep-sea biologist who has seen his share of strange and unusual sea creatures, I was continuously surprised at the behaviors and diversity captured by the Scubazoo team. The images in this post are sample pages from the Scubazoo webpage for Reef, where there are several more for your viewing pleasure. The Amazon page for Reef has a phenomenal 3 minute video clip from the accompanying DVD of marine life that worth the click alone, but I guarantee you will walk away with the book in your shopping cart!
If it is not enough, part of the proceeds of buying the book go to support the Coral Reef Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving coral reefs around the world. The same organization with our dear blogging buddy, Rick MacPherson, as the program director!