The Field Photographs of Alain H. Liogier: with Brandy Watts
Complete with a dust jacket, this petite book is spectacularly wonderful. The conversation it has with both the scientific and the artistic community is the feature of this book that I find most appealing. The Field Photographs of Alain H. Liogier opens up to a black and white map (courtesy of James D. Acherman) of the Dominican Republic, an island that sits between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Turning the page, there is a portrait of botanical photographer Alain H. Liogier, a forward written by Brandy Watts and an introduction essay by Brain M. Boom (Vice President for Conservation Strategy; Director NYBG Press; Director of Science Outreach; and Bassett Maguire Curator of Botany at The New York Botanical Garden). Lastly before the book gets into the photographic plates, there is a seven page English translation of Alain H. Liogier’s 1968 field notes from his research trips to the Dominican Republic.
The photographic collection of 2×3″ Kodachrome prints were taken by botanist, Liogier, as he conducted research throughout the Caribbean. The book has its small size because the photographs are shown to size, which I think was a very smart choice by Brandy Watts, who designed the layout of the book. It’s great to experience them as close to their original form as possible. Something to note is that the botanical names are the original ones written by Liogier to maintain historical context, they have not been updated to reflect current species names. As a person who hasn’t vastly studied botany, I would never know this, but I like knowing that the author wanted to maintain accuracy of the time. The images taken by Liogier are more than just quick snap shots, they appear to be taken with careful observation through the eyes of someone who used photography because he enjoyed it. They are not all taken with the same perspective or with a routine sentiment, but rather with forethought and consideration. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys both science and art.
Images from The Field Photographs of Alain H. Liogier: Plants of Hispaniola, Dominican Republic, 1968–1969 by Brandy Watts. Published by NYBG Press. Copyright 2017 The New York Botanical Garden. All rights reserved.
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