Taken over the course of four years, the more than two hundred photographs of Wild Land (Thames & Hudson, $65) come as close as any images can to letting the natural world speak for itself. In majestic two-page spreads, uninterrupted by text, award-winning photographers Peter and Beverly Pickford show us some of the last unspoiled places from all seven continents. Every one of these photos is stunning, each for different reasons. To take a few (almost) at random: elephants at Etosha National Park, Namibia, stand noble, elegant, and fragile within a subtle frame of light from the full moon. In the same park we see the ghostly figure of a black rhinoceros drinking from a spring. In the Arctic, the Pickfords follow a pair of polar bears as they pick their way across the sea ice—the stretches of blue water between the frozen patches suggesting the daunting challenges of survival. A few pages later: blazingly white sky and a quartet of Arctic terns, delicate and spare as images on a Japanese scroll. Australia, Asia, Europe, North and South America offer similarly splendid, incomparable views. While few people appear in these shots, the Pickfords’ prefatory essays to each section include insightful glimpses of the lives of the Indigenous people who hosted, guided, and taught them throughout this invaluable project.
Wild Land by Peter and Beverly Pickford