The Vibrant Landscape book consists of color fine art images taken over a period of 20 years, from 1998 through 2018. Images are mostly from the United states, including Yosemite National Park, Olympic National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Lake Tahoe, the California Coast, Death Valley and the Northeast. There is an Introduction written by Robert Zuckerman, famous Hollywood set photographer and an essay by Margaretta K. Mitchell, renown photography biographer. There are a total of 98 color images on heavy stock paper. 132 pages.
The book is thoughtfully organized, often pairing complementary images. A shot of Lake Tahoe is next to one of Lee Vining in California; the Tahoe shot has water and mountains and the Lee Vining photo is dominated by shrubbery and a forest, but both make extensive use of foreshortening. Photos of the Montreal skyline and biosphere are followed by a lone blooming shrub in Joshua tree, and then the starkness of Death Valley. There are also contrasts of color, as in a sunset overlooking a lake in Alaska accompanied by a moonrise above California’s Mono Lake. They’re composed in the same way, with the emphasis on the horizon, but the juxtaposition of the colors is striking. Levinson’s shots of the New York and Montreal skylines give a different kind of contrast as they carefully balance water and greenery against the constructed urban background.
Thematically, Levinson leans toward an even split between foreground and background images and a deliberate balance of foliage, water, and rock. That creates cohesion from image to image as well as the book as a whole. He’s able to vary this formula enough so as not to be repetitive, keeping the conceptual elements static while wildly varying the actual subjects. The fluidity of the compositions across the book makes the natural colors pop even harder. Every page of this exquisite book is a new and exciting experience for the reader.
Takeaway: Anyone who enjoys beautiful, vivid, and varied landscape photography will treasure this book.
Great for fans of Q.T. Luong’s Treasured Lands, T.H. Watkins and David Muench’s American Landscape.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B