The book is Oceanic Wilderness, but it might just as fittingly have been titled Pictures From Paradise, for that is exactly what it presents in such splendid profusion.
Roger Steene is an accomplished diver and underwater photographer who has traveled the globe using his skill and artistry to capture images of the splendid creatures that live beneath the sea. The world displayed in Oceanic Wilderness is as strange, alien and surpassingly wonderful as any that might someday be found in the reaches of space. The oceans are earth’s last frontier and this book makes pioneers of us all.
Oceanic Wilderness is an exquisitely beautiful volume. Its large size — 11 x
12 ¾ — perfectly showcases the more than 600 vivid color photographs that so brilliantly portray the profusion and diversity of aquatic life. One is entranced by a particular photo, only to turn the page and find another, equally mesmerizing, equally revealing, equally amazing. Each breathtaking photograph enchants anew, leaving the reader like the child who opens a series of Christmas presents, declaring each and every gift to be his favorite.
It’s only recently that newer technologies have allowed underwater photographers to work at great depths taking pictures such as those in Oceanic Wilderness. Some of the subjects are microscopic, others called for macro photography. Through the eye of the camera, readers are treated to an illustrated journey that explores coral reefs and tidepools revealing the biodiversity found in exotic locations from the Caribbean, to the Pacific, the Indian Ocean, and waters off the coasts of Japan, Australia and Southeast Asia.
Witness the Warty Frogfish photographed off the Philippines, bright red and seemingly dusted with sugar granules. The Holothurian thrives in the Komodo region of Indonesia. At rest, the creature is a soft, brightly colored spherical sac, but when feeding, it extends a mass of feathery “arms” to bring plankton to its mouth. The brown-and-white-striped Ornate Octopus looks like nothing so much as a chocolate confection resting on the ocean floor, the male Mantis Shrimp resembles a Tiffany-glass fantasy, the Thorny Oyster could pass for a kindergarten art project gone bad. Some of the creatures in Oceanic Wilderness are funny, some are strange, many are beautiful, all are fascinating.
Oceanic Wilderness is a book to be savored. One could spend hours studying its pages, then, with undiminished enthusiasm, turn to page one and start the voyage of discovery all over again.
Author Roger Steene is an underwater photographer with 40 years experience worldwide, who specializes in close-ups including microscopic images. Many of his subjects still remain unrecorded and unnamed. He is affiliated with several marine biological institutions around the world. He has contributed to numerous publications and is the author of 12 books, including Coral Seas.
For more information on the book Oceanic Wilderness (ISBN: 1-55297-999-7 / 978-1-55297-000-0), visit the publisher’s website at www.fireflybooks.com.