Our Beautiful, Fragile World
The Nature and Environmental Photographs of Peter Essick
Publisher: Rocky Nook
Final Release Date: November 2013
Pages: 124

Our Beautiful, Fragile World features a career-spanning look at the images of photojournalist Peter Essick taken while on assignment for National Geographic magazine. In this book, Essick showcases a diverse series of photographs from some of the most beautiful natural areas in the world and documents major contemporary environmental issues, such as climate change and nuclear waste.

Each photograph is accompanied by commentary on the design process of the image, Essick's personal photographic experiences, and informative highlights from the research he completed for each story. Our Beautiful, Fragile World takes the reader on a journey around the globe, from the Oulanka National Park near the Arctic Circle in Finland to the Adelie penguin breeding grounds in Antarctica.

Our Beautiful, Fragile World will interest photographers of all skill levels. It carries an important message about conservation, and the photographs provide a compelling look at our environment that will resonate with people of all ages who care about the state of the natural world.

Foreword by Jean-Michel Cousteau.

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A wonderful testimonial

By Valhal

from Brussels

About Me Educator

Verified Reviewer


  • Accurate
  • A Good Vulgarisation
  • Beautiful Pictures
  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Well-written


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Comments about oreilly Our Beautiful, Fragile World:

This book is at the confluent of three kind of books: a bibliography, a photograph book and a testimonial about the ecology and our precious world. Petter Essick traces his career and thoughts through the different pictures made from the coverage that he made for the "National Geographic Magazine". For each picture, the context and the history are explained to the reader, and, for the photography lovers, the technical details are provided at the end of the book. The book exists in ebook format and in a beautiful paperback edition.

Each picture is a short story that brings us, with ease, a complex and fragile world. The author does not try to convince us by eluding the difficult reality of each environmental choice that we make everyday. As a "National Geographic" photographer, the pictures are always beautiful and accurate for the subject. The stories behind make us travelling around the world and share with us its feelings and concerns about the environmental issues. I have loved to travel through the pages with the pictures. We become the witnesses where its pictures will become the remaining testimony of a world and its damages before its (irreversible?) change. The only weak point of the book is that I would have preferred that the technical notes was more embedded in the stories, but also that some stories focus on the explanation of the issue, and not enough on the travel that lead him to the picture.


Amazing Photographer

By Gail

from Washington, DC

Verified Reviewer

Comments about oreilly Our Beautiful, Fragile World:

Peter Essick is an exceptionally talented photographer. While it is too soon to comment on the book since it has not yet been released, I know that the book will not disappoint. I have already preordered it. I have numerous original prints of Mr. Essick's hanging in my home. They never fail to stimulate conversation and always receive rave reviews from visitors to our home. I have no doubt this book will live up to the quality, skill and execution demonstrated in Mr. Essick's individual photographs. In addition, I have read Mr. Essick's blog where he describes not only the natural/environmental topics and issues addressed in his photo spreads, but also the artistic and technical process behind the photos. His descriptions are always thoughtful, insightful, and well written. A perfect recpipe for an insightful and visually compelling photography book.

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Ebook:  $27.99
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