Bird Watching


Aron had told me about this fascinating book–a lovely take on the classic field journal–and I was so wowed by the format when we spotted a copy in Moon River Chattel

From the publisher: “Handwritten notations recording species, location, size, and markings describe well-rendered and flawlessly composed photographs of a wide variety of passerines, or perching birds, in their natural settings in locations across the United States. Page after page of the most wonderfully diverse species of birds are perfectly posed in picturesque natural settings—a bird-watcher’s dream.”

What the description goes on to explain, however, is that none of the birds are real. Each is a decorative bird–the sort found in a craft store–carefully arranged on its perch. It takes a while to notice the wire or the plastic or the dyed feathers that expose the lie.

The photographs are so beautiful. And I love how closely it resembles like a classic bird-watcher journal. I also admire how they’ve used a glossy print on the spine in place of a traditional cloth binding; it really stands out next to the flaxen linen on the cover. Brilliant. 

Photographs by Paula McCartney. 
Texts by Darium Himes and Karen Irvine 
Published by Princeton Architectural Press, 2010.
(photos from photoeye)

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