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Reefs Revealed


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#1 adamhanlon

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 03:57 AM

Hi all,

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to receive my copy of Reefs Revealed from Amazon. It is, of course, by one of our fellow wetpixelers-Alex Mustard.

I think that the quality of the pictures and the accompanying text will make this one of the seminal underwater photography books of our time-certainly, I was amazed and inspired by the quality of the photography, but also by the descriptions of behaviours etc. that accompany each picture.

My immediate reaction on reading it was to get my camera and go diving! I think that is probably the best praise....!

Thank you Alex for providing such a feast.

Best

Adam

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#2 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 10:36 AM

Thanks Adam. :guiness:

I had been intending to start a thread to tell you all about my new book "Reefs Revealed" that was published last week, but I was away at the Wildlife Photog events. So rather than start a new thread - I'll hi-jack this one.

I guess the biggest news is that this book won the Prix Mondial Du Livre D'Image Sous-Marine (World Prize for Underwater Photo Book) at the Antibes Festival at the weekend. Books are a lot of work and this is certainly the most satisfying award I have won for my photography. It also means that I join the likes of Doubilet, Newbert, Amsler, Wu and Ballesta whose books have won this one. You can expect some beer to be drunk this Friday in Southampton.

Anyway to the book. RR is a large format, hardback photo book about coral reefs. But I have worked hard to make it more than just photos. All the images have extended natural history captions. Most of this info comes direct from the scientific literature, as during my research I found that most of the coral reef books I read during my research just repeat the same ol' stuff (sometimes incorrect stuff). That said it is not all dry science - there is quite a bit of what I think in there too! The captions also include location and camera details and settings.

Here are a couple of shots of the happy author when he recieved the book:
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(managed to cut my head off here - lucky there are no land photos in the book).

There is a decent amount of text in the book, including a 7500 word introduction and 3 pages of notes on the photography.

This picture from my website, gives you a brief taster of some of the photography:
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I will post a gallery of spreads from the book on my website when I get a chance.

I'd also like to mention a couple of other issues I took initiative on with the book. First, I offset all the carbon dioxide emissions required for the air travel for the book. Global warming is probably the most serious threat to coral reefs - and as a lot of travel was required for this book this seemed like an appropriate decision. This is not a perfect solution, I know, but I hope it starts a trend in these sorts of books. And second in this age of digital manipulation I chose to mark with a symbol [M], any images in the book that had had their content digitally manipulated. Again, I hope that this is something that becomes more common in underwater photography books.

Alex

p.s. And in case anyone is interested in buying a copy, I should add that I was commissioned to do this book. So I don't have a stock of them myself. I have to buy them like everyone else! So I can't send signed copies. Although I am looking into at getting some adhesive labels printed - that I can sign and post to people who have bought the book.

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#3 AndyBarker

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 01:15 PM

HI Alex,
congratulations on your new book, I would think it will fly off the shelves
like the last one. Well done

Andy :guiness: ;)

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#4 Arnon_Ayal

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 01:21 PM

Congrats! looks great.
Added to the wish list for the next order from Amazon.
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#5 Rocha

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 04:36 PM

Congratulations on the Antibes win with the book Alex!! You join a very small club with giants!

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#6 anthp

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 05:10 PM

Huge CONGRATULATIONS Alex on your Antibes accolade! It looks like a superb book and I'm very pleased to see that we'll be able to get it downunder soon too (Dec).
Anthony Plummer
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#7 seagrant

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 05:25 PM

Add my congrats to the long list!!!! Looks fantastic!!!!

Carol B)

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#8 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 10:30 AM

Thanks guys.

I have uploaded a few low rez images of the spreads to give you a feel for the layout of the book and the length of the captions:

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Alex

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#9 Tom_Kline

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 05:54 PM

Extraordinary! :guiness:

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#10 wobby

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 09:57 PM

Alex,

Congratulations on the book and the win.

Looks like the perfect Christmas present for all divers. Hope it appears in book shops in Australia soon.

All the best

Nigel

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#11 tjgreen

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 07:31 AM

Dr. Mustard,
Congrats on the award, and on what appears to be another terrific book. I love the combination of pictures and informative/educational text - this is the kind of book I devoured growing up.

On that note - any way you could provide a sample caption from the book, or info on the reading level it's written for? Looks like a great present for my science-crazy nephew, if accessible for a (smart) boy of 10.

Thanks,
Tim
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#12 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 07:44 AM

Hi Tim,

Please call me Alex! I didn't come up with my name of "The Doctor" here on Wetpixel.

The book is written for a non-specialist audience, but we made a conscious decision not to dumb it down. So there are some long words in there - but none that are too specialist. My brother is 10 and he loves it. Here is a sample caption from the top image above:

Spawning pair of hamlets

A pair of barred hamlets Hypoplectrus puella clasp together while spawning to ensure successful fertilization of their eggs. Hamlets, small groupers about the size of your hand, are found only on the reefs of the west Atlantic.
Curiously, hamlets are one of the few vertebrates that are simultaneous hermaphrodites. Many reef fish change sex during their lives, but hamlets remain sexually active as both males and females throughout adulthood. When spawning at dusk they follow a ‘little-but-often’ approach with the pair exchanging sexual roles several times, called egg trading, to ensure each partner plays an equal role.
Though it may seem strange to us, this tactic makes great sense, with both individuals devoting energy to producing eggs. It is such a good strategy that I often wonder why hermaphroditism is not more common in reef vertebrates.

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Hope that this helps,

Alex

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#13 Dan Schwartz

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 09:00 AM

Congratulations on the award!

I just ordered a copy for my father for his b'day... Amazon.com has it back-ordered with a 3-6 week wait; but another distributor in Delaware has copies in stock.

Incidentally, here are the ranking stats as of today:

Amazon.com Sales Rank: #52,150 in Books
Popular in these categories:
#13 in Books > Science > Biological Sciences > Biology > Marine Biology
#51 in Books > Science > Nature & Ecology > Oceans & Seas
#71 in Books > Science > Earth Sciences > Geology

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#14 tjgreen

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 09:38 AM

Hi Tim,

Please call me Alex! I didn't come up with my name of "The Doctor" here on Wetpixel.

The book is written for a non-specialist audience, but we made a conscious decision not to dumb it down. So there are some long words in there - but none that are too specialist. My brother is 10 and he loves it. Here is a sample caption from the top image above:
Hope that this helps,

Alex


Thanks Alex, that helps a great deal - he should be able to handle that, with a little help from Google. Plus there's a lot of sex, what 10-year-old wouldn't love it :guiness:.

Tim
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#15 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 03:06 PM

Amazon.com has it back-ordered with a 3-6 week wait; but another distributor in Delaware has copies in stock.

Incidentally, here are the ranking stats as of today:

Amazon.com Sales Rank: #52,150 in Books
Popular in these categories:
#13 in Books > Science > Biological Sciences > Biology > Marine Biology
#51 in Books > Science > Nature & Ecology > Oceans & Seas
#71 in Books > Science > Earth Sciences > Geology


Not sure what the situation is with amazon.com. The book is available immediately on Amazon.co.uk (the UK site) and had a sales rank of 2000 early today (it is 4000 now), which I was pretty happy with as most UW books are between 10,000 and 50,000.

Alex

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#16 wagsy

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 03:36 PM

Got to be happy with those early sales numbers Alex.

Well when I find one I'll buy one.. :guiness:
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#17 Tom_Kline

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 08:41 PM

we made a conscious decision not to dumb it down. So there are some long words in there - but none that are too specialist.
Alex


Looks like you have reached a good balance; not easy to do with pressure from editors to dumb it down (I have experienced this even at the University level). :glare:

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#18 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 12:05 AM

I am not surprised Tom. I think some academics can really loose touch with hwo much the average member of the public understands of their science.

A great example of this is when a friend of mine from London came down to visit me and came out with all my marine biologist friends. He spent the whole night insisting that the blue whale was the biggest fish in the world! And none of them could get the fact he was joking. :guiness:
Alex

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#19 DeanB

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 01:21 AM

Well done me old mate....

You will be soon partying with J.K Rowling and friends...

Dive safe

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#20 davichin

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 04:06 AM

I am the proud owner of this book and it is just great. It is one of those excelents books I keep opening back to reread and readmire text and pictures and think "how did he took that?..." ;) .
I will order an spare one to keep new so I don´t feel guilty of reading the other one while eating etc... :guiness:

Congratulations Alex!!
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