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elbuzo

Planete Mers book

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Yesterday i received Planete Mers from Amazon france.

 

I 'm shock to see a so great collection of images so poorly printed .

 

Definitly Laurent Ballesta has created a stunning material but the print quality of the book doesn't correspond . It's truly a shame .

 

I would like to hear opinions from people that had seen or bought this book.

 

Maybe some of your comments helps me to accept having paid the highest cost for a book (aprox. 60 euros incl. shipping) in my collection and not being happy with it.

 

Someone knows if a english edition is planned ( i still have hopes to have the book properly printed)

 

Saludos

 

El buzo

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G'day El Buzo,

 

I ordered a copy from Amazon France too and it arrived yesterday.

 

My feelings do not correspond with yours.

 

I totally agree that the images are stunning and certainly some of the best I've ever seen.

 

I am not an expert on printing, but it looks much like the other photographic coffee table books I have. I guess sometimes if you look at the images from an angle, there is some colour blocking, but other than that, I'm very happy. Perhaps you could elaborate on what it is exactly that is the problem. Maybe it is just my untrained eye not seeing the flaws that you see? :)

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What about English version? is there a plans to such a book?

I have problems to see pictures in English, not to mention French :)

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I disagree too. I think that the book is very nicely printed. I have showed many people my copy and everyone has been blown away by it.

 

Alex

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Glad to hear that your book looks with good printing . But definitly mine doesn't . I showed to several friends here ( all of them with experience in photography and printing ) and we all agree that most of the pics. suffer from color shifting and something wrong with the blues and dark tones( that i don't know how to explain in english)

 

I have a big collection of u/w and nature coffe table books and this is the only one with such problems.

 

Do you think is possible to have some books with printing problems in one edition and others don't.

 

I live in the caribbean and being the book so big and heavy is not worthy for me to return to Amazon France but i want to have a ggod printed book because the photos are great.

 

Anyone one knows a bookstore in Paris that sell the book ? I have some french friends going there for xmas so maybe i can ask for the biiiiig favor to bring me another book.

 

Gracias

 

El buzo

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I ordered one the same day I read about it here, and I am getting a bit worried because mine hasn't arrived. Maybe it has something to do with having it shipped to les îles Vierges américaines... Good to hear others here have received it, maybe there is hope yet.

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There are plans for an English edition - the authors were even talking specifically whe I spoke to them, but it would be wrong of me to go into details here.

Here is my text from my review that was published in UWP Magazine at the start of the month, that covers what I know:

 

Planète MERS – Laurent Ballesta & Pierre Descamp

 

I must start with an apology because I am reviewing a book that I have not read! It is in French and I can’t read French. But I have looked at every page of this phenomenal book and I just had to tell you about it as soon as possible!

Fans of the Antibes Festival will surely have marvelled at Laurent Ballesta’s multi-award winning photography, but outside his native France he is not that well known. This is a pity because, to put it simply, I think he is currently the world’s best underwater photographer. His new book, Planete MERS, a collaboration with writings from fellow biologist Pierre Descamp is a large format (330x280mm), 400 page coffee table book, featuring the best of Laurent’s images. It is a triumph.

Laurent is a master of balanced light photography, mixing high impact foreground marine life with beautiful depth-giving backgrounds that immediately transport you beneath the waves. His animal portraits, of both large and small subjects, are perfectly composed and full of character. Alongside these achingly beautiful shots are marine life images of rare and previously un-photographed species and behaviours all precisely lit, framed and exposed. But what sets Laurent apart is that not only does he seek out the ocean’s most magnificent creatures he also produces captivating images from the mundane and everyday subjects, such as seagrass beds. The photographs truly come from around the world: Polar - from both the Arctic and Antarctic, Temperate – from Northern Europe (including freshwater) and North and South America, and Tropical – mainly Jordan, PNG and French Polynesia.

I am struggling to think of a negative point, but perhaps the book is about 5% too long. Such is impact of each image, that going through it first time from cover to cover is emotionally exhausting. That said 400 pages of lavishly reproduced images seem very reasonable at 39 Euros. This is certainly a book that will continue to reward the reader time after time.

Currently this book is only available in French in France. Laurent and Pierre told me that they are hoping to get an English edition out next year (but despite not speaking French I could not resist buying it now). Since writing this review the book has gone on to win the Antibes Festival prize for the best underwater image book, which will undoubtedly help this process.

In my opinion there have been two books of underwater images that have stood head and shoulders above what has gone before when they were released: Newbert’s Within A Rainbowed Sea and Doubilet’s Water Light Time. Maybe we now have a third book to add to this esteemed company?

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Laurent is a master of balanced light photography, mixing high impact foreground marine life with beautiful depth-giving backgrounds that immediately transport you beneath the waves. His animal portraits, of both large and small subjects, are perfectly composed and full of character. Alongside these achingly beautiful shots are marine life images of rare and previously un-photographed species and behaviours all precisely lit, framed and exposed. But what sets Laurent apart is that not only does he seek out the ocean’s most magnificent creatures he also produces captivating images from the mundane and everyday subjects.

 

 

Alex

 

I totally agree with you .

 

My favorite images are the close-focus-wide-angle ones.

 

El Buzo

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So what problems with printing did you identify El Buzo?

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So does Laurent have a website? I am not familiar with his work but everyone is gushing about it so i am very curious

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I've just had a look at the link Alex supplied and think his stuff is brilliant. I wonder how the hell he got that close to Garden eels. I've tried over and over and over again and still no luck.

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Fishboy,

 

Have you ever tried Lanzarote..?

 

When I was in Palau they made a big deal about garden eels and the Japanese photographers would spend days waiting for them to "pop up" I was in Lanz earlier this year and the seabed was covered in the little beggers..We just went right over the top of them and they stayed put. Must be used to the divers ??

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

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Funny, i was going to mention the garden eels as well. Those ones must be huge!

 

That blue shark is pretty sweet,

 

Would like to see more, 9 photos doesn't really give much feel to the quality

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I don't know my sharks that well ... but I am guessing thats an Oceanic Blacktip ... nowthe blue whale is very cool and amazing colours for such a subject .. however the motion in the shark is a seller for me very much more what I would expect to see from him (from the stuff I have seen or heard about)

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Giles, its a blue, definitely not the Limbatus....and yes the blur does make the photo.

I still think the garden eels are bigger than what we get out here....

Very cool algae bottom as well, makes the photo

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Hi Mike,

 

I did remember saying to the guide in Lanzarote that the garden eels were bigger than i remember in Palau. There were loads of them swaying in the current. I viewed a piece of video of a diver taking a photo of the ones in Palau and they are definately smaller..Probably half the size..

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

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Oh I fancy giving Lanzarote a try. DeanB whereabouts did you see the eels? and who did you dive with?

 

cheers mate

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Mike, here is some of his old stuff from 2001/2002:

 

http://www.nikon.fr/nikon_web/galerie.nsf/...ta?opendocument

 

I think that the blue shark is just immense. So full of character, great composition and it is a blue shark!

 

Alex

 

Alex, is mssr. Ballesta a digital photog? Those images are incredible!

 

Thanks,

Scott

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Looks like film to me, probably Provia, or maybe Velvia 100. The sunburst. Also, blues like that don't exist in the digital world, or in nature for that matter. Beautiful photos. I like the whale shots and the garden eels best. The blue shark (if that's what it is) is amazing, but I wonder what it would have looked like with rear curtain flash.

 

Frogfish

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Hi Fishboy,

 

The dive shop was actually called 'The diveshop' Its in Puerto del Carmen' and run by a couple of old friends of mine; Mick and Ingrid. Two very nice and very, very helpful people. I cannot remember which site but i only did two 'The reef' and 'The blue hole'.. The eels (if a can remember) were at the deepest level of one at about 25-30m. On a flat seabed as far as you could see. I remember saying they were a photographers dream in Micronesia just like Cuttlefish. But over here they were everywhere (only if i new i would have spent more time with them).

 

Their e-mail is: info@thediveshoplanzarote.com Or Website: thediveshoplanzarote.com

 

Just say Dean the 'Um-El-Faroud' videoographer recommended them and hopefully they won't put the phone down !!!

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

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I have Planet Mers too, ordered from Amazon.fr. My book was competing at the Antibes Festival but didn’t have a chance near this one.

The images are excellent. My copy of Planet Mers didn’t seems to have any printing problems that was reported earlier. Color shifts may occurs when there is a big production, but you must have 2 books side by side (ie. The first one printed and the last one) to notice the difference. Any major color shift should be noticed by the quality control team. But it is still possible that Buzo may have a “rebel†copy. I don’t think people would give a gold medal at Antibes Festival for a poorly printed book.

 

The most fascinating images where the Close up wide angle. The sharpness from corner to corner is very good. I guess that he was using a RS with the 13mm.

Anyone can confirm that??

 

I recommend his book, even if it is expensive.

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