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Among the Giants: A Life with Whales    by Charles Nicklin order for
Among the Giants
by Charles Nicklin
Order:  USA  Can
University of Chicago Press, 2011 (2011)
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

During this time of year whale watching becomes a major activity on the waters off the west coast of the U.S. and Canada. Although an afternoon excursion on the Pacific Ocean may show the marine activity above water, it doesn't provide a picture of what is happening beneath the surface.

For those whale watching fans who want the complete picture, Charles 'Flip' Nicklin in this volume offers not only some remarkable photos but an informative text as well.

Regarded as one of the finest cetacean photographers in the world, Nicklin is the lead whale photographer and marine mammal specialist for the National Geographic Society. His work has been featured in numerous magazines and television specials since 1976.

The cofounder of Whale Trust, Nicklin has authored several books and his underwater camera work has transported thousands of armchair travelers
under the ocean's surface where they have front row seats to view the most magical giants on the planet.

Since the 1970s the public consciousness of the whales' role in the marine environment and their endangered status has been on the rise. Along with new research on their lives and international efforts to conserve their dwindling numbers, whales' overall visibility has greatly increased in the eyes of the general public.

This book not only presents some of Nicklin's remarkable body of photography but it also tells the story behind the images. Constructed around five chapters that feature first person narratives, it is the full page color photos that set this volume apart from others.

That is not to say that Jim Darling's commentary on Humpbacks, Hal Whitehead's chapter on Sperm Whales and Glenn Williams' look at the Canadian Artic aren't interesting. These sections, plus Jon Stern's information on the threatened Minke Whales and Bruce Mate's take on technology, are certainly entertaining and worth reading.

But, when all is said and done, the main reason you'll be more than willing to fork out $40 for this book are the awesome photos of Humpback, Killer, Sperm, Beluga and Gray Whales as well as Bottlenose Dolphins and Narwhals. I'm sure you’ll agree that once you've paged through this collection of photos that the book is totally worth every penny you paid!

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