Earthforms: Intimate Portraits of Our Planet by Joel Simpson

Joel Simpson
JSS Books (2019)
ISBN 9780578211220
Reviewed by Rachel Dehning for Reader Views (04/2020)

“Earthforms: Intimate Portraits of our Planet” by Joel Simpson is the collection of photographs that show off the beautiful geological wonders on our planet. The purpose of this book is to inform the readers of what wonders lie out there, many of which we may not be aware of. If the readers are able to develop an appreciation for these formations, then maybe we can help in preservation in the midst of climate change and for the purpose of preserving our planet and its beauty.

The beginning of the book includes the detailed story of the confrontation at Standing Rock that began in 2012 and continued onto 2016. The issue was the Dakota Access Pipeline, in which an oil company wanted to lay down some pipeline through the territory of the Great Sioux Nation. For reasons unknown to me, certain people in politics were willing to help the Great Sioux Nation protect their sacred land, while others were willing to disregard their issues and continue with the building of a pipeline in order to establish power in our country. With a detailed record of the whole encounter, you learn how unfortunate we are to have people in the world who are egocentric and don’t care about the natural world around us.

That being said, the pictures in this book are breathtaking. The majority of them are digitally captured or captured by film, yet they appear as if they are otherworldly. Photographs of glaciers, lakes, salt fractures, and of course many rock formations are included for our enjoyment. The locations of these formations range all across the world: in the U.S. they are in California, New Mexico, Arizona, Idaho, Massachusetts, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, North and South Dakota, and Hawaii; elsewhere in the world we travel to Ireland, Turkey, Canada, Mongolia, Wales, Jordan, Spain, Madagascar, Sardinia, Italy, Vietnam, and Iceland. The dates of the pictures range from 2003-2018, but honestly, who can tell if a picture is that out of date as long as the formation is well preserved.

Flipping through the pages, the pictures took me somewhere else, and I longed to be by those formations soaking up their beauty. There is something for everyone in this book, open up its pages and be taken away.

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