Book Review: Safari: A Photicular Book

December 12, 2012  By: Gretchen

It took a while for me to get past the title page of ‘Safari‘ because I was so taken with the moving cheetah image produced by opening and shutting its cover.  But when I finally did, I discovered that like the initial image of the cheetah, the book was filled with fantastic photicular images by Dan Kainen.  The technology that has been around for many years – it may be old, but it doesn’t fail to engage.

Photicular technology incorporates individual video frames sliced into thin, adjacent strips to create a single master image.  A sheet of thin lenses is placed over the master-image, and that’s when the magic happens and the photo comes to life.

Carol Kaufmann gives an introduction consisting of her first safari experience in Kenya’s Masai Mara.  She captures the magic we feel when getting into the bush and seeing animals for the first (or 10th or 20th) time.  It’s a nice, albeit brief, journey into the bush with rich and wonderful descriptions of its inhabitants.

Kaufmann also takes a brief trip into the history of African safaris – how they began along with stories of some of the early European hunters and explorers – leading up to the modern photographic safaris and the fragility of the environments they take place in.

The book then moves into a brief but thorough bio of eight animals found on the continent. From cheetah to mountain gorilla, zebra to elephant, Kaufmann imparts interesting facts about each animal.  Even the most seasoned safari-goer can probably learn something here, and if not, the photicular images are well worth playing with for a while.

This would be a fun book for families, or even an interesting cocktail table book for the safari-phile, and it’s a great nostalgic trip down old-technology lane.