Art meets science
Thomas Marent has been capturing the beauties of the rainforest with his Nikon for 16 years, and now the best of his life's work has been collected in a new coffee table book, titled simply Rainforest, written with Ben Morgan. Marent's book steers clear of rainforest politics in favor of gorgeous full-page, full-color photos of its wonders. Perhaps the book's most remarkable achievement is the minutia: close-up photos of stick insects, leaf hoppers, grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars and other creatures that might escape the attention of other rainforest travelers. Marent's astonishing photos of the rare walking leaf an insect that has evolved to mimic a fallen autumn leaf nearly to perfection are accompanied by a single paragraph explaining that the photographer had been looking for such an insect for 10 years. Most thinking people already know that the dwindling rainforests of the world are treasure troves of biological diversity, but somehow the photos of six different varieties of strawberry frog make that more real for those who live outside the canopy. The book comes with a CD of rainforest sounds.