Beauty in Bloom: Floral Portraits

Black Dog & Leventhal. Oct. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9780762482160. $50. PHOTOG
Photographer Shapiro’s portraits showcase a wide range of flowers on uniformly dark backgrounds with white borders. Each photograph in this coffee-table sized, debut collection captures minute details, such as the pleated petals and hairy stem of an Iceland poppy. The book’s images focus on parts or groups of flowers, or even entire plants, including the roots. The full range of bloom is documented, from tightly wrapped buds to those beginning to drop petals, sometimes in the same frame. Some images resemble botanical drawings, while others pop with vibrant color. Flowers are combined in pictures by species or color and from a variety of angles to highlight unusual shapes and textures. Poppies, peonies, and tulips are frequent subjects. Side views of parrot tulips and Iceland poppies in bud have a nontraditional yet alluring beauty. Quotes relating to flowers and their loveliness are scattered throughout the book. Backmatter includes thumbnail images of all the flower portraits, labeled with each plant’s common and scientific names.
VERDICT This title may be best suited to libraries with large photography collections, which can accommodate this trim size.
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