Desert Jewels: Cactus Flowers of the Southwest and Mexico (Hardcover)
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Cactus flowers are jewels of the desert—they add brilliant pops of color to our arid surroundings. In this book, renowned Tucson photographer John P. Schaefer brings the exquisite and unexpected beauty of the cactus flower to the page. Hundreds of close-up photographs of cactus flowers native to the U.S. Southwest and Mexico offer a visual feast of color and texture, nuance and light.
These stunning photographs allow us to appreciate the spectacular range of color and form cactus flowers have to offer. For the cactus enthusiast, the book offers a comprehensive collection of high-quality flower photographs unlike any other. The photographs cover more than 250 cactus species organized by genus. The book starts with an introduction by the photographer that is both autobiographical and informative. It offers a glimpse into his process for capturing these elusive desert gems, resulting in photographs so beautiful they were featured as a book of stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service.
This collection of cactus flowers in bloom is a one-of-a-kind work by a master photographer.
About the Author
John P. Schaefer is president emeritus of the University of Arizona, where he had an active twenty-one-year career in teaching and research. A conservationist and avid birdwatcher, he helped organize the Tucson Audubon Society and found the Nature Conservancy in Arizona. In addition to his academic and conservation work, Dr. Schaefer is a skilled photographer. He is the author of several photography books, including A Desert Illuminated: Cactus Flowers of the Sonoran Desert. He and Ansel Adams founded the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona in 1975.
“When art is presented that’s deeply rooted in science, the end result is both awe-inspiring and informative. John Schaefer’s background in science is evident in both the arrangement, and his minimalist approach photographing against a black background. He has created images that fairly leap from each page. The one descriptor that comes to mind is: ‘LUMINOUS!’ Of course, they are indeed jewels.”—Jack Dykinga, author of A Photographer’s Life: A Journey from Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photojournalist to Celebrated Nature Photographer
“Desert Jewels offers a deep, thoughtful exploration of over two hundred species of cactus plants and flowers. John Schaefer’s commitment to the photographic process coupled with his reverence and appreciation of the subject makes this a vivid and compelling visual field guide for all desert enthusiasts.”—Anne Breckenridge Barrett, former executive director of the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona
“Schaefer again enriches our lives with his exquisite photos, mostly from southwestern deserts. They portray the enduring and endlessly intriguing glamour of cactus flowers. This book exalts cacti as they beautify our world. It also makes for a useful guide for distinguishing among the maddening subtlety of different cactus species.”—David Yetman, author of Natural Landmarks of Arizona
“This stunning collection of photographs by John Schaefer truly glorifies the magical color and beauty of our Southwest desert natural environment. One needs only to take the care and time to look! John is a scientist and educator by background but is deeply an artist at heart. This book prompts us all to care–and to look!”—Alan Ross, master photographer
“Desert Jewels is a perfect blending of art and natural history, briefly characterizing the key genera of North American cacti while offering up spectacular photographs of representative species. John Schaefer’s lifetime legacy of magnificent, artistic photography is eclipsed only by his reputation as a scientist and naturalist, university president, philanthropist, and nonprofit mentor.”—Richard C. Brusca, executive director emeritus of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum; research scientist, University of Arizona; and author of The Gulf of California: Biodiversity and Conservation