Ah, yes. The photography. The spectacular, eye popping, pupil-expanding, eyebrow raising, mind-gluing, transportational photography ... reproduced, the photographers say, with unerring accuracy.
Great photographs start with a great location. To capture readers, a book must take them to places they've never been, and perhaps never will be, in their lifetimes. Or take them back to places they've visited, with clarity that accurately rekindles their memories.
And for all readers, be they experienced travelers or wishful wanderers, the published images must capture the spirit and essence of the place in a way that inspires, delights, and engages their intellect.
A place like Antarctica.
Pat and Rosemarie Keough's Antarctica is a spectacular indulgence of a book that, at $2,900 a copy, could be the world's most expensive title currently in production.
The book weighs in at 19.2 pounds (27.6 pounds in its display box). It's 17.25" long by 13.5" high and nearly 3" inches thick, plus cover. The pictures are printed on specially produced short grain, 100 lb. cover stock, with a smooth enamel coating.
The grain on the acid- and chlorine-free paper (10% recycled post-consumer content, 'natch!) from Stora Enso runs parallel to the spine when it's run through the Heidelberg presses used. This to provide effortless page turning and prevent stress on the spine, as the paper adjusts to different humidity conditions in readers' homes around the world, the authors say.
In contrast, the paper grain of most books runs at a 90-degree angle. While this is the most cost-effective orientation, it creates increased resistance and stress on the spine.
Several months were invested manually collating and hand-inspecting the roughly 450,000 pages that make up the 950 production books and 50 proofs of this limited edition, each volume boasting 336 perfect-as-humanly-possible pages.