That's roughly equivalent to a 600 line screen, and three times greater resolution than high-end lithography commonly used for fine art books. To the naked eye, and under close inspection, there are virtually no visible dots making up the photographs.
The continuous tone makes it appear as if you are there, a portal to the icy white banks and crisp blue skies of the Antarctic. You can practically feel the texture of the feathers covering the emperor penguins looking back at you.
Considering it's printed direct-to-plate, digital files to metal plate, with no film in between; and the 14" x 10" luminous photographs started out as tiny 35mm slide scans makes the scope of this project, and its results, all the more impressive.
The resulting enlargements are faithful to their source slides, with all the detail in the highlights and shadows, accurate color, and a tremendous sense of depth rendered through contrast control—all of which would have been next to impossible in the pre-Photoshop era, the Keoughs say.
One final detail: The book comes with instructions telling readers how to remove and reinsert the book from its special protective case.
AWARDS AND ACCOLADES
When this writer first learned of the book, I urged the Keoughs to consider entering it in Booktech's 2003 Gold Ink awards. They did. When the "Fine Editions" category came up for judging, it was practically no contest. The judges were floored by the title's faultless production quality.
The Gold Ink judges are not alone. Antarctica has won 12 other prestigious publishing and printing awards to date, including the PIA's Benjamin Franklin Award (the "Benny"), and the Rock Award from the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada.
Awards or not, most readers from ages three on up who lift its weighty cover, turn its 336 sturdy pages, and gaze its crystal sharp photographs agree: at $2,900 a copy, they can't afford it.