EARTHFORMS to Be the Featured Cover Story to the June issue of NATURAL HISTORY MAGAZINE

May 8, 2019

I’m very proud that the venerable magazine Natural History (established in 1900), long associated with the American Museum of Natural History in New York, has chosen to feature Earthforms: Intimate Portraits of Our Planet as its June cover story. Editor Charles Harris chose Ordovician Strata, Detail, taken at Green Point, Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, Canada for the cover, thus opting right away for rock formation closeup, or miniscape, rather than a more traditional landscape.


The book has plenty of both, but geological miniscapes are much rarer in the practice of nature photography. The 8-page spread inside opens with a 2-page spread of the color-drenched Mono Dusk, a landscape that won a statewide award from Professional Photographers of New Jersey a few years ago.


It continues with nine more images, of which six are miniscapes. The text is excerpted from my introduction, so I’m the author of the article. At the end are some biographical notes and how to purchase the book.

Some of the images in the article. The extensive captions (with field notes) were included. Center left and the bottom two are miniscapes.

I visited the Museum this past Sunday and took a stroll through the main gift shop, a huge affair on two levels, with a department store atmosphere. The colorful merchandise was overwhelmingly clothing, souvenirs and toys, with a very small collection of books for sale, that you had to look hard to find. It is managed and supplied by Event Network, a company based in San Diego that serves around 50 science museums across the country. I had applied to them to have my book recommended to their clients, but they politely declined, though they loved the book. On Sunday I managed to speak to a store manager, who told me that they don’t feature self-published books, which mine is.

One can only speculate on the reasons for this bureaucratic decision. Incidentally, a subscription to Natural History Magazine is automatically included with Museum membership.

I’m very grateful that Editor Harris saw fit to feature my book on their cover, happy to know that the 50,000 monthly readers of Natural History will learn about Earthforms, and be exposed to its mission: to fuel our commitment to the preservation of our planet by strengthening our aesthetic and spiritual connection to it. My artistic aim was to feature images of formations and places most people had never seen before and didn’t know existed (with some notable exceptions), so readers would come away with a richer sense of huge diversity of landforms in the world.

And the book is only a sample. People look through it and often remark to me, “You’ve been everywhere!”

I correct them immediately. I’ve only been to 31 countries, out of the 195 in the world today.

News flash: I will soon be uploading an eBook version of Earthforms to I’ll announce when it’s up on this blog and on the Earthforms Facebook page.

Joel Simpson

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