Ocean: A Photicular Book

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9780761180517: Ocean: A Photicular Book

A New York Times bestseller, Ocean is like being on a dive. Using Photicular technology, each image is like a 3-D movie on the page, delivering a rich, fluid visual experience. Open the book, and the reader is swept into the magic of an underwater world, face-to-face with a floating Yellow-Banded Sweetlips; with a glow-in-the-dark Deep-Sea Anglerfish; with a Sea Horse swaying in balletic motion; with a Sand Tiger Shark gliding along the ocean floor, its gaze haunting, its hook-toothed mouth gulping open and closed.

The text by Carol Kaufmann enchants with its descriptions of coral reefs; a journey on Alvin, the 17-ton submersible; and a meditation on our oceans. Then, for each creature, she writes a lively and informative essay, along with vital statistics—size, habitat, range, diet, and more.

The Photicular process uses an innovative lenticular technology, sliding lenses, and original four-color video imagery. The result is like a movie in your hands—the dance of life in a book.


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About the Author:

Dan Kainen is an artist, designer, and inventor living in New York City. He is the creator of the bestselling Photicular books Safari, Ocean,Polar, and Jungle. His website is DanKainen.com.

While working with some of the pioneers of holography, Dan created a special spotlight that was used by Soho’s Museum of Holography to light holograms. The related field of holography led to Dan’s interest in lenticular art and, in turn, after nearly a decade of research and experimentation, to the creation of his “Motion Viewer,” his third patent in that field and the inspiration for Safari and the other Photicular books.



Carol Kaufmann is the author of 97 Ways to Make a Cat Like You and co-author of the bestselling Photicular books Safari, Ocean, and Polar (Oct. 2015). A freelance writer and editor, her work for National Geographic and other publications has taken her to all corners of the globe, from the Pacific Ocean’s floor to the top the Atlas Mountains. In addition to National Geographic, her writing has appeared in the New York Times’ Draft column, Reader’s Digest, where she was the National Affairs Reporter, The Washington Post, George, and in the anthology A Woman’s Europe. She is also the author of the ebook, MamaTricks. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Introduction by Dan Kainen

Oceans make up almost three-quarters of our planet. We are humbled by their vastness and power, and the countless varieties of creatures that live in them. There is wonder and magic in watching even the most recognizable species as they float, swim, or glide weightlessly through their element. The awe of watching the natural world up close is what I hoped to capture in Ocean. Photicular images, with their paradoxical ability to stitch interleaved images together, actually accentuate rhythmic motion—the perfect medium in which to enter this parallel underwater universe.

  Perhaps when you see a sea horse undulating through a kelp bed, a sand tiger shark’s haunting gaze, or a green sea turtle “flying” dreamily through the dappled light, the image may act as a shifting mirror whose reflection alters your own perceptions, and you will experience what Herman Melville meant in Moby-Dick when he wrote, “Meditation and water are wedded for ever.”    Ocean  by Carol Kaufmann   I’m suspended in a globe of water.   Instead of my feet carrying me forward, backward,or to the side, travel in any direction is possible by kicking 18-inch fins (45.7-cm). Tucking my knees in, pointing my head down and exhaling, I aim for the coral reef below. Bubbles dance away from my regulator and decorate the halo of light above me. A whole school of minnows—silver sides, they’re called—flit back and forth like butterflies, creating an opening for me to pass through. Scuba diving allows me into this alternate universe, 50 feet (15.2 m) below the surface of the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Belize. I’ve been a certified diver for nearly a decade. But for my own safety, I explore the undersea world with experienced dive masters. They also know about the ocean, and what lives in it. Today,I’m diving with an amazing guide: Francisco Linarez grew up in a small village called Independence, close to the Placencia Peninsula where we are diving today. Francisco is a grand dive master in a country known for good diving. He regularly swims with whale sharks when they come to southern Belize each year during spawning season. The largest fish in the sea, they can reach up to 40 feet in length (12.2 m). Some years ago, a hammerhead shark swam right into Francisco’s  hest. He is unflappable.   I’m always a little afraid to be in the big, neverending ocean. That first big step or a backward roll off a swaying boat is a leap of courage, if not faith. But after Francisco connects my breathing regulator to the air tank, and I reassure myself that the tank truly contains breathable air, that my mask isn’t leaking and salt water won’t spit into my contact lenses, I suck in a big gulp of air and descend. Once I’m in that purely liquid space and shades of blue envelop every line of vision, and that first fish passes by, I know exactly what will happen.    I will forget to be scared.  

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