Iowa Alumni Magazine | December 2009 | Reviews

Take a Deep Look

By IAM Staff
A new book of photographs celebrates the smallest of natural wonders.

According to Walt Whitman, every leaf is a miracle. Photographers Linda Loos Scarth, 93MA, and Robert Scarth take that sentiment much further—with an extreme close-up view of the natural world.

In Deep Nature, the couple invites readers to focus on some of the everyday small beauties that tend to go unnoticed in the larger landscapes of Iowa prairies, woods, and wetlands. "Not only is every leaf a miracle of nature," they insist, "so is each feather, insect, dewdrop, flower, lichen, and intricate organism that makes up the evolving web of life."

In 75 stunning color photographs, the Scarths transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Viewed through their camera lenses, a showy lady's slipper orchid blossoms into a masterpiece worthy of Georgia O'Keeffe. Dewdrops on a stalk offer a glimpse into perfect, hidden universes, while coral woodcrust fungi glow like alien spacecraft. A vibrant purple, yellow, and white flag iris petal transforms into an abstract work of art that simply dazzles.

Miracles, indeed.