cover image The Sea

The Sea

Philip Plisson. ABRAMS, $55 (424pp) ISBN 978-0-8109-3538-9

About 70 percent of the planet is covered by oceans, and French marine photographer Plisson here offers arresting images of these vast bodies of water in all their incarnations. In his preface, Prix Goncourt-winning writer Yann Queffilec recalls the sea's ""perpetual, static velocity,"" and these overwhelming photographs-400 in all-are a testament to that paradox. Some portray human interaction with the ocean: fisherman casting their lines from a craggy jetty; waves crashing over a railing, soaking onlookers; hundreds of pleasure-seekers wading into the water's edge on a summer day. Others depict the sea's vast and mottled surface, with nary a ship in sight. The book's design, which positions all the captions at the end, allows readers to be swept up by the remarkable images. Some photos are panoramas, spanning four fold-out pages. From Portugal to Polynesia, Plisson succeeds in documenting the sea's tremendous presence. (Nov.)