We would like to express our
gratitude to Marie and Terry Huizing who participated as volunteers in
preparation of this special issue doing a lot of editing, helped us to
contact photographers and gave us a lot of good ideas which improved the
Many thanks extended to our
friends Irena and Eric Rook from Tucson and Irina and Gregory Abramov
for their permanent help and support.
This special issue of the Mineralogical Almanac is a departure
from the general content of past issues, for it features neither famous
mineral collections nor outstanding mineral deposits. Rather, it
presents for the first time ever (under one cover!) a collection of
works titled Grandmasters of Mineral Photography.
Most aficionados of
photographic art are accustomed to seeing exhibitions featuring still
life, landscape, portrait, sport or wildlife photography. Likewise,
books abound that gather the work of the world’s great photographers on
these subjects. However, one can scarcely point to an international
exhibition or photo album devoted exclusively to the best of mineral
photography, though such exposure is well deserved.
Mineral photography is unique
in that the photographer must have more than just talent and technical
know-how; a depth of mineral knowledge is also required. Thus, it is not
surprising that the photographers presented in this issue are well
educated in mineralogy, either as professionals in the field or as
advanced collectors with many years of mineral collecting experience.
The success and popularity of their work is a result of the marriage of
their photographic talent with their mineralogical knowledge. All of the
photographers are active in this field and are well known far beyond
their native borders. Their work has been published in mineral magazines
and books the world over.
When taking mineral
photographs, these artists must combine the precision of a document
photo with the poetry of image, which opens the “soul” of a mineral
specimen. Torn between these two contradictory tasks, the photographer
is bound to abandon special effects and other techniques, common for
creative photography. Even though thus restricted in creative tools, the
photographers presented in this photo album manage to produce genuine
Fourteen top mineral
photographers from the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Japan and
Russia are included. Each chose the photographs to be featured and
provided personal background information.
We hope you will enjoy reading
about these photographers and will share our admiration for the stunning
images of the beautiful and mysterious mineral world they present.
Nikolay O. Parlashkevich