This book has an ambitious title: THE WORLD. It is by no means to imply that I have been everywhere and seen everything. There are many places I have not yet visited and others where I have not taken photographs professionally—places where my iPhone creates the only memory I want. I very rarely take images of cities, for instance. That’s because my eye has always been drawn to nature and remote places. This book documents some of those experiences. If it is an incomplete version of this planet, that’s because it is a very personal rendering of what I have witnessed of this world and have enjoyed. Although I’ve seen around 180 of the world’s countries, this book isn’t trying to be a bucket list, which is a style of travel I feel uncomfortable with. In the course of my travels, I have seen too much evidence of the damage made by tourism-for-tourism’s sake. So while this book is above all a celebration of nature, I need to address my misgivings upfront. I often worry if I should be taking these pictures, and that if in doing so, I’m encouraging people to come to these places and contributing to the ecological demise. I also wonder if it is morally wrong to travel to ends of the Earth and pretend we were never there. We were, and so was I. Do I feel any guilt about disturbing nature’s silence? Contributing to climate change? Of course, but I also feel compelled to capture the unbelievable beauty of this planet. This book is my grateful homage to all that glorious diversity. Part of me wants to keep these landscapes hidden, a secret shared between myself and the wilderness. But I also hope that in showing these pictures—and in beginning to take people to my favorite spots in the world on private tours—more people will be motivated to protect something of the beauty, and fragility, they see in the world.
Michael Poliza is more than a seasoned globetrotter who has traveled through almost 170 countries. He is also a collector of the world, always on the lookout for breathtaking landscapes, remote regions, and intact nature reserves. With his camera ever on hand, Poliza does not only want to experience the beauty of the planet, but also to make it accessible to all.
In his two great books, Africa and Eyes over Africa, as well as his single volumes on South Africa, Kenya, and Namibia, Poliza opened our eyes to the diversity of the African continent. In AntArctic, the WWF ambassador created a sensitive double portrait of the polar regions. And in his characteristic aerial photographs, he even opened up new perspectives on well-known places like Mallorca.
In this new limited edition, THE WORLD, Poliza opens his digital treasure chest to reveal previously unpublished images from all seven continents. Like a true photographic world tour, we travel with him to Australia and New Zealand, to Vietnam and Myanmar, to the west of the USA and north to Canada, to the Galapagos Islands and Bolivia, across the Antarctic and the many lands of Africa. No matter how different the regions he explores, the photographer always captures extraordinary images, instilling both the beauty of our planet and an urgent need to protect the natural world.
Life has always shown Michael Poliza new paths: from actor to entrepreneur, from professional photographer to travel designer. After a career in the IT industry, Poliza launched a three-year multimedia expedition on a ship around the world. In 2002, he settled in Cape Town, traveled across Africa, and quickly became a world-renowned nature and landscape photographer. When he is not out and about, he lives in Hamburg, from where he organizes adventure trips with Michael Poliza Private Travel. THE WORLD is the WWF ambassador’s tenth book with teNeues.
Sophy Roberts is an award-winning writer based in West Dorset, England. She holds two degrees from Oxford University, and an MSc in Journalism from Columbia University. She is a regular contributor on travel conservation issues to The Financial Times and Condé Nast Traveler, among other titles.
• Limited and numbered XXL photo book in a large format
• With previously unpublished images from the acclaimed nature and landscape photographer
• With texts by the renowned travel journalist Sophy Roberts
• Available as two special editions and two collector’s editions
Print 1: New Zealand
Hand-signed and numbered photo-print
c. 46 x 37 cm / c. 18 1/8 x 14 1/2 in.
limited to 250 copies | 1–499, all uneven numbers
Photos © 2019 Michael Poliza. All rights reserved.