Book Review: Encyclopedia of Flowers: Flower Works by Makoto Azuma photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki

Flower power

Though this amazing book is titled Encyclopaedia I think it's worth pointing out that this is not one of those books with hundreds of tightly cropped floral images and precise technical details of each species. It is though a stunning visual record of flowers and I think more directed at those who appreciate floral art than a dry reference work.

Florist Makoto Azuma and photographer Shunsuke Shinoki have created something unique here: a book of the breath-taking sumptuous flower arrangements. All the photos were taken in a studio (between 2009 and 2012 in Tokyo) which allowed for greater control of lighting and composition. A nice touch was photographing the group and some single flowers against a black background which throws up the extraordinary richness of their colors and you really have to see some of these unbelievable colors.

The pages are divided into five sections: Whole (with thirty photos); Flock (forty-nine); Coexistence (sixteen); Hybrid (sixty-one); Appearance (forty-seven). Hybrid is the only section to have close-ups of flowers against a light background. The 203 photos reveal just over two thousand species and easily identified with the sixty-nine page index where the group shots have a large thumbnails and white numbers on the relevant flowers.

The quality of the photographs is captured by quality printing using a very impressive screen (300 I think). The only fault I have with the book is that is a thick paperback which prevents it being opened flat, had it been a hardback.

This is one of those visual books that can be opened at any page and the amazing photos will just grab you.

Encyclopedia of Flowers: Flower Works by Makoto Azuma photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

Encyclopedia of Flowers: Flower Works by Makoto Azuma photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki
Contents spread.

Encyclopedia of Flowers: Flower Works by Makoto Azuma photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki

Encyclopedia of Flowers: Flower Works by Makoto Azuma photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki

Encyclopedia of Flowers: Flower Works by Makoto Azuma photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki

Encyclopedia of Flowers: Flower Works by Makoto Azuma photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki

Encyclopedia of Flowers: Flower Works by Makoto Azuma photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki

Encyclopedia of Flowers: Flower Works by Makoto Azuma photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki

Encyclopedia of Flowers: Flower Works by Makoto Azuma photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki

Encyclopedia of Flowers: Flower Works by Makoto Azuma photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki

Encyclopedia of Flowers: Flower Works by Makoto Azuma photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki

Encyclopedia of Flowers: Flower Works by Makoto Azuma photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki

Encyclopedia of Flowers: Flower Works by Makoto Azuma photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki

Encyclopedia of Flowers: Flower Works by Makoto Azuma photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki
The hybrid section has sixty-one individual photos.

Encyclopedia of Flowers: Flower Works by Makoto Azuma photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki

Encyclopedia of Flowers: Flower Works by Makoto Azuma photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki

Encyclopedia of Flowers: Flower Works by Makoto Azuma photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki

Encyclopedia of Flowers: Flower Works by Makoto Azuma photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki

Encyclopedia of Flowers: Flower Works by Makoto Azuma photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki
Index to flowers by image.

Encyclopedia of Flowers: Flower Works by Makoto Azuma photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki
The group photos have an explanatory key.

Encyclopedia of Flowers: Flower Works by Makoto Azuma photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki

Encyclopedia of Flowers: Flower Works by Makoto Azuma photographed by Shunsuke Shiinoki

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