One cubic foot may seem a minuscule patch of the globe, yet a cubic foot can throb with life, from eye-catching flora and fauna to tiny creatures prolific and beautiful beyond imagining. In this compelling look at the natural world, National Geographic photographer David Liittschwager has traveled to different habitats across the planet, all of them rich with a diversity of plants and animals, to take a look at the riotous life contained in one cubic foot. In each location, Liittschwager sets down a metal cube that frames the space then, working with local scientists, he records what moves through the cube's habitat over the course of a normal day and night. Next, he photographs the cube setting and begins individual portraits of its plant life and its flying, creeping, crawling creatures... anything visible to the naked eye, no matter how small. From the tropical waters off Moorea, French Polynesia to the coastal belt of the South African cape, Liittschwager captures the stunning diversity of life on Earth. In all, he covers six habitats, each introduced by an eyewitness essay that celebrates and explains its uniqueness.
Continuing his One Cubic Foot series, Liittschwager photographed organisms found in seawater collected directly below the Golden Gate Bridge. One Cubic Foot: Life Under the Golden Gate Bridge captures the often overlooked details of the stunningly varied ecosystem that is San Francisco Bay. Both a stunning record and a visual feast of planetary diversity, A World in One Cubic Foot is also a subtle reminder of the elegance, fragility, and feistiness of life on Earth. David Liittschwager is an award winning photographer and judge for the Academy's international Big Picture Natural World Photography Competition. Book signing to follow.
David Liittschwager is a freelance photographer who has lived in San Francisco for the past 21 years. Between 1983 and 1986, he worked as an assistant to Richard Avedon in New York City. He continued to work in advertising for a number of years before turning his skills to portraiture with an emphasis on natural history subjects.
Liittschwager is now a contributing photographer to National Geographic, Scientific American, Audubon and other magazines. A recent project, One Cubic Foot will be published as a large format book by the University of Chicago Press later this year. In 2008 he collaborated with Alice Waters on the Edible Schoolyard book. In 2002 he produced Skulls and X-Ray Ichthyology: The Structure of Fishes for the California Academy of Sciences. Liittschwager’s earlier books include Archipelago, Remains of a Rainbow, Witness and Here Today.