When D.K. Bhaskar first trekked into the Amazon basin in 2004, publishing a book of his travels wasn't a top priority.
"I just wanted to see the rainforest," said Bhaskar, an award-winning photographer and Martinez resident.
While living in India, Bhaskar had met a University of Oxford scientist, who was conducting research in the Amazon. He asked if Bhaskar had any interest documenting the work.
Two months later, Bhaskar received an e-mail informing him the job was his.
"To me, that was a magical experience," he said. "I come from a very small village in India and for me to travel thousands of miles away into the rainforest; who would have thought?"
Bhaskar spent the next six years embarking on several trips to the region, where his recently published book, The Fragile Forest: Inside Brazilian Amazonia , came to fruition.
The 188-page book chronicles Bhaskar's journey into both the Amazon River and rainforest. The narrative delves into the rich culture and global significance of the Amazon basin and examines the role science must play in the region.
The book encapsulates 160 color photographs that showcase the people, wildlife and landscape of the area.
"My book talks a lot about the human presence," Bhaskar said. "Whether we talk about the deforestation or the preservation, there is a human element.
"Without the human presence, the Amazon does not exist."
The people, he noted, are passionate despite becoming increasingly modernized.
Bhaskar said he spent up to two months on his trips in the Amazon, where he often slept in a small, rustic boat.
Battling mosquitoes and an extremely humid climate, Bhaskar worked among 12 scientists, each of whom was studying a different component of the region.
As he learned more about the science and research being conducted, Bhaskar said he knew he wanted to share the "amazing experience" with others.
"I hope the younger generation gets a spirit of science and exploration," he said. "It is not just about seeing pretty pictures."
The book, which includes a separate list of species native to the area, is available at area museums, Borders bookstores and online at www.amazon.com.
Bhaskar also is holding book signings throughout the area this month and in September.
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