July 08, 1985 12:00 PM

by Joel Meyerowitz

A beautiful, large book with 65 photographs in serene colors, this is as good as a visit to the beach-even better in some ways, perhaps, since a browser through these pages won’t have to deal with traffic, sunburn or sand in the shoes. Meyerowitz, a New York photographer, often uses a view camera that produces 8-by-10-inch negatives, so his details are astonishing, especially since the light in many of the pictures is muted by fog, clouds or rain. The frontispiece photo is of an outdoor table cluttered with the remains of a dinner from the night before. Dew-silvered glasses stand almost empty, with bright pink petals from the centerpiece bouquet strewn on the pale cloth. Another photograph is of a boy with fresh-picked raspberries spilling from a bowl in his hands; a third shows a blurred, striped hammock spinning in the Atlantic winds. Meyerowitz says in an afterword that these glorious shots “are the distillation of seven summers.” Surely no one else has photographed climbing red roses against a porch, long after the sun has gone down. And some of the seascapes seem almost abstract, lovely as Turner watercolors. (Times, $39.95)

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