Excellent photos and inspiring words from Andrew Snyder regarding our trip to Katmai, Alaska! Andrew was a recipient of the Luminous Endowment’s Art Wolfe Next-Generation Photographer’s Grant. His essay is full of some great tips and insights from Katmai – give it a read!
The Luminous Endowment provides grants to photographers world-wide to pursue photographic projects. Learn how you can apply for the various upcoming grants they provide.
In this edition of Where’s Art?,I’m in my home state of Washington, visting the Olympic National Park – specifically Shi Shi beach, located in the northwestern most corner of the contiguous United States, to capture the rocky and rugged coastline that can be found here. We shot at all hours of the day and into the night, as photographing the stars over the shoreline in this location so far removed from the bright lights of any major city for an upcoming book project was my primary goal here.
I hope you enjoy this episode of Where’s Art?, and stay tuned as I am currently in Greenland where we will record another episode very soon!
Last weekend I had the opportunity to hike and camp on Olympic National Park’s glorious Shi Shi Beach. Although I visit the Olympic Peninsula several times a year, this was the first time in decades that I had been to this particular area. There were no longer any squatters there escaping the Vietnam draft, but there were quite a few intrepid campers like us, out to enjoy the end of the summer, do some hiking, and in our case, photography.
Check out the entire photo shoot at www.artwolfestock.com and stay tuned for the next installment of “Where’s Art?” in which I will discuss photographing in this part of the world!
When shooting in harsh conditions, it’s important to keep your equipment protected. Avoid exposing your camera’s image sensor to dirt and the elements by avoiding changing lenses in the field when conditions may be problematic. Having multiple camera bodies with a range of lenses attached keeps the sensor from being exposed, with the added benefit of allowing for quickly capturing different looks for your images by simply grabbing your second camera.
As you know, I am all about capturing a unique and compelling image regardless of your equipment. However, if you’re going to invest in the time to travel and photograph amazing places it pays to be prepared. If you’re looking into a second camera body, consider checking out some of the used equipment on the B&H website or your local camera stores. Be sure to pick something up that’s compatible with your current lenses. Although the latest and greatest cameras offer some spectacular features, finding a backup camera body in a range that fits your budget will ensure you never miss a shot!
Don’t forget that you can also rent camera bodies and lenses as well! Your local camera shops may rent equipment, and there are websites like borrowlenses.com that will ship rentals to you. This can be a great way to try before you buy, or simply ensure you have the best gear available if you’ve already invested money into traveling and participating in photo workshops.
All this run up to the solar eclipse on August 21st makes me hark back to when I traveled to South Australia back in December 2002 to photograph a total eclipse there. At the time, I was photographing landscapes for my book Edge of the Earth, Corner of the Sky and I thought this would be an amazing opportunity. I’d seen many technically excellent photographs of total eclipses over the years, but quite honestly they all looked pretty much alike. My objective became capturing the eclipse in relation to the Earth.
The solar eclipse that occurred on December 4, 2002, was noteworthy when viewed in South Australia for a couple of reasons. First, the eclipse was unusually brief at 25 seconds. Also, it occurred less than 40 minutes before sunset, so the likelihood of an obscured view was greatly increased because clouds generally stack up along the horizon at that time of day. To maximize my chance of success, I decided to find the precise position from which to film the eclipse by experimenting exactly 24 hours before the eclipse. I also decided to try two cameras for two very different perspectives, so I used both a wide-angle and a 70–200mm lens, enabling me to take full advantage of the eclipse’s late hour by incorporating the landscape.
Most eclipses occur earlier in the day when the sun is much higher in the sky. For this book, I wanted to establish the connection of the eclipse with the Earth. I wanted the viewer to witness the eclipse as if they were standing there next to me under the gum trees. Since I could not determine exposure until totality began, I decided to use matrix metering on an automatic aperture priority setting. When totality began, I would simply engage the shutter using locking cable releases, hoping that the entire roll of film would run continuously through the camera. This would have happened had I not made one final decision: to auto-bracket my exposures. I discovered, too late, that the camera would not continuously advance while on the auto-bracket setting. After just three exposures, both cameras stopped advancing. By the time I figured out what was happening, totality ended. Fortunately, I did get proper exposures for both compositions. After the critical moment of the full eclipse, I continued to photograph as the eclipse continued, switching to other lenses and film.
To create these images I used two Canon cameras, an EOS-1N and an EOS-1N/RS, EF70-200mm and EF 16-35mm lenses, Fujichrome Provia 400 film, and a Gitzo tripods. For the images of the setting eclipse on the horizon, I used an EF500mm IS lens and Fujichrome Velvia film.
For viewing the eclipse next week, make sure to protect your eyes properly, I cannot stress this enough! B&H has a bunch of articles up on their Explora blog on how to protect yourself and how to photograph the event. If you can’t see it in person, the best view will be via NASA livestream.
I’m pleased to bring you an extended edition of “Where’s Art?” this week, as my long history with a location that never ceases to provide new opportunities means I have a lot to say and a lot to show! Hopefully you enjoy this episode – and if it piques your interest to get out into the wilderness of Alaska with me, be sure to sign up for my 2018 trips here as they WILL sell out!
Another fantastic trip to the vast wilderness of Alaska in the books! I’m grateful for everyone who came along to join me in Katmai this year – we were treated to some phenomenal opportunities! In my fourth decade of visiting Alaska, and I still come away with new shots. The salmon were packed in so tight that you could walk across the water on their backs, and the bears were especially active and playful. Over the past few years I’ve come to recognize certain individual bears here based on the techniques they employ to capture salmon as well as their personalities, and in some cases even their unique faces.
Enjoy the images, and tune in next week for more details on this location in the new episode of “Where’s Art?”!
These trips are so popular that we’re already taking sign-ups for three trips here next year – sign up now to reserve your spot, these ones will fill up!
When lining up a background for a subject, make sure to give it a clean background to create a more graphic image. In this example I am trying to shoot a Chinstrap penguin in Antarctica where the snowy backdrop isn’t working to make the white belly of my subject pop.
The cool waters of Glacier Bay rain from the tail of a mighty humpback whale, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska
Save 20% on any Leviathan print purchased this month. This Limited Edition print is printed on EPSON Metallic Luster paper using archival EPSON Ultrachrome inks. After each print is approved, it is then titled, numbered and signed by Art. Only 150 of each size will be made. Get more information about our Fine Art prints here.
July wrapped up with a trip to northern Canada; more specifically the Nunavik region of Quebec. We went in search of tundra wolves, however the changes in the environment and local wildlife meant there were none to be found.
Fortunately this is such a unique part of the world that other opportunities presented themselves. A family of foxes made themselves available for our group, and I was pleased we were able to spend a couple days photographing the musk ox that roam the landscape. They were on my list already as a subject I intended to capture for an upcoming book project, so it was a great opportunity to save myself a future trip. Lemons to lemonade!