Hard to believe we are already a month into the new year; where does the time go? I’ve had a couple of weeks now to tend to things back at the home and office, including last night’s wonderful event at Town Hall Seattle where I was honored to take the stage with Dr. Samuel Wasser and discuss the threats facing world elephant populations and the positive measures being taken to ensure their future.
Before I move forward with another month globe-trotting, I’m taking a look back. Enjoy this gallery of 15 years of January images!
I spent some time in Utah this past November, and was struck by the colors of the directional light and shadow on the rugged buttes looming over the landscape.
Artists of the Renaissance period would work on a medium-toned colored paper and used light and dark paints, inks, and other materials to build depth within the image, adding form and dimension along the way. The term “chiaroscuro” has come to define images in which there is a strong contrast between light and dark areas that help inform the shape and form of a subject.
Renaissance artists often painted by candlelight, which provided it’s own harsh directional lighting. With photography we are painting in our own way with natural light we’ve been gifted, or our own artificial setups.Obviously it helps to have strong directional light when the sun is low on the horizon, but still high enough to illuminate your subject.
Next Wednesday, January 29th I’ll be joined by Dr. Samuel Wasser at Town Hall Seattle to give a special presentation to discuss the many threats to Elephants world wide, as well as the hopefulness surrounding the many measures being explored and executed to curb the decline of their population.
I had the honor of working with Dr. Wasser on my recent book Wild Elephants. As the director of the Center for Conservation Biology, Sam is recognized world-wide on an expert on elephant populations, and a pioneer in the area of non-invasive monitoring methods.
Through photos, conversation, and research notes we will describe the disturbing trends facing elephants – but also the work being done to ensure their continued survival.
I had a chance to spend some time while traveling looking ahead at the coming year and noticed that many of my workshops are already sold out or are on the verge of doing so. Wow! I’m humbled by the response, and I can’t wait to travel again with friends new and returning.
For those of you who are still looking to get signed up for a workshop, an early bird discount is available for a recently added Abstract Columbia River Gorge trip taking place this April. Not only will we be exploring one of the most stunning landscape locations in the Pacific Northwest, I will also be spending some time focusing on abstract images from locations in the area. You’ll come away with gorgeous shots of the area for context and be creatively inspired to look past the expected!
If you’re still on the fence to sign up, here are 10 reasons to sing up for the Abstract Columbia River Gorge Workshop:
1.) As stated, this is simply all the gorgeous things about the Pacific northwest – evergreen forests, trickling streams and crashing waterfalls, but with an abstract lesson thrown into the mix. It’s my goal to send you home having had a unique experience you won’t get anywhere else.
2.) Continuing with this idea, it is my goal to ensure your travel photos are unique. No one should leave the workshop having captured the same old token postcard shots as every other participant, or anyone else who has toured the area. Give your travel photos a voice!
3.) Spring is the time to be in the area – the waterfalls are flowing and the surroundings are green and teeming with the activity of nature.
4.) Variety – from moss-carpeted forests to dusty dry grasslands in just around an hour of travel.
5.) On the idea of abstracts, I have some lesser known locations up my sleeve to explore them. Formerly, the forestry boom was once a thriving machine in the area. Discarded and forgotten remnants of the time make for some interesting hidden surprises!
6.) We will explore both the Washington and Oregon sides of the Columbia River Gorge, rather than simply focusing on the most popular waterfalls and scenic locales.
7.) The area is popular with out-of-towners whom are not just on vacation, but many of whom are there to indulge their hobbies on a wakeboard or numerous other interests. What this means for us is a location accustomed to enticing and satisfying visitors. We’ve scouted ahead to find the best food, delivered with the best service in the area.
8.) Expertise! I’ve spent a lot of time here. Enough said!
9.) No workshop is complete without a critique session to share photos, and get invaluable feedback on your photography. I’m not timid about providing honest feedback because I respect the time and resources set aside to attend a workshop. Seeing something ‘click’ for first-time attendee, or seeing the growth in a repeat client is probably the second most satisfying outcome of my take-away from a workshop, with the most important being. . .
10.) Fun. We like to have it! Settling down for a great meal with new and old friends alike after a day in the field is the perfect way to cap the day. Lifelong friendships have been formed at Art Wolfe workshops, not only between myself and attendees, but between attendees as well, many of which began as strangers but have since become routine travel companions.
One of my last trips to close out 2019 was a visit to Istanbul, Turkey. I’ve been making my way through several countries with an eye on the different ways cultures express and practice faith for an upcoming book project where I wish to illustrate the various ways we humans, so similar in many ways, celebrate our faith with such varied ceremonies, icons, and other forms of expression. The domed mosques shining at sunrise or sunset, illuminated and shining over the city provided an excellent backdrop for capturing those practicing their faith as well as portraits, and I was even extended an invitation to photograph the Whirling Dervishes as they engaged in their frenetic reeling dance. Enjoy, and stay tuned for some exciting new photos from my current trip. Here’s a hint – There be Dragons!
I made multiple trips to India this year, including a trip this past November. I’m now an expert on old Delhi, where I was able to capture a number of abstracts before setting out in search of wildlife, namely tigers. My last trip here was focused mostly on the Holi festival, and while I came away with some shots I’m happy with the crush of people made for a chaotic environment to shoot in. This trip was more my speed, and I’m happy with what I came away with. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!
Looking backward has never been a pastime of mine; I am always looking forward—to new travels, projects, and meeting new people! I did indulge in putting together a presentation of my travels in 2019. I give this every year at my year-end parties & I am happy to share it with you.
Below you’ll find a list of workshops that still have space left to fill. As you can see from the number of sold-out events on the the calendar, these will fill quickly – reserve your spot! If you’d like to arrange a private tour, give my office a call – lets see if our schedules mesh.
Of special note for January, Dr. Sam Wasser and I will be giving a presentation & doing a book signing for WILD ELEPHANTS at Town Hall in Seattle. If you can’t make it, Town Hall will also be live-streaming the event on Facebook January 29th at 7:30pm.
One of the draws to visiting a country like Romania is the old-world rural setting, and I came upon a couple fantastic and eventually willing subjects to illustrate just that.
When I first found the cat and the Muskovy duck in a barnyard in Romania, I decided to play up their relationship by basically herding them closer together. Initially they were about 5 feet apart which meant their association was less memorable. By slowly circling I was able to get them to be less than a foot apart which becomes visually more significant.
The cat understandably was unfazed by my presence. The duck was less confident with my intentions. Finally, with perseverance and patience, I got what I wanted – and brought two friends closer together!
Happy 2020! I hope everyone had a great time with friends and family over the holidays and is prepared to make 2020 a great year. Every holiday season I assemble a slide show of the previous 12 months of shoots, and every holiday season I’m surprised at how much I’ve been able to fit in. This year has been no different, with multiple trips to India, photographing the eclipse in Chile, visiting the location of ancient holy sites in Isreal and Jordan. . . whew. You’d think I’d be exhausted, but rest assured that I’m as tenacious as ever both in terms of travel and in my affinity for leaf-blowing my property as soon as the landing gear hits the ground! Enjoy the slide show, and have a spectacular time in the Roaring Twenty-Twenties!