The ƒ-number you choose for a particular shot is an important element when it comes to framing the story of the particular shot you’re looking to achieve. The ƒ-number can be a bit confusing to novice photographers, as the higher ƒ-number means a smaller aperture and a greater depth of field. In turn, a greater depth of field means more detail in the background of your shot.
In this video, I was on location in Antarctica shooting gentoo penguins. Their environment and community is as important to their story as each individual. Shooting at a high ƒ-number to capture this detail helps inform the audience that the story I chose to tell encompasses that environment as an element as important as each individual penguin.
On a related side note, have you ever wondered how to type the fancy “ƒ” on your keyboard to give your photo comments a little bit of flair? It’s simple really:
Hold down the “alt” key, and using the 10-key pad on the right of your keyboard, type “0-1-3-1”. Let go, and you’ve got your fancy “ƒ”!
A little simpler on a mac – just hold down “Option” and type “f”!
When you visit some of the world’s great landscapes, it can be easy to miss the beautiful details beneath your feet. Using a tripod and a small aperture, capture the details that will make your photographs unique and personal while giving context to the location you’re shooting.
For more tips and techniques, my Photography As Art seminar may be coming to a city near you soon!
How images were collected in the past has changed and the world has become closer in terms of access thanks to the advances in travel and technology. As a result, change seems to accelerate and keeping in step becomes a necessary skill. I will share how I research, plan, and execute as well as review and edit for projects. With over 100 book titles, television shows, exhibits, presentations – how does one manage it all and how do projects transition from an idea to achievement? In this segment, I will review my processes for efficiency, economy and how I chart the course to a successful outcome.
2. Ways Technology has Improved my Work
The truth is that technology has been giving artists new ways to share their work for a very long time. Tools and art have evolved together, becoming intertwined. Cameras, software, lenses, even drones – they are all tools for the photographer, the artist, the storyteller. I will share how I have incorporated technology to enhance and redefine my work.
3. Preview to Photography as Art
“Photography as Art” is a groundbreaking seminar created for individuals who want to spark their imagination and discover how to make artistic statements through photography. I will share an excerpt from this seminar created for the creative professional to see and make art in exciting new ways. With art history as a reference point, I explore avenues to maintain inspiration, foster personal style, and discover ways to distinguish your own photography from others.
4. Live Critique
At the end of the program, I will critique viewer-submitted photographs. These photo critiques provide viewers a great opportunity to look through the eyes of a professional photographer and learn by constructive feedback on what makes an image stronger.
With Art Wolfe’s Travel to the Edge airing in the US & Europe and Tales by Light streaming on Netflix, you can binge watch all these gloriously filmed, international episodes to your heart’s content and then figure out where you want to travel to next.
If you haven’t already seen it, Season 1 of Tales by Light is riveting. The six half hour long episodes follow five photographers around the world documenting their approach to photography and story telling: Darren Jew, a nature and underwater photographer, Krystle Wright, an adventure sports photographer, Richard I’Anson, a travel photographer, and Peter Eastway, a landscape photographer.
Five photographers & six episodes–the math doesn’t add up, you say. Two of the episodes follow me on wildlife and cultural adventures in East Africa, Papua New Guinea, and Alaska. In “Tribes”, you’ll catch glimpses of my work with the Surma people of Ethiopia, and gain huge insight into my Human Canvas Project. In “Wild” I visit Alaska, among other locations, to photograph the mountainous landscape and brown bears of Katmai to which I am leading workshops in 2017 and the same dates for 2018.
This past week I made my way to Africa and my first stop was Mount Nyirangongo, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The flight up the side of the volcano was hair-raising, with high winds jostling our rise to the mountain top as well as clouds that significantly hampered visibility. Our pilot had never made this trip before. Thankfully, he was an obvious professional, as we made it safely through the precarious trip.
The top of the mountain was chillier than anticipated at an elevation of 11,380 feet regardless of the roiling lava-filled caldera below us. I got the shots I wanted, with fortuitous timing as a vent began spewing lava just before dark and ran its course about the time we settled in to sleep.
I now head back to Tanzania for the second time in recent months, this time to visit Katavi National Park. Stay tuned for more photos from the next leg of my trip! I love the adventure of these exotic locales, but I’m also looking forward to being state-side and seeing those of you who’ve signed up for my Photography As Art seminars in L.A., Denver, New York, and Indianapolis in the coming month or so! Each trip I take brings a new wrinkle of discussions to add to my presentations, and there is still time to sign up for the remaining 2016 dates.
There are also still spots available in my Mystical Myanmar workshop in December for those of you anxious to avoid yet another cold winter in the states. Trade in some of those dark wintry days for the exotic allure and warm weather of eastern Asia!
Our helicopter pilot perches precariously on the edge of Nyirangongo crater, balancing the craft with the skids only half on solid ground.