Following my exhibition opening in Hamburg, I flew off to central Africa. For eight days we endured 110 degree heat; there was no way to escape it, and I was drinking nearly two gallons of water per day. Re-entry to chilly Seattle has been a shock to the system.
For months we planned the logistics of this trip – do we take drones or not? Hire planes or not? While in Hamburg we received word from the U.S. Ambassador to this central African nation that it was not advisable to take the drone, so we scrambled & FedExed the equipment home.
This turned out to be good advice since it was almost impossible to find the elephants from the ground, and we would have needed to locate them before we could send the drones into the air. The elephants are very nervous for a reason; herds in this region, as all over the continent, have been under attack by poachers. However, the African Parks personnel believe they may be calming down just a bit after a couple years of fairly successful anti-poaching enforcement.
We ended up hiring the plane that had dropped us off at the beginning of the trip and had the back cargo door taken off. We flew over the herd, which had divided into two. By the time we departed the park the herd had split into several smaller groups. It was good timing since capturing pictures of hundreds of elephants at once are highly unlikely in the future.
If you are interested in traveling to Africa with me, I am leading a photo journey in Namibia in September of 2018. Add your name to the pre-registration list now!
I’m heading off to Germany today to celebrate the opening of “Meisterhaft-Getarnt”; translated – “Masterfully Disguised”, an exhibition of my work from Vanishing Act, in Hamburg’s Überseequartier. This open-air gallery exhibit will highlight my primary goal with Vanishing act – capturing animals at home in their natural habitat, blending in with their surroundings for survival.
The exhibit runs from March 30th to June 30th, 24 hours a day and admission is free. I will be in attendance tomorrow, March 30th at 6 PM local time.
Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus)
Washington, United States
A tiny saw-whet owl uses blending camouflage to hide among a profusion of muted pussy-willow blossoms. Weighing only 75 to 110 grams (2.6 to 3.9 ounces), or about as much as a robin, the saw-whet owl is one of the smallest owl species in North America. Few people ever see these diminutive raptors because they are primarily nocturnal. During the day, they roost in foliage close to the ground hidden by their cryptic plumage, a mottled brown with white streaks and spots. To enhance the effect, saw-whet owls also use procryptic posturing for concealment: they elongate their bodies to mimic inanimate tree branches, bringing one wing around in front of their bodies to conceal their heavily feathered legs and feet. Northern saw-whet owls inhabit both coniferous and deciduous forests, wherever woodpeckers create cavities for their potential nest sites. At night, the owls silently watch and wait, using their exceptional vision and hearing to swoop down on unsuspecting prey.
Canon EOS-1N, Canon EF 80–200 mm lens with Canon Extender EF 1.4, f/11 at 1/60 second, Fujichrome Velvia 100 film
Save 20% on any Saw-whet in Pussy Willows print purchased this month. These Open Edition prints are printed on EPSON Premium Photo Luster paper using archival EPSON Ultrachrome inks. Art signs the print with a silver acid-free pen. Get more information about our Fine Art prints here.
Following up the important and successful Remembering Elephants, Margot Raggett is back with Remembering Rhinos! The Kickstarter is now live and I’d love you all to check it out at and consider giving us your support. Along with many of the top wildlife photographers in the world, I am delighted to be donating an image to this important project. The Kickstarter will pay for the print run, and all subsequent sales of the book will go to anti-poaching initiatives via Born Free.
The Remembering Elephants book project not only produced a beautiful coffee table book; it also raised nearly $170,000 for this important cause. Complete your set, or create one instantly with one of the donation levels that includes both books. Remembering Rhinos is scheduled to be available before the holiday season in 2017 and what better gift for the nature, wildlife, or photography enthusiast than a thoughtful gift that benefits the continued fight to preserve wildlife?
This past weekend was a full one in Texas. On Friday and Saturday I went out photographing with NANPA president Sean Fitzgerald. We found a small flock of the extremely endangered whooping cranes along the Aransas Bay, where they spend their winter. NANPA – the North American Nature Photography Association – will be holding it’s 2017 Nature Photography Summit in Jacksonville, Florida on March 2nd through the 4th.
Green is the theme for 2017, or so says color arbiter Pantone. The Pantone Institute of Color holds a clandestine meeting twice a year to determine a hue to represent the year, and to drive design. I can’t argue with that, having lived in the verdant Pacific Northwest all my life.
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.
Board the expedition ship Sea Endurance with myself and Kevin Raber of Luminous Landscape and three other professional instructors for an unforgettable 11 day photo tour up the eastern coast of Greenland.
We had an amazing expedition to South Georgia Island and were very fortunate with the amount of landings we were able to pull off in spite of the weather. We explored the northern end of South Georgia around Bird Island as winds and sea swell began to highlight the remote and wild nature of South Georgia. Isolated icebergs carried north from the Weddell Sea provided dramatic backdrops to the soaring Wandering & Light Mantled Sooty Albatross.
In Drygalski Fjord the winds were so fierce that any attempt to leave the ship was decided against, but we were able to land at Gold Harbour where I’d camped many years before. The familiar landscape and abundant elephant seals and king penguins brought back many memories. One of the more dramatic scenes involved skuas gathering around the birthing of an elephant seal, soon after devouring the placenta and tormenting the mother. Later that afternoon katabatic winds kicked up. We were summoned back to the boat and boarded the zodiacs for one of the diciest rides I’d ever done from the island.
3am wake up calls were well worth it. Salisbury Plain at first light is a sight to behold, with tens of thousands of king penguins entering the surf to feed. It is still early in the year & they have not started to lay and incubate eggs yet. The scene was as dramatic a display of wildlife witnessed anywhere on earth.
After stops at abandoned whaling stations, whiskey toasts at Shackleton’s grave site, we headed into the weather for the Falkland Islands.
I was honored to be a part of the first season of Tales By Light, and it’s coming to netflix tomorrow, November 11th! Produced by Canon Australia, this series follows myself and four other renowned photographers as we explore some of the lesser known locations across the world. The series was shot in 4K and originally aired on the National Geographic Channel in Australia, and now comes to Netflix for all to enjoy.
For my part, I am excited that many more of you will get to see episodes that include two facets of my work that I’m very passionate about. In “Tribes”, you’ll catch glimpses of my work with the Surma people of Ethiopia, whom helped me to create works for the Human Canvas Project; and in “Wild”, among other locations, I visit Alaska to photograph the mountainous landscape and brown bears of a region in which I lead workshops every year.
I hope you enjoy this series as much as I enjoyed participating in it!