On Location: Bowerman Basin Shorebird Migration

May Tips: Shorebird Migration – Images by Art Wolfe

Early May is a great time to catch the migrating shorebirds as they fly up the coast from California, or the Pacific Flyway as it is called. Sanderlings, dunlins, and other assorted shorebirds pause for a couple of weeks at Bowerman Basin in Grays Harbor on the Olympic Peninsula. Boardwalks provide great access. When the tides are high, and there are no exposed mud flats, all the birds are densely packed together. It is quite the spectacle to see a million birds in a tight area. Also, if there happens to be a bird of prey near, they fly around in tight bundles turning in all directions with great precision. It looks like many bodies, but one brain operating them all. It is definitely worth a trip out to the coast if you are in the Pacific Northwest in those two weeks.

The Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival is May 4-6 this year:


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Art of Composition Coming to LA!

Art will be giving his one day seminar, The Art of Composition, in Los Angeles on Saturday, May 5th.

Sign up now using coupon code 050512BL and get a 15% discount!


Sponsored by:

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On Location: April Showers in Oregon

BLOG: April Showers in Oregon – Images by Art Wolfe

What to do with April Showers? – Get an umbrella, grab your camera and get outside.

I spent 2 days photographing in the Columbia Gorge and along the Southern Washington Coast, in the rain, and I couldn’t have been happier. The previous 2 days were beautiful. Blue skies, sunshine, unseasonably warm temperatures – and I wasn’t at all interested in getting outside with my camera.

While I’m always open to any subject, on this trip I had very soft, high key, moody images in mind that I could render in black and white. The coastal and inland waters of the Columbia Gorge in addition to having one spectacular waterfall after the next are littered with old pilings from a bygone era of wealth and prosperity from the timber barons of the late 1800 and early 1900s. I have photographed these subjects in the past and knew they needed the right atmospheric conditions, namely fog, to be successful. Here in the NW fog isn’t all that predictable or persistent, but when you don’t have fog, rain can be an excellent (and even better) substitute.

The overcast skies provided the perfect soft box to light the subject, the falling rain softens the image and disturbs the water such that the long exposures necessary with my smallest apertures render the image as a high key, mysterious and quiet, yet powerful image. I knew I would be rendering these in black and white and positioned myself to maximize the white background where the sky was indistinguishable from the sea. I could have stayed with these as a subject for the entire day working different angles, focal lengths and exposures. It was food for my soul and I felt like I was at an all you can eat buffet.

I wasn’t going to overlook the waterfalls as this was the perfect time of the year to photograph them through the fine lines of the trees. The leaves have only just begun to come out adding a touch of color while not obscuring the view of the falls. Most people would say I was “too early” to shoot the falls but you’ll find in about 2 weeks time the trees will have leafed out to where the shots I was able to create with patterns of lines and positive and negative space would be impossible to replicate.

Lastly I met up with friends early in the morning to photograph the Portland Japanese Gardens. With an annual pass you can visit the gardens 2 hours ahead of the general public and photograph largely unencumbered. Again the time of year allowed for some subtle color in the maple trees as they had only begun to leaf out while not obscuring the fine details and patterns of the intricate under-story of their branches. Yes it was a bit too early for bushels of blossoms but when you look at the patterns in nature, the energy contained in a balance of positive and negative space, you’ll find there is rarely ever a bad time to photograph areas like the Japanese Gardens. And when you realize the potential you may never look at a rainy day the same way again.

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New Roommate!

The other evening I was enjoying my hot tub, and saw I had a new house mate!  A screech owl has taken up residence in a bird house I hung in a large tree.

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National Park Week

US National Parks Week – Images by Art Wolfe

Now through April 29, 2012 all 397 US National Parks offer free admission!
Get out there!


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Earth Day 2012 Mobilize the Earth!

BLOG: Earth Day, April 22, 2012 – Images by Art Wolfe

  • Plant a garden at home or school
  • Eliminate use of pesticides and toxic cleaning products
  • Eat more local food
  • Pick up trash
  • Always use reusable bags when shopping

Pledge your Act of Green at

And if you like baseball & live in Seattle, Forterra (formerly the Cascade Land Conservancy) and the Mariners are teaming up.
For every ticket purchased through mariners.com/forterra, the Mariners will plant a tree and donate $2 to Forterra!

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Youth In Focus Double Exposure 2012

Youth in Focus http://youthinfocus.org/ raised a whopping $107,000 at their Doublexposure 2012 event.

Art Wolfe, Inc. is a supporter of Youth in Focus and donated a print of a leopard, which raised $2200.

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On Location: Tulips

On Location – April Tips – Images by Art Wolfe

For the month of April, you should head back to the Skagit Valley to the tulip and daffodil fields. Many people don’t realize that they grow as many tulips in the Skagit Valley as they do in Holland. The rows and rows of brilliant color is a spectacular sight. Thousands of people from the Seattle area venture north to see this beautiful display of bright colors. One of the best ways to see this fields is from the air; the rows of flowers abstract into bands of color. In Washington, it is how we welcome the spring!

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival through the end of April: http://tulipfestival.org/

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Farewell to Arniston, South Africa

Arniston III – Images by Art Wolfe

Art had a great time with his workshop participants in South Africa. The seaside community of Arniston on the Western Cape was a superb location and now enjoys national monument status.

Also, he was able to get his first shots of the endangered African penguin. These penguins are also called Jackass because of their braying call.

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Tour Myanmar with Art Wolfe in 2013

BLOG: Myanmar Tour 2013 – Images by Art Wolfe

Here is the first international tour up for 2013!

February 4-14, 2013

11 days/10 night Photography Expedition led by Art Wolfe

Change is coming quickly to Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. New elections have brought the hope for democracy, Nobel peace laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is in parliament, and now is the time to travel to this fascinating country!

Explore the ancient cities, Buddhist temples, and vibrant culture of this country just opening up to the outside world.



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