#WorkshopWednesday – Join Me for Kailash & Everest Basecamp!

To call this small group tour to a famed destination “epic” would be an understatement. It has been many years since I visited Mt. Everest Base Camp, and a return been on my wish list for some time. This will also be the first time I’ve visited Mt. Kailash, and I couldn’t be happier about returning here to lead a 15-day workshop with others witnessing this fabled mountain for the first time.

My love for photography began at home in the Pacific Northwest, photographing the snowy mountain peaks of the Cascade and Olympic ranges. While we will be sharing our view of Kailash together for the first time, my goal is to apply a lifetime of capturing the elegant beauty of magnificent ranges to our small group of friends. Having an expert photographer by your side will ensure you come away with one-in-a-lifetime photos so you can share your adventure with friends and family. It’s my goal that  you capture shots you can print and frame that will last generations.

Along the way there will be much more to see beyond Kailash and Basecamp. We will begin our journey in the capital city of Lhasa, exploring the time-worn streets and mingling with the local population and visiting the holiest of Buddhist temples in all of Tibet. We will explore ancient local monasteries along our way to Basecamp, visit Mt. Kailash, and ultimately conclude our journey in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Few spaces remain available for this photography adventure which begins on May 25th, and the time to finalize our arrangements is fast approaching. If you’re interested in taking the photographic trip of a lifetime, act now and sign up today!

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#TravelTuesday – Quick Tips for Great Wildlife Photos!

 

 

Recently I collaborated with B&H Photo Video to share a few quick tips on shooting wildlife photos for World Wildlife Day.

Click here to check out the video, and don’t forget to visit my gear page which lists a lot of the equipment I use both in the field and to manage and edit my photos!

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“Photography As Art” is Coming To Boise on March 31st!

In just over a week, I’ll be in Boise, Idaho bringing my popular Photography As Art seminar to the City of Trees!

This seminar is designed to completely change the way you view photography, and my intent is to inspire you to bring unique artistic visions to life using your camera as both brush and canvas. With an emphasis on the abstract, imaginary landscapes, and capturing metaphors the lessons learned here can be applied anywhere and with whatever equipment you have available – no globe-trotting or a plethora of fancy gear required.

Register today to reserve your spot!

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Technique Tuesday – Owls in Snow

I recently took a trip up to Northern Canada to photograph a variety of owls, and came away happy – if not chilled to the bone. It’s cold up above the 51st parallel, no matter the time of day. That didn’t seem to impact the hunting owls of the region, who’s keen senses can detect rodents beneath the snowfall dozens of meters away. They essentially do a graceful face plant into the snow, rummage around, and come away with a snack.

The light sky and the bright white snowy landscape make shooting a challenge. To control the light and capture a quality image, one first has to understand light in terms of it’s relationship to photography. This excerpt from “Chapter 6: Reading the Light” from The New Art of Photographing Nature explains it more succinctly than I might in a blog ramble:

Without light we would have no color. And without light, there would be no photography. In fact, the word photography derives from Greek roots meaning “writing with light.”

Primitive man did not have the benefit of science to explain natural phenomena such as the rainbow. Nor did we, until Sir Isaac Newton’s use of the prism separated white light into its component colors. Light is a form of electromagnetic energy, which, in the whole spectrum of frequencies, is only visible as colors in a very narrow band. Other frequencies, such as infrared, ultraviolet, gamma, and X-ray radiation, are invisible to our eyes.

Yet, despite our basic understanding of light, it is something we are apt to take for granted, like the rising and setting of the sun. But in photography, we can never take light for granted, and must learn to perceive it many nuances. The quality of the light creates a variety of colors and moods. Light also models form, and the direction of light is crucial to how we perceive shape and depth in the landscape.

When talking about light, it is important to distinguish between quality and quantity. Quality of light can, for the outdoor photographer, mean the time of day, the angle of the light striking your subject or whether it creates high-contrast or low-contrast conditions. It can also be measured as color temperature (in degrees Kelvin) with daylight on a sunny day being around 5500 degrees Kelvin. While color film required filtration to correct for changes in color temperature, digital cameras have a built-in white balance function that can adjust the camera to virtually any lighting condition, indoors or out.

Quantity of light refers simply to the amount of light reaching the camera’s sensor and recording an image. It is by controlling this light, through changes in aperture and shutter speed, that we arrive at a proper exposure.

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#FlashbackFriday – Past Favorites From Katmai, Alaska

“Triplets” (7/31/2012) & “Motherhood” (7/30/2017)

One of the more fascinating aspects of my annual trip to Katmai has been the ability to recognize specific bear families and even individuals as they grow, not only in physical characteristics but in their personalities, demeanor, and mannerisms as well. It’s always a powerful feeling of a connection with nature when I recognize an animal I’ve previously spent time photographing. I wonder if they recognize me?!

“A Good Day Fishing” (7/30/2016) & “Parting of the Red Sea” (8/06/2017)

They are probably far too busy fishing to be concerned with me, however. You’ll note the dates from when these photos are taken generally fall into the late July and early August weeks. This is when the rivers run red with spawning salmon. We come here at this time every year because the bears are active, occupied, and ripe for fantastic shots in their element. Again I will occasionally recognize individual bears in the tactics they use to fish.


“Claws” (7/28/2018)

This image has gotten a lot of play this year and for good reason – it’s not often you’re able to capture a bear charging at you, claws bared. I hate to dispel any legends of my fearlessness and resolve, but I wasn’t in true danger here – the bears are far too busy fishing and adjusted to human visitors to be a true threat. That being said, always take precautions! Our local contacts ensure we are taking all the appropriate measures for safety.

All of these photos are available as prints in my online store; click a title above to add some wildlife to your home or office! Better yet, join me on one of two workshops happening this summer at the end of July and in early August and capture your own images to frame and share! These workshops will sell out, so don’t hesitate to get on the list to join me on the ground in Katmai and make your own connection with these awesome animals!

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#WorkshopWednesday – Upcoming Workshops in the Pacific Northwest & More!

I absolutely love this time of year, the days are getting longer and spring is right around the corner! After many cold weather trips this winter I am ready for the new palate of color that spring bestows upon us.

Of special note I have several opportunities coming up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest this year: the Olympic Peninsula in April when the mosses are rich and green and the rivers are clear; Mount Rainier in August when the wildflowers are at their peak; Lake Quinault in September for a restorative retreat in the ancient temperate rainforest; and a renewed Photography as Art seminar in November.

These workshops only have a few spaces left so sign up today before they are all sold out!

Best of Light!

-Art

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#TechniqueTuesday – Receding Lines & Shapes

It’s Technique Tuesday! This excerpt is from my how-to book, The New Art of Photographing Nature”.

Karst mountains, Guilin, China. 80-200mm lens (in 200mm range), f/11 @ 1/60 sec, Fujichrome 50

THE ELEMENTS OF DESIGN: RECEDING LINES AND SHAPES

In the shot of the karst mountains in Guilin, China, I wanted to emphasize their repeating pattern and unusual shapes: individual humps instead of long ridges. I used my 80-200mm lens to zero in on an area that I felt made the strongest statement.

The second shot was taken a few minutes from my home in Seattle. I grew up in this neighborhood, and as a boy, I loved this path especially, with its graceful madrona trees.  I went back to photograph it forty years later.

Madrona trees in mist, Washington. 45mm lens, f/22 @ 4 sec, Fujichrome Velvia 50

Spatially, light objects stand forward of dark in our normal experience of perception. When we have atmosphere such as fog, however, it is the reverse; dark objects are closer to us than light ones, as in the mountain scene. We understand this perceptually because atmospheric haze intervenes and makes the far mountains paler and less distinct. This is sometimes referred to as “atmospheric perspective.”

We also understand crisp outlines as close and fuzzy ones as distant, as with the trees in the fog, which is contrary to normal perception, where we can see distant objects in focus as well. The sense of space in both these images is definitely enhanced by the fog. Forms are more noticeable without competition from intricate detail. The tree trunks stand out more without the busy clutter of foliage.  Because it shrouds things from view, fog, more than any other atmospheric condition, creates mood and a sense of mystery.

For more how-to lessons, purchase The New Art of Photographing Nature in my online store!

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