I’ve been informed that it’s World Whale Week. . . .Wow, wonderful! As much respect as I have for these amazing and unfortunately endangered creatures, it’s my own self-preservation that comes to mind when thinking about whales.
While filming Travels to the Edge, I was trying to guess at where a whale would surface next for a shot. I had the camera to my eye, prefocused, poised and ready to capture what I hoped would be a magnificent breach 100 yards off the bow – only to have the whale come up right next to the boat, spouting mere feel from me!
It scared me so much I screamed, and the footage from the film crew was rendered unusable as what came out of my mouth next was not suitable for the PBS audience.
Over the years I’ve had many more great memories while working with whales, and looking forward to making more!
It seems as if we just turned the calendar over to 2022, and it’s already Valentine’s Day! In case you’re scrambling to find a last-minute gift idea, I’ve got a special going on my Pathways to Creativity series – dozens of hours of learning to be had as I explore my career and archive and share the secrets behind the photos with you.
Click here to learn more about Pathways, and should you decide to purchase for yourself or a loved one, use code love2learn at checkout and get 25% off. This applies to individual episodes or full seasons!
The PubWest Book Design Awards recognize superior design and outstanding production quality of books published throughout North America. A big thank you to our publishers at Insight Editions, who continue to support me and the projects I wish to bring to light.
An even bigger thank you to everyone who has purchased the book thus far. We’ve been shipping them out non-stop, not to mention the copies that have been sold at various events along the way. I love knowing that so many of you still appreciate the feel of a tangible photo book at a time when so much is online.night
Celebrations abound for Lunar New Year among Asian cultures, with various Buddhist traditions marking the occasion. I’ve been fortunate to have experienced the festivities myself in person several times. Some fond memories:
In 2005, I visited Labrang Monastery in the Gansu province of China to witness the unfurling of a thangka – a large tapestry of painted cotton usually depicting a scene from the Buddhist belief system and way of life. The tapestry is carried by the monks up the long hill where it is unfurled and displayed above the monastery.
A few years later, I visited Bhutan and photographed the prayer flags and temple dancers that constitute a part of their lunar new year traditions. The prayer flags have come up several time in my talks and lessons, which might be an indicator of just how fascinated I was with this location. Prayers are inscribed on flags that have been erected in the loftiest, windiest heights so that the gusts turn the flags into tatters and send the prayers scattering to the heavens one fiber at a time.
Finally, in more recent years I witnessed the Setsubun Festival in Japan where elaborate costumes and traditions such as throwing packets of roasted soy beans and burning tree boughs wards off the lingering evil spirits of the previous year and bringing hope to the new one.
Happy year of the Tiger! Enjoy the image gallery above, and check out the episode of Travels to the Edge on Bhutan to learn more about this truly unique culture.