Join Me This May in Pacific Grove, California for an Intimate Special Retreat!

An intimate and extensive new Photography Retreat is just around the corner! On the heels of wonderful feedback regarding both our Abstract Workshops and the more intimate Photography Retreats, I’m pleased to offer up the opportunity to join me on a very exclusive trip to Pacific Grove, California where we will spend four days and nights together photographing the beautiful sights of this location.

Gavriel Jecan and myself will lead a group limited to just five participants for full days working in the field, critiquing your captures, and dining together at several of the area’s reputable restaurants. We will focus on capturing unique abstract landscapes, and will also emphasize introducing you to new ways to see and capture the beautiful natural landscapes to ensure that you come away with much, much more than just your standard travel photos. My goal as usual is to challenge you the same way I challenge myself to come away with unique visions rather than simply parroting the standard postcard shot you might find at the local gift shop.

Assuming cooperation from local wild life, we also plan to photograph sea otters via kayak from the serene waters of the local sloughs. Fear not if the idea of kayaking is new to you – the waters are placid and we will have guides to ensure safety!

This workshop is coming together very quickly and beings on May 2nd. Only a few spots remain available so visit the events page for more information and sign up today!



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Technique Tuesday – What to Do on a Rainy Day?

Now that Spring is officially a week away and the weather is warming up a bit here in the Pacific Northwest, it’s a great time to get out and shoot. Winter rains can be cold and nasty, but throughout the spring and early fall rainy overcast days that aren’t also affected by extreme temperatures and winds are the best days to get out and photograph! I woke up this morning to some cloud cover, light showers, and a relatively balmy 60 degrees, and was inspired to get the word out about how great such conditions can be for capturing fantastic images.

People are often surprised that I don’t run outside with my camera on a beautiful blue sky day. The clouds on an overcast day act like a huge softbox to soften the light, reduce contrast, and open up the shadows to details that would be completely lost on a bright sunny day. Falling rain diffuses and evens out the light even more. Some of my favorite images have been captured on gray rainy days.

You’ll need to check your lens frequently for spots but with a little care you can use the rain to your advantage. Use a tripod, polarizer, small aperture and long shutter speed to keep from recording individual falling drops of rain and maximize atmospheric softening. Additionally, the polarizer removes the shine from foliage for the richest colors possible. It’s rare that I don’t have a polarizer on the front of my lens. With standing water in your frame the falling rain will ripple the surface. The long shutter speed will blur movement the same way a waterfall can be rendered as a soft ethereal white drape over rocks.

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Save 20% on the Print of the Month for March 2018 – “Motherhood”

A brown bear sow watches over her cubs as they survey the landscape, Katmai National Park, Alaska, U.S.A.

Save 20% on “Motherhood” in our online store through the end of the month!

Art has chosen images that trace back to his arts education background for his Limited Edition Fine Art Collection. Images with the same sensuous tones and textures realized by watercolor painting were selected. They are printed on EPSON Metallic Luster or Somerset Velvet watercolor paper using archival EPSON Ultrachrome inks. After each print is approved, it is then titled, numbered and signed by Art. Only 100 of each will be made.

Print sizes are approximate based on image or format. Canvas prints on EPSON Exhibition Canvas are available. Contact our office for more information.

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Join Me At The Photography Show in Birmingham, U.K.!

This month I’ll be skipping across the pond to attend and present at The Photography Show in Birmingham, England. This will be the fifth consecutive year the show will be held at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC). From hobbyists and enthusiasts to seasoned professional photographers, this show will have plenty to offer everyone including demonstrations of the latest technology from leading manufacturers utilizing their latest gear offerings. Conferences, talks, and seminars from a variety of speakers will have something to offer everyone of all skill levels. Come and check out the photography event of the year!

I’ll be there soaking it in myself, as well as presenting Earth Is My Witness and The Human Canvas Story. I will also be available to sign books!

Here’s where you’ll be able to find me:

Saturday, March 17th
1 PM on the Super Stage, presenting Earth Is My Witness

Sunday, March 18th
1 PM on the Super Stage, presenting The Human Canvas Story

I’ll be signing Remembering Elephants and Remembering Rhinos with Margo Raggett on March 18th from 3:30 – 4 PM at CBL Distrubution, Stand K52

I’ll also be signing Earth Is My Witness after my talk on Saturday the 17th, from 2:30-3:30 at at CBL Distrubution, Stand K52

Use discount code SSTPS18 to receive £3 off standard adult entry tickets;  expires on 14 March 2018.

I hope to see you there!




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Events Coming Soon to the Southeastern U.S.!

Spring is just around the corner, and after heading to the U.K. to present Earth Is My Witness at the Photography Show in Birmingham, I’ll be returning stateside for a few events in the Southeast.

Photography As Art happens on March 25th in Raleigh, North Carolina and I’ll be visiting Florida in May to present the seminar in Tampa as well. In between, I’ll be bringing a west coast favorite to Hotlanta with the inaugural Abstract Atlanta workshop, a new riff on what’s become an annual favorite that originated in Astoria, Oregon.

After being cooped up for so long, I can’t wait to get back out there refreshed and with new perspective. Hope to see you there, or at any of the other upcoming events!  For those of you interested in hanging out with me in my own back yard, check out the recent post on Pacific Northwest Events.

Space is limited, and many of these events are nearing capacity. Hop on before they sell out!

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Technique Tuesday – Photographing Polar Bears

The polar bears of Churchill are world famous, of course; like many photographers I have made pilgrimages there since the early 1980s. This has given me the opportunity to photograph the bears in various ways. From a tundra buggy, you can see the bears engaging in harmless battles as they wait to hunt seals once the ice that’s formed on Hudson Bay. From the air I recorded the beautiful patterns on the frozen lake’s surface as well as the bear’s shadow cast across the ice. To emphasize the barren tundra terrain and diminish the bear’s presence, I selected a 17-35mm wide-angle lens.

For The Living Wild I went to Churchill to photograph cubs newly emerged from their winter dens. Not only did I find several sows with their cubs, but I found them in near-perfect late afternoon light.

Because light meters are calibrated to read any scene as neutral gray, I set my aperture to overexpose by two stops from the reading to make sure the snow stays white. Without this compensation, the bears would be underexposed. This gives the most accurate exposures for white animals in the snow.

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New Photos from Boundary Bay

In anticipation of finally getting back to world travel, I’ve been easing back into the swing of things by making a few day trips to visit our neighbor to the north to photograph the birds of the region – predominantly owls in this case. Solitary and intelligent, owls are some of my favorite animals to photograph. Although stoic and not as playful as many animals, at any moment they can burst into a flash of spectacular action to make a precision strike on their prey. Featured in this set are a variety of owls – short-eared, long-eared, barn owl, and even a pygmy owl hunting voles which I was incredibly happy to find here. Enjoy!

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Technique Tuesday – Bringing Home the Gold!

I am pleased to announce that Spiritual Journey has won a gold award in the Graphis Photography Annual 2018! You can pre-order your copy of the annual today.

Capturing Spiritual Journey – an excerpt from The Art of the Photograph:

I was walking along the Ganges River in Varanasi, India, at dawn one morning when I saw the color. The sun rose through a layer of smoke and haze, and I thought, “Wow, that is a beautiful red orb.” I had to get that shot.

I was at this location during the Kumbh Mela, a massive gathering of Hindus along the Ganges that happens every 12 years. This is a time of great spiritual and cultural significance when holy men gather to bless the millions of people who have made the pilgrimage to the location. Many pilgrims had traveled to Varanasi and upriver to Allahabad. Many were crossing the river to the encampment on the far side. I contacted one of these people the night before, offering a dollar to act as my model the next morning, one hour before sunrise.

The next morning, I positioned the boat with my new model in the dark mud along the shore. I used a polarizer to take the shine off the water in the foreground, creating the illusion that the boat was floating.

To get the deep depth of field that I wanted, I shot with a wide-angle lens and a small f-stop of f/22, getting an exposure of one or two seconds, during which my model had to remain still. The foreground point of the boat is every bit as sharp as the distant horizon. I had to work quickly because the color of the sun was so important, and it lasted only a short time. once the sun rose above that layer of haze, it lost it’s color.

I loved creating the image, stylizing something these pilgrims did every day during Kumbh Mela, making the image more memorable. you don’t know whether the person is a woman or a man, which helps the viewer see him- or herself in that place.



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2018 is the Year of the Dog!

The Chinese calendar designates 2018 as the Year of the Dog. According to the Chinese Animal Zodiac, those born under the sign of the dog are loyal supportive individuals who’s deep caring and willingness to give advice can sometimes come off as being intrusive, but ultimately their intent is well-meaning and in the interest of the happiness of their friends and loved ones. Much like the dogs themselves, they are loyal with a strong sense of duty to those in their lives.

“Dogs make us fully human. They awaken us to many of the qualities we find in them that we wish to have in ourselves. We wish to be loyal and forgiving and loving. We wish to be focused on important things like family, enjoying time in the wild, walking in the woods, being with friends, lying about indolently in the sunshine. We would like to believe we could make friends with anyone if we try hard enough, to believe that we neither have nor need to have enemies at all in the world.”

–Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson from Dogs Make Us Human

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Upcoming Events in the Pacific Northwest

We are fast approaching spring and kicking off quite a few events in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Come join me for a seminar or a workshop whether you’re local or just want to visit!

March 4th: Photography As Art in Seattle

Photography As Art is coming back to Seattle, and soon! If you’ve missed out in the past, now’s your chance. This seminar tends to fill up fast as it gets near, so sign up today to ensure your spot! If you’ve attended this seminar in the past, I’m continually revising it to add new photos and perspectives, so it can be a great refresher while you prepare for spring shooting!

April 25 – 29: Olympic Peninsula Workshop with Art Wolfe

Always a fan favorite! We will include some new locations this time around, and work with 6-stop neutral density filters to expand on technique. This is an excellent way to experience the Pacific Northwest, whether you’re a native who wants to explore your own back yard, or from out of the area and want to experience the lush variety of our corner of the world where it converges between the Olympic range and the Pacific ocean

May 24-28: Abstract Astoria Photography Retreat with Art Wolfe

Situated at the mouth of the mighty Columbia River, Astoria is a fascinating and revitalizing port city with a history tied to the early territorial aspirations of the United States. My goal is work closely with each participant to truly transform and refine their skills while exploring the nature of creativity itself. This ties strongly into the subject matter I cover in Photography As Art.

August 16-19: Mt. Rainier Summer Workshop with Art Wolfe

October 11-14: Mt. Rainier Fall Workshop with Art Wolfe

Same locations, two different seasons to capture beautiful Mt. Rainier and the surrounding Cascade Range, as well as the lush forest, meadows, and surrounding forests! We will use the setting of Mt. Rainier National Park to discuss composition and design in nature photography. Aside from lessons in the field, there will also be lectures on these subjects as well as informative critiques of your work in the field.

Hope to see you all in 2018!








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