New Photos from the Volcanic Activity in Hawaii!

Two months after it started, Kilauea is still erupting – even forming a new island off the east rift zone. Last week a friend and I made an all-too-quick trip to the Big Island to photograph some of the action. With the help of Bruce Omori we were able to get in the air above the eruption, as well as along side it from a boat. It is a stunning scene of earth’s power. The vog is so volatile that it creates it own weather, colorful clouds and swirling vortices that resemble nebulae of outer space.

As for the boat ride, it is not for the faint of heart. The water is extremely rough and there is always the chance that a sudden and violent explosion where the searing lava meets the cooler water (relatively speaking – it’s still over 100 degrees from our readings, about the temperature of a scalding hot tub!) will hit the boat.

Big shout out and thank-you to Bruce Omori for helping us on our trip! Check out his website and facebook page for the latest in volcano activity. If you want to see the eruption contact him – I couldn’t recommend his guidance enough!

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Travel Tuesday: India Holi Festival & Tigers Photo Journey 2019


In spring of 2019 I’m excited to be leading an epic photo journey to India where we will not only experience the color and good cheer of the Holi Festival, the majesty of the Taj Mahal, and the culture and history of Delhi – but the natural beauty of Bandhavgarh National Park as well. If you’ve ever contemplated what the ultimate India experience would be like, here is your opportunity to savor exactly that! We will observe and photograph the iconic as well as the atypical, assuring that the photos you come away with will represent the unique nature and variety of this adventure.

The two main attractions that are the namesake for this particular trip and set against the backdrop of this ancient land are, of course, the Holi Festival and the tigers of the region. The “Festival of Colors” is traditionally a jubilant recognition of the arrival of spring, and has become a celebration of positivity and good cheer world-wide, and it is here where it all began.

In addition to the Bengal tiger, Bandhavgarh National Park offers a rich diversity of fauna and flora, including leopard, striped hyena, macaques, langur monkeys, sambar and chital deer, Indian wolves, Indian hare, and monitor lizards – just to name a few of the species we hope to encounter.

Space for this photo journey is limited, with some spots already spoken for. Check out my events page for a more in-depth itinerary of our travels together, and sign up now to ensure your spot on what is guaranteed to be a once in a lifetime adventure where you’ll make new friends who share your passion for photography and the world’s great places!

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Save 50% on Creative Live Courses Through 7/20!

Creative Live is having a site-wide sale beginning today and running through the rest of the week, and followers of my blog and on social media can save an additional 10%!

This is a great resource for a wide variety of endeavors, from technical photography knowledge, software packages, Art and Web design to lifestyle, finance and fitness classes. Of course, I’m biased and will recommend you check out my courses, but with such a big sale happening I’ll understand if you want to check out some other stuff!

One of CreaiveLive’s biggest sales of the year runs through July 20th, 2018 – use code CLArWolfe at checkout to get the bonus discount!

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New Photos from Glacier Bay, Alaska

The summer months are here, and for myself that means frequent visits to Alaska. I recently returned from Glacier Bay, a trip started off with calving glaciers which was nice to check off the list as you’ll witness this unpredictable phenomenon several times during your visit, and others not at all. The usual suspects come to play as well – Stellar sea lions, humpback whales, puffins, sea otters, eagles and more. The majestic landscape itself makes for an excellent subject. July and August are the busiest months for tourism in the area, with warmer temperatures and a lot of wildlife activity.

July and August are a great time to visit this location if you prefer warmer temperatures, but September can also be an excellent time to go. The amount of tourists diminishes a bit, and the fall color and lighting can lead to some excellent photo opportunities.That being said, there’s really no bad time to go, as every season has something different to offer and it really depends on what kind of experience you’re looking for. Check out the NPS page for planning your visit – or better yet, keep an eye on my events page for upcoming trips with me!

 

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Book Signing This Weekend at Kenmore Camera!

I’ll be in town this weekend between trips and will be spending some time on Saturday signing books at Kenmore Camera’s Customer Appreciation Day! The first 100 customers will be receiving a FREE copy of “Edge of the Earth, Corner of the Sky”, and my assistant Libby will be on hand with some other goodies. Other books will be available for purchase and signature, so come on by and check out the festivities.

Kenmore camera will be offering special savings for the event, so this would be a great time to come and pick up that gear you’ve been holding out for. A Canon rep will also be on hand to answer questions you might have about their products.

Hope to see you there! If you can’t make it but would love a signed book for yourself or as a gift all pre-orders of my latest book, Trees: Between Earth and Heaven” will be signed and shipped out this fall!

 

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Technique Tuesday – Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM


For the last post on lenses we focused on the super wide angle, and how it affects perspective. Now I am introducing my favorite zoom lens for photographing wildlife, the 200-400mm. It has an internal 1.4 extender which is absolutely fantastic. It pushes the 400mm to 560mm and opens the aperture to get more light to the sensor.

I have been known to add an additional external 1.4 or 2 extender on top of this. This is recommended only in desperate situations, like when the snow leopards are spotted two miles across a Himalayan valley and you are on foot. Not only does the extender restrict light to the sensor, it magnifies the faults of the lens.

I use this lens for more than wildlife, though. Strong telephoto focal lengths are needed for photographing extreme compression effects, such as pulling in background elements like the setting sun to make them tower over the foreground subjects.

In addition, the telephoto allows you to:

  • cut down the angle of view and isolate aspects of the scene in front of you
  • get close to wildlife without disturbing it
  • frame simple compositions–look for little slices of design and interest within a landscape

Last and very important – to use this heavy lens effectively, you’ll need a sturdy tripod and a strong back as it weighs nearly 8 pounds.

For more tips and tricks, check out my technique books, “The Art of the Photograph” and “The New Art of Photographing Nature“.

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New Books, Workshops & More on the Horizon!

It’s hard to believe we are half way through 2018! Summer is here and the flycatchers, chickadees, and hummingbirds are nesting in the yard. I wanted to take some time to update you on some exciting upcoming book news, as well as several new additions to the workshop calendar:

  •  My latest book project Trees: Between Earth and Heaven has been sent off to the printer. We will have copies here in late October and I have a pre-order special going that includes a signed copy of the book and a small print. This will be another gorgeous, weighty tome—on the scale of Earth Is My Witness with three gatefolds and 296 pages. Once again Wade Davis has penned an introduction, and text is by noted author Greg McNamee. Please note that there will be a tree planted by Roots of Peace for every copy of the book sold.
  •  Interested in being in your own Human Canvas? Recently I had a request from friends to do a custom piece with them as models and it turned out magnificently. I personally will work with you in creating your own unique piece. Please reach out through our contact page.
  • We’ve just posted seven – count ‘em, seven –  new workshops for 2019! Highlights include Holi and tigers in India, Katmai Bears (I have locked down the best time to see them), and an autumn photo journey to Romania. Native son Gavriel Jecan will be co-leading in Romania with me and he will guide us to all his favorite locations in the magnificent Carpathian Mountains. We might see bears there too! I have also posted the 2019 editions of Abstract Astoria and Mount Rainier Wildflowers.

It’s shaping up to be a very full second half of 2018 and I am looking forward to some fantastic photo opportunities in 2019 and beyond. I hope you can join me for some of them! You can also save 20% on my current and very popular print of the month featuring a bear fishing in Katmai, Alaska – one of the locations you’ll find on my list of workshops – and check out my first half images for 2018. Keep in mind just about any image you can find in any of my books, on the website itself, or the stock site is likely available as a print – contact my staff and we will set you up with pricing and details, and I’ll personally sign it before we send it your way!

Wishing You the Best of Light!


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New Photos: From Panther Creek to Cape Perpetua


The last eleven days have been packed full! Book-ended by two Pacific Northwest workshops, we photographed Mount Hood, Smith Rock, Crater Lake, Cape Perpetua and Yaquina Head. We started off exploring the Columbia River Gorge and after photographing the Milky Way over Crater Lake, we checked into a less-than-savory motel at 3am for some much needed shut eye before heading to the Oregon Coast.

Those who claim there is nothing left to photograph in the Columbia River Gorge because of the fires are misinformed! We photographed beautiful locations on both the Washington and Oregon side – it helps to know where to look. If you haven’t been there, the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center in Stevenson is a great place to stop and explore the history of this fabled river!

Enjoy the photos – I’m home for a few days to regroup and then it’s off to Glacier Bay!

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TREES – BETWEEN EARTH AND HEAVEN – Preorders Receive Signed Copy & Print!

My latest book, “TREES: Between Earth and Heaven” will be available this fall, and if you preorder between now and October you’ll be sure to receive a personally signed copy as well as an 8 x 10 print of one of the book’s many images.

This 300 page book is filled with hand selected images of trees from around the world photographed over the course of my career. Photos range from vast expanses of forests to individual trees, as well as a focus on our cultural relationships with them. An introduction by Wade Davis kicks things off, and Gregory McNamee provides text that includes legends, lore, and literary accounts from across the globe relating to the great trees of the world as well as conservation efforts to protect them. I also share many of my personal views on these subjects as well as photography notes for included photos.

I’ve had a chance to visit the publisher and take a look at the early progress on this book, and I was blown away by the work that’s been done so far – this will be one any nature and photography enthusiast will want on their book shelf!

 

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Technique Tuesday: Neutral Density Filters

As we are in the middle of a couple of West Coast workshops where coastlines, waterfalls, and woodland streams take center stage, now is a great time to discuss the use of neutral density filters. In the summer months where overcast days become rare even in a region fabled for it’s grey skies, ND filters are a necessary tool for outdoor photography.

Simply put, an ND filter will reduce the amount of light your sensor receives without affecting the color of your capture, therefore allowing you to use a wider aperture, capture a longer exposure – or both. This is especially useful when you’re shooting outdoors on a bright, sunny day, or trying to expose for soft waves and motion in water. If you’ve done this without an ND filter, then you know how hard it can be to get the exposure correct without having a blown-out sky and over-bright highlights.

ND filters come in several stops, with the cheaper 1, 2 or 3 stop filters being common – however I highly recommend spending the extra money on a 6-stop or even 10-stop ND filter. These will block out more light, and give you the greatest amount of leeway in using your camera settings to achieve your desired results.

A 6-stop filter will be good enough to expose for blurred waves and streams, and capturing the scene without an over-bright sky, while a 10-stop will create the foggy dream-like haze of water in motion. In either case, you will cut down on blown-out areas of your photo, balancing out the tones while keeping true-to-life colors and exposing for the proper amount of detail.

Though most of my use for ND filters involves apertures in the 11-13 range to capture all the details of a landscape, or as low as 5 for a scene that may not need all the details sprawling to the horizon, an ND filter will also allow you to open up your very wide. This way you can photograph a specific subejct outdoors on a brighter day while still keeping your aperture wide enough to achieve an out of focus  background.

For more ND tips and others check out my how-to books, “The Art of the Photograph” and “ The New Art of Photographing Nature“!

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