The Eagle Hunters of western Mongolia are a proud and hearty people that have an immense sense of culture. They also practice a particular form of falconry in which they hunt with eagles. My goals for photographing them within the context of their environment were three-fold: convey the expansive landscape of the region, feature the power of the eagle, and highlight the traditional dress that is ever fading in the historical cultures of the world today.
1.) This first photo establishes where are, and our starting point. A pair of eagle hunters traverse the open landscape bordering western Mongolia and Kazakhstan with their avian assistant with horse in tow. While it does show the landscape, there is little drama and the other goals are not present.
2.) Here you can see I move in close to my subjects; I’m using a 16-35 wide angle lens which allows me to keep the three subjects in prominence while also capturing a dramatic background. The lighting looks a bit flat in this shot, but up close I am able to find better results. We keep the horse out of the shot – we don’t want competition for our focus – the men and their eagle.
3.) In my third image, which is at a right angle to the direction of the sun, I have attached a polarizer to my wide angle. You can see how much more dramatic the light appears. This image also highlights the problems of working with dramatic light – very harsh shadows were cast every time the eagle moved its wings.
4.) The wing of the eagle is now down, but the man that’s controlling the eagle is casting a shadow on his assistant. As my goal is to bring this culture into the light and share it, it’s not an ideal result to have half of my subjects in shadow.
5.) I decided to get lower and shoot upwards to bring in some of the openness of the sky in hopes of creating more of a story than in the previous shots. Always keep experimenting within your photographic goals!
6.) The result is that I don’t have nearly the problems of the previous images with the shadows. This is a very satisfying image to me and meets the goals I set for myself in terms of capturing the men, animal, and landscape. This is where some may stop, thinking they’ve captured the shot they are looking for. In an effort to see what else is achievable, I begin working the scene a bit more.
7.) I’m standing at eye level again with the hunters, but the problem with this shot is that the man closet to me is staring straight at me. I like to maintain anonymity when I am taking pictures, and would prefer that the subject is not staring straight into my camera.
8.) I ask him to look straight ahead, but now with movement of doing so, it’s the eagle mugging for the camera. This isn’t necessarily a bad composition, but I would prefer the eagle in a different position.
9.) I move a little bit further around and discover I love the way the light is falling across the main eagle hunter and his beautiful fox fur hat. However, as you can see, I have moved in too close to get all three subjects in the frame.
10.) I decide to back off a little bit, and now I am getting what I am looking for. I love the fact that the man in the middle is kind of looking my way without staring straight into the camera, the assistant is looking off to his left, and the eagle is conversely looking off in the opposite direction. There is a nice balance to this image, with no shadows on their faces. In addition, the eagle has nice light on his eye. This to me is a winner.
11.) I also like this last photo because it has a nice sense to it; the eagle is looking further opposite now, and is even more absorbed in what is going on in the landscape, rather than in what the photographer is busy trying to achieve. Both of these final two images are very strong photos for me, and I am very happy with the results.
A good balance of compositon, dramatic light, openness of the land, traditional wardrobes – it all comes together in a very nice way in these last two images!
As far as Hawai’i goes, the Big Island is Everything!
White, black and green sand beaches, waterfalls, rainforest, rainbows, mountains, sunsets, sea life, small towns, rich Hawaiian history, and uniquely, an active volcano. The Big Island is a siren beckoning, especially with winter closing in and I’m very excited for this trip!
2018 is going to be a very busy year, and I just can’t find a lot of time in my schedule for the usual number of workshops. Knowing that, I’ve made sure this last workshop of 2017 is a special one. Working with our local support in Hawai’i, I’ve put together a more intimate photography experience concentrating on the east side of the Big Island. Joining this retreat is photographer and friend, Bruce Omori, a local and expert on the area – a volcano photographer who monitors the activity daily. Together, Bruce and myself will respond to conditions to seek out the best opportunities whether it’s photographing from the ocean to capture the fresh lava pour, dusk or dawn lava activity on land, or exploring the abstract and mysterious nature of the hardened lava fields. There’s so much more – but unless you know where to go, you can spend a whole lot of time just looking at lava rock while driving around. On this trip, our local team will be at the ready to take this small group to planned destinations.
I’m packing this trip with extras, including a customized seminar that will kick things off before venturing out with you into the field and putting theory into practice under constructive guidance. Depending on the conditions, our team will be poised to make the most of photographing all the scenic riches of the island’s seascapes, sea life, waterfalls, rainforests and lush tropical forests with a surprise or two of special photo lessons arranged.
Not to miss out on the ‘Aloha’ experience, I definitely plan to enjoy this small group gathering by extending an invitation to the participants to share in relaxing dinner outings ranging from casual to ‘must try’, and most definitely with those delicious Hawaiian cocktails! I look forward to recounting the day’s activities with the group, and being around those whom share my love of photography.
While there are only a few spots left, we encourage you to sign up for the wait list even if it fills up, in case of cancellations.
I can’t wait to see the spectacular photos I know everyone will come away with!
Icebergs and ice are an increasingly important topic in recent years, as climate change is becoming more of a resounding, everyday issue. On a recent trip to Antarctica I developed a personal project of capturing the ice in as artistic of a way as possible. During the day, cruise ship passengers disembarked in Zodiacs to go ashore and view penguins. I have photographed a lot of penguins, so my mission became the ice that was floating in the vicinity. On this particular trip I asked a Zodiac driver to take me over to a distant iceberg that I could see towering over all of the other icebergs. It looked almost like a cathedral, standing out there over a 150 feet above its surrounding neighbors.
This first image shows the dramatic angle of the pinnacle of ice as it’s surrounded by smaller icebergs. As usual I circled my subject and look at it from all angles before settling on an image.
As we travel around the iceberg it takes on a slightly different shape. This new vantage point allows me to incorporate more of the surrounding icebergs in the foreground.
Here I am able to incorporate a foreground “bergie bit” (little piece of iceberg) that is found floating around its larger cousins. I am using a 16-35mm wide angle zoom lens and a polarizer to compose this image. My main objective is to balance the foreground ice with the iceberg in the distance.
I put on my 70-200mm zoom and circled back around to the location where I captured my initial composition in image 1. I chose to shoot a vertical to emphasize the vertical sweep of this dramatic iceberg.
I noticed a distant iceberg with an arch and directed the Zodiac to it. As we headed over to it I put my wide angle zoom back on. I circled this iceberg looking for a point of view in which to include with my initial perspective.
This composition reveals the first iceberg in a very beautiful way. I also love the way the green arch surrounds the distant blue icebergs, and how the wide angle gives the image a nice perspective by incorporating some of the blue green ice just below the surface.
I decided to go back to my 70-200 to try to pull in that distant iceberg. This lens allowed me to compress the scene while still keeping the strong foreground element of the arched iceberg in my composition. However, because I am further away now, you can see the blue sky above the arched iceberg. I have lost the drama that I had with the last image.
I zoomed in to try and eliminate the sky from the previous shot,but in doing so I have lost the top of the distant iceberg.
This is my favorite image in the series. It conveys the drama of the arch, it frames the iceberg in the distance perfectly, and it has a nice sense of color with the blues and greens.
The result is 3 or 4 distinctly different compositions of the same iceberg, which demonstrates how perseverance and a change of perspective can yield a stronger set of images.
These unique perspectives are the kinds of things I’m always looking for in any location I visit. To learn more, check out my workshops page and explore them yourself! We have a couple exciting events coming up – join me next week in my home state of Washington and photograph the lush Olympic forest at the Lake Quinault Photography Retreat, and in November I will be leading a photography workshop to explore Hawaii from new and exciting perspectives. See you there!
Time is running out to join me in just two weeks on the Olympic Peninsula for my Lake Quinault Photography retreat! It’s fall in my home state of Washington, and what better way to celebrate the season than to be part of an intimate group of photographers exploring the lush Olympic forest? This region is the gift that keeps on giving; a location that I can never seem to get enough of as far as photographic opportunities go. I always leave feeling like there is so much more to explore, and this exclusive small group setting is my opportunity to share what I see with you in hopes I can pass on four decades of knowledge to you.
Along with this very personal look at a region I’m particularly familiar with, I’ll be providing lectures and critiques. We will also have equipment on hand from X-Rite and Epson during our time at the Lake Quinault Lodge for demonstration on calibration and printing – take home prints of your best photos from our time together!
Sign up now, as the retreat is only a few weeks away and it’s nearly full!
This time around, I’m on the coast of eastern Greenland photographing the austere landscape, ice in it’s many forms, and the local wildlife. You may be surprised to know that in my 4-plus-decade career, this is my first trip here! Fortunately I’ve done my research and the location didn’t disappoint. Don’t forget to check out the blog post and stock site for more photos from this location. Time is also running out on our print sale, where you can save 20% on just about any image in my collection!
Join the Washington Wild community as they come together to celebrate the values and beauty of our iconic public lands in my home state of Washington. Wild Night Out will be held on September 28th at Ballard Bay Club here in Seattle.
My staff was thrilled that I finally was traveling to a new location: the world’s largest island, Greenland. Our Luminous Landscape group met in Svalbard, and from there sailed across the misty Greenland Sea and down the eastern coast of Northeast Greenland National Park. We were able to make Zodiac landings to explore the rugged landscape that was already turning autumn copper and red. The immense icebergs were the true rock stars of the journey, and we felt dwarfed by their stories-tall spires. They are dangerous as well; if you are too close when one rolls over -and they do- they could swamp and kill a boatload of people. In the final days of the trip I was able to capture some the most spectacularly perfect reflections I have ever seen – truly a fantasy world of ice.
Based in Germany with clients worldwide, The Art of Wild Gallery is very proud and happy to represent many of the images of my Human Canvas project. I feel the Human Canvas is the culmination of my artistic endeavors, a body of work that combines my work with traditional cultures, camouflage, and art into a photographic whole.
Using art and its presentation as a vehicle of analysis, inspiration and emotional engagement The Art of Wild Gallery contributes to the discourse about the relationship between man and nature. Presenting a high-class selection of well-curated, visually stimulating and thoughtful bodies of work and artists that focus on this relationship, The Art of Wild Gallery wishes to accentuate art’s role in reflecting critically, emotionally and creatively to a changing world.
Sometimes you may need to shoot a moving subject in lighting that isn’t ideal. Add in a longer lens and extension tubes to create the composition you want, and you may need to add a flash to capture effective detail. Shot on location in Manu National Park, Peru.
Through the month of September save 20% off on (almost!) our entire collection of images! See something YOU think would be a great print that we haven’t listed in our collection? Visit our stock site and peruse all of our images and find something uniquely yours, or cross some early holiday shopping off your list for that special someone!
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20% off is only valid on print sizes 16″ x 20″ and above with pricing as follows:
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Open edition prints only. A select number of images on the stock site are not available for purchase as a print. Limited edition prints are excluded from this offer. We will notify you if the image you’ve selected isn’t available and can suggest similar alternatives to meet your needs.