20% Off the Print of the Month – Parting of the Red Sea!

Save 20% on the Print of the Month – Parting of the Red Sea. Captured on my annual trip to Katmai National Park, Alaska, a brown bear hunts for a meal while Sockeye salmon circle just beyond reach! The green of the water in contrast to the bright reds of of the spawning salmon create a natural frame for the fishing bear. A few trips to this location are upcoming in August, but on the verge of selling out – check out the events page for more info!

Purchase Parting of the Red Sea in the online store for this special sale price!

mountain ridge

Photography As Art in Montreal, NY, Philly & Pittsburgh is Here!

The remaining dates for Photography As Art in 2018 are happening over the next couple of weeks! A seminar that keeps evolving, PAA is a finally tuned machine and I’m excited to bring it back east for four dates over the next two weekends!

Check out Photography As Art in the following locations beginning in just a couple of days! I’d like to ask give a special thanks to Canon and Epson for sponsoring these events.

Montreal – Saturday, June 2nd at the McCord Museum

New York – Sunday, June 3rd at Infinito

Philadelphia – Saturday, June 9th at the National Museum of American Jewish History

Pittsburgh – Sunday, June 10th at Carnegie Science Center

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.

If you’re on the west coast, I’ll be back in the Pacific Northwest for a couple of workshops before the month is through. A few space remain for the Columbia River Gorge workshop, and there is room for just one more for the Oregon Coast!

 

 

 

 

mountain ridge

Wednesday Wisdom – What to Shoot in June and July?

Wildflowers in bloom, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington by Art Wolfe

Some people are amazed to learn that I still enjoy getting out to photograph wildflowers. The greater truth is that I just enjoy getting out to photograph – anything. It fuels my soul, and as long as I can walk and hold a camera that’s where you’ll find me, out in the field working the subject, whatever it may be.

As spring gives way to summer, the snows on the mountains around Seattle melt away to reveal wonderful meadows of wildflowers. Mt Rainier is perhaps one of my favorite destinations for wildflowers, and so many can be found just a short walk from the parking lot. For those familiar with the area I like to head to Paradise, drive past the main parking lots and down the hill maybe half a mile, parking where the road crosses Edith Creek. From there you hike up towards the mountain and the wildflowers will soon surround you with a rushing creek and smooth boulders to work with. Hiking maybe a mile will afford beautiful views of Mt. Rainier filling the foreground with flowers.

Wildflowers in bloom, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington by Art Wolfe

When you head out to photograph wildflowers, one’s first instinct is to often isolate a perfect blossom at a 45 degree angle and go home happy. I call this the trophy shot – It looks just like the image on the packet at the home and garden store. We all have them, myself included, so get that shot – and then open your mind to more creative possibilities.

When I have lead workshops to Mt. Rainier in the past, I’ll let the students know that we have “arrived” at our destination for the next hour and they will politely line up on the trail and begin to photograph the first flower they see, usually right from the very direction they had approached it. After all, that’s why we’re here, no? No! We’re here to stretch our creative imaginations, to see in new ways, and uncover new possibilities. Consider how you approach the flower as you would any subject. Over the years I have critiqued so many photos and the answer is all too often the same, get lower and get closer.

My approach is generally to first walk through the area and get familiar with the myriad of options, perspectives, background possibilities, subtle differences in lighting. I’ll look at the subject from all sides possible before choosing a location to begin. Remember, recolonizing, fragile, easily accessible meadows like those of Mt. Rainier don’t allow for venturing off established trails. So please be aware of your surroundings, trail markers and warning signs.

Initially, I will photograph the larger scene with a wide angle lens (16-35, always with a polarizer adding a 2 stop hard ND filter as needed) helping to establish a sense of location. This can be useful later when trying to remember where I was when the image was taken, perhaps a hold-over from shooting slides when it could be three months before I would see any results from the days’ efforts. The wide angle lens allows me to include the surrounding plants, trees, terrain and mountains leaving the to flowers become a pattern of color in the lower foreground. I’ll look for leading lines in the pattern, gentle curves, a way for the viewer to interact with the image as they move through the foreground, middle ground and background – an old, well established formula from view cameras that still works today.

Alpine flowers, North Carolina by Art Wolfe

As I move in closer, I continue shooting with the wide angle lens, allowing first, a group of flowers and then individual blossoms to dominate the frame. This gives me the ability to still tell the story of location and environment through the greater composition. When people first purchase a wide angle lens they see it as an opportunity to get a greater view of the distant vista, to include the mountain and the surrounding hills – and are all too disappointed with the results. It’s not until they begin to see the wide angle as a tool for getting in close to the subject, I’m talking within inches – not feet, do they begin to see the possibilities.

Once satisfied, I’ll switch to my 70-200 lens and look to limit the composition to just the flowers themselves. Here I begin looking for those ubiquitous motifs in nature, patterns of petals filling the frame, alternating colors, lines and form, positive and negative space. Ultimately zooming from the wide end up to 200 mm abstracting the subject as I bring the viewer to see the flower in a unique way. I’ll then put on extension tubes which allow me to focus even closer. As you abstract the elements of the flower, digital photography now allows you to “rack focus” with a middle ground f-stop, say f11, shooting several images as you move the shallow depth of field marching towards the back of the composition, knowing later you will combine them into one image with a sharp focus throughout.

Ravensthroat River, Northwest Territories, Canada by Art Wolfe

What about wind and movement? Use it! Sure you can purchase a “Plant Clamp” to hold the flower steady in a light breeze but why not use the movement to your advantage just as you would with flowing water in a stream. Try longer shutter speeds to abstract the flowers to a wash of color. Even introduce your own movement by intentionally panning with the camera up, down or sideways during the exposure. You may be surprised by the results, perhaps pleased even.

Working the subject I will be changing my location, moving in closer, shooting from the side as well as directly overhead – ultimately I may even spread the legs of my tripod to where it is less than 12 inches off the ground and be lying on my side in the dirt – why? Because it’s about unique perspectives. Flowers aren’t usually photographed from directly overhead nor do most people bother to look at them from the ‘flowers’ perspective. Great images are generally not made at a comfortable standing height having just walked up to your subject!

Wildflowers Paradise Valley by Art Wolfe

Don’t wait for the sunny day to go out and look for wildflowers – your best bet is an overcast day with even lighting. A sunny day is great for a picnic, and the flowers are beautiful to look at – yet the shadows caused by the direct sun put too much contrast in the image. The strong highlights and shadows will take away from the varied hues of the flowers, as well as giving you much less information to work with when editing your videos in a tool such as Adobe Lightroom. Overcast and even rainy days are some of my favorite for flower photography. Good thing I live in Seattle!

mountain ridge

Workshop Wednesday – Hawaii Photography Retreat with Art Wolfe!


Last year’s Hawaii Photography Retreat was a huge success, with amazing participants and great photos – so I am doing it again! Join me this fall on the Big Island for a Hawaii experience like no other. As a small group we will explore the island and focus on rare opportunities that will ensure you come away with photos to share that represent a perspective on a Hawaii trip you won’t find anywhere else!

Hawaii is in the news quite a bit lately with eruptions and lava flows leaving their mark on the landscape, and we will have local expert and volcano photographer Bruce Omori on our team to ensure we have the best possible information available to us regarding volcanic activity at the time. Check out Bruce’s website to see his photos and see for yourself why he is an invaluable addition to our group!  With a guide on our side who knows the location inside and out, it’ll save us the time an unguided visitor might spend driving from location to location without any knowledge as to what they may find. Our local team will keep an eye on current events, ensuring we maximize our time and travel.

As before, this trip will be loaded with extras. On top of a guide and driver and the convenience of air-conditioned transportation between locations, we will have discounted bay-view rooms exclusively for attendees and all permit fees for Hawaii Volcanoes National Parks included. I will also kick things off with a photographic composition seminar in addition to in-the-field photography instruction.

For more information, check out the events page – sign up sooner than later, as this unique in-depth exploration of the Big Island is bound to be a sell out!

 

 

 

 

mountain ridge

New Photos from Monterey Bay, California


My most recent trip was with some friends to the Monterey Coast of California, a region known for it’s beautiful coastline and a vast variety of marine life in one scenic location. Though this is a vacation destination rife with sights and creatures, it’s also an amazing place to explore imaginary landscapes in patterns of rocks that line the shores.

If you’re looking for a place to go where you’ll never want for subjects, this is it – wildlife, landscapes, and artistic abstracts all in one beautiful location with food and lodging on par with the rest of the experience. It’s my hope we will add another retreat to this location in the future, so keep your eye on the events page!

What’s next?! This is a beautiful time of year to explore the west coast – the Columbia River Gorge and Oregon Coast workshops are coming up very quickly, with few spots remaining – how is the time to pull the trigger and join me in areas I’ve been exploring my whole life!

mountain ridge

Technique Tuesday – Complimentary Colors: Blue & Orange


Color plays an important role in any visual art form. Along with composition, it’s one of the key elements of any great painting. Watch any film and the costumes, sets, and lighting are all designed with color in mind, meticulously planned by experts in various design specialties. Color photography is no different in situations where you can control your subject and environment, but there are complimentary colors to be found in nature as well.

Today we are looking at the color wheel with a focus on blue and orange. it’s one of the more prevalent colors found in nature, given the interaction of the sky and water in contrast to sunsets and the earthy oranges and browns of the natural world.

If you’re on a photo hunt and struggling to find a subject, consider the colors around you and how they might tell the story of a given location. Sunsets, rust, dirt, wood, leaves in the fall or the orange glow of firelight can all provide a starting point to shoot against a blue sky either directly or reflected in a local body of water. Finding splashes of color and ways to match them up against their compliment can be a fun challenge. If you’re shooting a subject such as  a model in a particular location, it can definitely pay off to scout ahead for backdrops and background elements of a certain consistent color and have them dress accordingly!

 

 

mountain ridge

Workshop Wednesday – “Photography As Art” in Tampa, Montreal & New York!

Photography As Art is just around the corner on the East Coast and Canada! On Sunday, May 20th I’ll be in Tampa, Florida and then the weekend of June 2nd and 3rd I’ll be in Montreal and New York respectively – sign up today to ensure your spot!

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.

If you’ve attended the seminar before, this would be a great refresher as I’ve spent much of the down time I had at home this past winter revising, adding, and updating. Though I am continually working to improve the messaging and adding new photos from current shoots, this break was the first time I’ve been able to really sit down and completely fine tune what has become a popular and requested seminar – if I haven’t been to your city yet, leave a comment below!

Photography As Art Will also be coming to the Keystone State in June, with seminars in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh on the 9th and 10th respectively – stay tuned for more details!

Art Wolfe Presents: Photography As Art


Tampa, FL – Sunday May 20th

Montreal, Quebec – Saturday June 2nd

New York City – Sunday June 3rd

Philadelphia, PA – Saturday June 9th

Pittsburgh, PA – Sunday June 10th

 

mountain ridge

Travel Tuesday – Take the Art Wolfe Travel Survey!

For those of you who missed the first round of the travel survey, there is still time to weigh in with your opinion on upcoming workshops! Click the link below to make your voice heard – and if a destination you’d like to visit isn’t on the list, there’s a space to include your own feedback.

Art Wolfe Travel Survey – May 2018

And to those of you who have already put in your two cents, a heart-felt thank you from me and my staff. Great location choices, and they amazingly lined up with some of the destinations I had already planned to get to for special projects. Hence, we may be adding time to those trips or opening them up for those who want to join me on an upcoming photo adventure.

Stay tuned to our events page as we’ll list these special trips in the very near future, or if you’d like to sign up for something already on the list – we are getting to the point where many of the remaining 2018 workshops will begin selling out!

mountain ridge

Workshop Wednesday – Columbia River Gorge & Oregon Coast

Mid to late June is a beautiful time to visit the Pacific Northwest, and for that reason we have a pair of workshops happening here with only a few spaces remaining!

Columbia River Gorge workshop – June 14 – 17

Join Art Wolfe in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, which is arguably one of the most beautiful attractions in the Pacific Northwest! The wide range of elevation and precipitation makes the Columbia River Gorge an extremely diverse and dynamic place, and therefore the photographic opportunities are endless. Explore the Gorge with Gavriel as it transitions between temperate rainforest to dry grasslands in only 80 miles, hosting a dramatic change in scenery.

The field locations will not be limited to the scenic beauty of the Pacific Northwest, Art will also take the group to some locations that will provide opportunities to photograph abstract images as well.

We will also have 6 stop Neutral Density filters for the entire group to try out while photographing long exposures. For one portion of the worksop the group will be taken to a lesser known waterfall for night photography!

Oregon Coast Workshop – June 21 – 24

Along Oregon’s historic and scenic coast, this will be a weekend of imagination! the Oregon Coast has so much to offer with the beautiful waterfalls and ocean landscapes, as well as opportunities for unique intimate landscapes and abstracts. This workshop is slightly different than my popular “Abstract Astoria” workshop as we will focus more on the ocean and landscape photography with a hint of abstracts.

A single image can have the power to stimulate the imagination and the intellect while also telling a story that awakens the senses. Our challenge is to explore the nature of creativity itself and discover ways to bring its power to your images.

 

 

mountain ridge

Technique Tuesday – Canon EF15mm f/2.8 Fisheye Lens


In the field there are times when a standard lens is inadequate to capture a subject as you would like to portray it. Often I will use a 15mm fisheye to create more interesting angles and more dynamic compositions. This lens can improve the statement of a subject by changing the relationship of elements in the picture. Getting up close with this lens lends a strong sense of depth to a composition. Some say it distorts reality, but really you are changing the way you are perceiving perspective. The lens defines this way of looking for us and creates a fascinating relationship of foreground and background. Standard focal lengths can be boring! Take that step out of the ordinary.

Here are a few tips when shooting with a fisheye lens:

• Know your subject, and keep the composition simple – the distortion is already going to make your image more complicated. Make sure your subject stands out!

• Try different heights and angles – where you shoot from can intensify or lessen the fisheye effect.

• Fisheye lenses allow a lot of light to enter making them useful for night photography – therefore they can be great for shooting stars.

• Look for normally straight lines that will bend with the lens and lead the eye through your photograph

• Often I tell people not to put the subject in the center of the frame, but intentionally centering up a subject and using symmetry with a fisheye lens can often create a compelling image.

• When shooting in close quarters, a fisheye lens can be used to capture the elements that a normal lens would crop away. You can then either keep the distorted view, or use software like Adobe Lightroom to correct the effect and remove most if not all the distortion.

• Get close to your subject – a fisheye lens will bring so much of the surrounding detail into the frame, you can get much closer to your subject than you normally would.

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

 

 

mountain ridge