A very famous French diver once called Indonesia’s Wakatobi an underwater Nirvana. I am not going to quibble with Jacques Cousteau. Last week I traveled with very good friends and serious underwater photography gearheads (which I am not) to this island archipelago. My friends endured lost luggage and had to rent equipment, and I, a fish out of water doing underwater camera work, battled against stronger-than-expected currents, a leaking mask, and balky SD cards. Fortunately on the last couple days of shooting things worked themselves out and I managed to get a few really nice photos that will fit very nicely in the huge new wildlife book coming out next year!
One of the more challenging aspects of photographing underwater in this and similar locations are venomous fish – in this case, scorpion fish. On top of managing the underwater camera system while trying to stay steady in a difficult current and not scaring away my subjects, I also had to keep myself from disturbing the sea floor. At one point my underwater guide and myself were balancing ourselves on a tiny wooden dowel stuck into the sea floor to try to stabilize ourselves. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it – enjoy the photos!
I used a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV camera with an EF8-15mm f/4L FISHEYE USM lens in a Nauticam underwater housing.
Wildlife Wednesday on World Rainforest Day? Great timing!
The first leg of a recent trip took me to Brazil, with one subject in mind – the Harpy eagle. This is a massive bird at the top of its local food chain, distinct by its double-crested head feathers that spring to attention whenever the eagle is on alert. I came away thrilled with the photos I got, and included below is also a bit of video we shot from the blind.
Art Wolfe Live returned this week with a special look at Katmai, Alaska and the bear tours Art leads annually to this unique location. We run multiple tours here because demand is high. The first trip in August is nearly sold out! However there are still a few spaces remaining for the second tour that begins right on it’s heels – reserve your spot today!
I was traveling much of March and April and let me tell you – it was challenging for me and my staff, what with changing testing protocols for health on every leg of the trip! From Seattle I went to Brazil to photograph for my upcoming wildlife book and came away happy happy with photos of Harpy Eagles. Stay tuned for some video from that location!
After that, it was off to Morocco to lead a tour of one of the more culturally diverse locations you can visit, where the cultures of Africa, Europe, and the Middle East come together. Today was like Christmas in May as I excitedly unpacked a sculpture I purchased on this leg of the trip. It took a while to get here, but It’s always nice add objects from my travels to my home. Live like an artist!
From there it was on to Spain to join some dear friends for Easter celebrations, and ended up in Jerusalem for the holiday itself. Well worth it to acquire necessary photos for my upcoming book with a subject of international religions and beliefs.
I am finally getting some photos up, in no particular order – So let’s start with Morocco!
This is a stunningly beautiful country, mountainous and full of architectural wonders. Spring was just starting to show itself with the budding of fruit trees in fertile valleys. What did we photograph? Cats, lots of ‘em (I must have been missing my kitty back home), but also the endangered Barbary macaque, camels, and shepherds and their flocks. Snow crowned the Atlas Mountains and winds swept the Sahara as we traveled through high passes and verdant river valleys. The architecture is phenomenal and instantly recognizable as countless productions have been filmed in its adobe cities and desert landscapes.
Enjoy and stay tuned for more photos and footage from this huge trip!
I want to express my deepest gratitude & appreciation to the big crowd that turned out last night in Portland. After years and months of zoom calls, It was nice to see everyone safely in person.
For those who couldn’t make the event, I recently shared the stage with Ruskin Hartley, the Director of the International Dark-Sky Association. Included in that talk are some of the stories behind the photos in Night On Earth – available for streaming online:
It’s Wildlife Workshop Wednesday! I have several upcoming photo journeys which will have great wildlife viewing opportunities: Madagascar, Mongolia, Katmai Alaska, Botswana, Namibia, Mount Rainier, Japan, and Glacier Bay Alaska. Join me on a trip – visit the events page or click on a specific trip below for more information!
Looking for something fun and unique for the matriarch in your life!? If you can be in the PNW next weekend, give mom the gift of . . . me! I’ll be at the Portland Art Museum next Thursday, May 12th at 7 PM giving a presentation inspired by my latest book, Night On Earth. I’ll have books available to sign and sell – come enjoy the show and say hello!
This presentation is chock full of the stories behind the photographs, both in terms of my concepts, technical considerations, and of course plenty of anecdotes and stories from my travels – everything mom might be used to seeing on Travels to the Edge, only live on-stage!
Last weekend Seattle lost an icon: Harriet Bullitt, philanthropist and conservationist. She was 97.
Gorgeous to the end, Harriet exemplified the art of living life to its fullest. She had a remarkable spirit for adventure, took an interest in everything, and was possessed of a quiet kindness and supportive enthusiasm.
A grateful young photographer was on the receiving end of a bit of that patronage: she founded Pacific Northwest magazine (now Seattle magazine), which published my photo stories on local natural history and the art of nature photography. Her foundation also helped make my International Conservation Photography Awards a reality. An avid traveler, Harriet and her family traveled with me on a trip to Africa, as well as Cuba where we had to skirt US customs. She was never one to shy away from excitement and I count myself beyond fortunate to have known her!
This week (April 22 – 30) is International Dark Sky Week!
It may seem like a small thing that most may not ever think about, but artificial light pollution can be problematic for a number of reasons. Not only does it disrupt the natural habitat of wildlife by stifling reproduction, disrupting migration, and increase predation – it can also have harmful effects on human health and negatively impact climate change. Last but not least if you’re a photography enthusiast or simply someone who enjoys staring up at the heavens, light pollution greatly obscures our view of the universe around us.
There are a number of ways to get involved in curbing light pollution in your community. Most major cities may already have an organization or two to join or work along side. Community members can help measure light pollution and share data using their cell phone, and there are several things you can evaluate at your own home to cut down on the amount of artificial light contributed to the evening skies.
For more information and to find out what you can do to be an advocate for curbing light pollution in your community, visit darksky.org. Following the release of my latest book Night On Earth I had the pleasure of presenting with the International Dark-Sky Association’s Executive Director Ruskin Hartley. This is a fantastic and well-organized group doing great work. Check them out and get educated on light pollution and how you can help minimize it!