Over the next two weeks I’ll be giving away a couple of free spots to my two upcoming Photography As Art seminars in the Pacific Northwest! Use the link below to enter, or visit the give-away page. Random winners will be drawn on Monday, November 4th!
Currently I’m on the road traveling, but have some photos to share from our visit to Romania. While there, I was able to photograph the Bear Dancers whom parade through the streets of villages every year between Christmas and New Years in their bear-skin costumes. It was a privilege to photograph them in this way long before they will officially don the outfits.
This ceremony is a joyfulcelebration belying the fearsome appearance of the traditional costumes and demeanor of the dancers within. It is a tradition intended to scare away evil spirits – including an accompaniment of drums, flutes, and singing – with beginnings that have been difficult to pin-point due to sparse documentation of the region’s history.
To begin with, we assemble the performers! Dressed in a red military uniform, the “Bear Tamer” leads his group of dancers while a wool-clad shepherd stands with the musicians in blue and white garb. A more overcast day may have been ideal, but you must work with the circumstances you are given. By closing in close on the group of dancers themselves, we can put the focus directly on the savage costumes.
Here, a young girl peaks out from below her mask, giving us a great opportunity to capture a similar shot of the group, but with this reveal adding an extra sense of context to the photograph. The contrast of her face among the fierce, snarling bears only adds to the story.
Again, I want to isolate and emphasize the costumes and the dancers themselves without any other outside information informing the story – the subjects here are the elaborate costumes, their muzzles silhouetted against the blue sky, and the shadowed faces of the dancers themselves.
Of course, these ARE dancers after all – so action shots are necessary. Capturing the dancers in their furs against the rich evergreen background of Romanian landscape ties them together nicely. As complimentary colors, the rich reds of their costumes stand out against the forest green.
Here we focus on the procession of bears as they might appear in their journey through the village, usually ending up in a town square for further celebration. Whenever you are given an opportunity like this, take full advantage of it and get all the shots you possibly can – I’ll have more up soon along with the rest of our haul from Romania!
I’ve only just begun a couple months of heavy travel, but in between I’ll be back in Seattle just long enough to catch my breath. This happens to coincide with the annual Kenmore Camera Digital Photo Expo, which is always a fantastic event full of passionate presenters and the latest and greatest equipment from the digital photography world available for hands-on evaluation!
Please note – I’ll only be available at the expo myself on Saturday, November 2nd from 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM and I’ll have my new books Wild Elephants and Human Canvas on hand to sell and sign, along with a selection of my other popular books.
You should definitely check out both days of the expo if you can. There will be a number of speakers on hand from a variety of backgrounds and companies. There is sure to be something for everyone, and so much information to be absorbed.
If you’re in the market for new equipment, or simply a photography enthusiast looking to gather all the knowledge you possibly can from experts in the field and those with the technical know-how to answer your equipment related questions – take advantage of this opportunity!
Happy Friday! I begin October on the road for a month of travel, and when I return home I’m gong to be VERY busy putting signatures to my new books that have been pre-ordered though my website. We’ve obtained our advance copies of both Wild Elephants and the trade edition of Human Canvas – and both are of the highest quality and look fantastic! If you have held the equally fantastic and award winning Trees book that was published last year, you know what to expect.
Wild Elephants not only features the greatest elephant photos of my career, but also includes text by Dr. Samuel Wasser that describes the issues and most importantly the solutions being employed to protect elephant species in Africa and Asia.
Human Canvas focuses on combining photography with body painting inspired by the many cultures I’ve encountered around the globe, bringing you a mixture of patterns and textures influenced by the indigenous peoples I’ve encountered on my travels.
Photography As Art is just around the corner in the Pacific Northwest! On Saturday, November 9th I’ll be in Portland, Oregon – and the following day I’ll be back home to give the presentation in Seattle! 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.
2020 is shaping up to be an incredibly busy but fruitful year, and this will be one of the last chances to join me for a day-long seminar before kicking of another year of constant travel. If you’re interested in joining me on a trip, click the banners below to find out more information. Many of these trips are already sold out, but don’t hesitate to join the wait list! Not only will you be notified if a spot opens up, it also gives me a good idea of which locations you’re most interested in visiting – great information to have when I’m looking to add new trips to the calendar!
Also, if you missed out on my Japan tour last year my associate Gavriel Jecan will be leading another tour in February of 2020 – see his page for more details!
I recently returned from my second trip to Eastern Greenland in the last two years and once again it lived up to expectations. From ship to Zodiac, there was a lot to capture in between the wide seascapes and ancient detail in the upheaval of rock formations.
The bedrock of Greenland is some of the oldest on the planet, up to 3.8 billion years old and it shows in the tortuous folds and striations around the ice-free edges of the island. One of the most fascinating spots is called the Skaergaard intrusion, a relatively young formation of igneous rock extruded from the Earth 55 million years ago. Its layers, texture, and line make for a photographer’s dream.
The aesthetics and geological history is all well and good – but the REAL question is, can you find the bacon?!
If you’re not already, now is a great time to make sure you’re following me on all my social media platforms. I try to offer a variety of content on each one, so collect the whole set of @’s! We have some upcoming contests and give-aways coming up, so get recognized and score some loot!
Check out my Facebook page for more candid discussions.
Visit my Twitter feed to stay up to date on the latest hot issues.
Follow me on Instagram for my latest photos along with camera information for my captures – and get inspired to post your latest and greatest – you never know If I might follow back!
I am also on LinkedIn!
. . . And last but not least, the blog here on ArtWolfe.com. Throughout all my social channels, I try to include tips, techniques, and much more. The social icons on the blog posts are for sharing – use ’em! If you’re not signed up for the newsletter, it’s a great way to get updates on upcoming workshop and speaking opportunities.
Have a great weekend and stay tuned for some great new pics from my recent trip to Greenland!
See Wolfe’s sea wolves by the sea shore!
(Sorry, I couldn’t resist. AHEM.)
Wildlife photography can be a frustrating pursuit at times, but you roll with it! In August I had the opportunity to photograph sea wolves in the temperate rainforest of Canada. It rained and rained and rained and the wolves made themselves scarce. Apparently they had moved their den site to another area, but I am pleased with the fleeting images I was able to create.
The surrounding landscape is so varied, from lapping water to rocky shoreline to impenetrable forest that it creates an extraordinarily lush backdrop to these elusive wolves. It was important to me to include the context of the environment, as you don’t find wolves in these kinds of surroundings often. Portraits and ‘hero’ shots of animals can be important to illustrate their personality and demeanor, but may not always inform you of what that creature’s environment and life might be like to the extent of capturing them in the vastness of their natural element.
Think about context and story when you photograph wildlife – and you’ll often come away with a winner!
Every now and again I like to take a break from promoting my own books (Elephants! Human Canvas! – I’m shameless. Oh well – I tried!) to share my recommendations of the works of others with you. Sometimes they are simply educational, while others are inspirational. . . and in this case, both. World culture and tradition has always been as fascinating to me as wildlife. As I have accrued decades of world travel and come to identify the similarities and differences in our cultures, Ive only come to appreciate them that much more.
In Divine Encounters: Sacred Rituals and Ceremonies of Asia by Hans Kemp, we have an excellent photo book that explores the many varied esoteric beliefs of the region both prevalent and obscure.
“The breadth and scope of Hans Kemp’s superb photography captures the expansive yet intimate nature of Asia’s ancient and thriving spiritual traditions.”
I found this book to be inspirational and highly motivating. It’s spawned so many ideas for possible future trips and projects. If you’re planning any trips to Asia in the near future and are looking to fill up your schedule, if you have an interest in world cultures and rituals, or if you simply want to check out some excellent photography, give it a look! Grab your copy on Hans’ website!
On an early September day 55 years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Wilderness Act. This historic bill established the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS) and set aside an initial 9.1 million acres of wildlands for the use and benefit of the American people. Over the past 50 years, and as a result of America’s support for wilderness, Congress has added over 111 million acres to this unique land preservation system.
The 1964 Wilderness Act defines “Wilderness” as areas where the earth and its communities of life are left unchanged by people, where the primary forces of nature are in control, and where people themselves are visitors who do not remain. In other words – all of my favorite places to photograph wildlife in its natural environment in an effort to share it with you!
Protections for Earth’s wilderness are changing quickly, now moreso than ever with issues such as the pebble mine or the fires in South America taking center stage. For more information and to find ways to help preserve our natural places, visit www.wilderness.org – and of course stay tuned to the blog!