It’s been invigorating to be out shooting again! A couple Southwest workshops are in the books. It’s been nothing short of bliss to be back in the field with eager participants looking to hone their skills, and I’ve missed the interactions with all our great clients, old and new.
In Sedona, Arizona and Moab, Utah – yeah, we shot the big shots of the beautiful landscapes, but you don’t need me to accompany you to line up with all the other tourists and get the captures that simply say, “I was here!”. I’m more interested in the shots everyone else is NOT getting – the shots that say, “I was here, and I found ways to capture this environment like no one else”.
Happy Workshop Wednesday! As you may know from recent episodes of Tequila Time, I’ve been getting back into the swing of leading workshops and next week we will be heading over to the Olympic Peninsula and the gorgeous town of Port Townsend. This location is home to historic 19th-century Victorian homes, renowned boatyards and of course the surrounding natural beauty of the Olympic Peninsula and the surrounding waterways.
All that being said, anyone visiting with a camera will get those shots – you don’t need me there to know that a shipyard may offer great photographic opportunities. What separates us from the average tourist is seeing beyond the obvious to capture unique studies and metaphors in the details, reflection and time-worn textures of this location.
As our regular clients can attest, it’s through these studies and exercises that you will truly see what I refer to as your visual vocabulary flourish. The surge of satisfaction I get when I know things have started to click for a participant and they are truly beginning to see makes these trips all the more worth while. From that point on, I know wherever they go they will have tools in their kit to separate them from the pack and I love seeing the work everyone comes away with!
It’s just over a week away – join us for these amazing photographic opportunities as well as fantastic meals together, critiques and more!
What are you reading these days? Or are you like me and more interested in pretty pictures!? All the books on my online store purchased through the weekend come with free shipping in the continental US!
I’ve been away for a few weeks teaching U.S. Workshops and the first order of business upon getting home is to ensure we do a Tequila Time in it’s “standard” time slot – tonight at 5:30 PM PST on Facebook Live & YouTube!
If you haven’t tuned in to TT yet, I think you’re missing out and now is as good a time as any to join the fun as I sip tequila and wax poetic over photos, memories, tips and more.
I started Tequila Time over a year ago now when things began to shut down as a way to make sure all the amazing folks in the Art Wolfe fraternity had a place to connect with me live since so many events would be going by the wayside. Now that we are getting our shots and cautiously returning to a bit of normalcy and I’ve been leading workshops once again, I still look forward to connecting with you all as often as possible.
Since we are getting back to workshops, this provides an awesome opportunity to share the photos we capture on these workshops with you – both my own, and our wonderful participants who have given me permission to do so. I hope they are able to tune in as well!
Today is dolphin day, and these frenetic swimmers are on my mind as we kick off spring! They are constantly on the go, quite literally. Did you know only half of a dolphin’s brain sleeps at a time?! If I were to adopt the powers of any creature on the planet, that’s a fairly enticing one. Imagine how many more books I could get done if I could stay awake and just shut down half my brain at a time!
Of course, they have developed this ability for specific reasons. Dolphins breath air and their breathing is consciously controlled. In some ways that seems like a restless life, but they certainly make the most of it with their agile swimming and dexterous leaps.
Enjoy the photos from a past trip to Baja and the Sea of Cortez, and leave a comment below if there is an animal superpower YOU would love to have!
Hard to believe, but this week marks the one year anniversary of Tequila Time! From it’s humble beginnings (awwwwwwkwarrrrrd!) to the latest episode we did before I got back to teaching workshops, the format has changed over the months as I’ve learned what works for me and what doesn’t – but most importantly, I’ve absolutely loved looking forward to connecting with you all as much as possible!
I am back to traveling and I’ve seen the grumblings about the lack of Tequila Time – we all knew this would happen when I got back on the road, but rest assured that though they may not be as frequent, I fully intend to connect with you live whenever possible.
Episodes have been proliferated on a number of platforms, however soon enough we are very much looking forward to curating them all in one place. For now, check out episodes on YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram. Do you have any favorite episodes, moments, or subjects from the past year of Tequila Time, or are there any subjects we didn’t cover that you’d like to hear about?
Leave a comment below, we are always looking for great suggestions and questions!
It’s your last chance to vote for the 5 animals you want to be included in the New Big 5 of wildlife photography! The original ‘Big 5’ is a term used by trophy hunters for the 5 toughest animals to shoot and kill (lion, elephant, leopard, rhino and Cape buffalo).
The New Big 5 project has a better idea: to create a New Big 5 of Wildlife Photography, rather than hunting. Shooting with a camera, not a gun. It’s about celebrating the incredible creatures we share the planet with and helping to protect them.
I’m excited to be supporting the New Big 5 project which is on a mission to raise awareness about threats facing wildlife around the world, including habitat loss, poaching, human-wildlife conflict, illegal wildlife trade and climate change, as well as conservation ideas and solutions.
The international initiative is supported by +150 international photographers and working with conservationists and charities, including The Jane Goodall Institute, Conservation International, Save The Elephants, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, Polar Bears International, Save Wild Tigers, Wildlife Direct, Save The Rhinos, Lion Recovery Fund, Cheetah Conservation Fund, Snow Leopard Trust, WildAid, IUCN and more…
Please go onto the New Big 5 website and VOTE for the 5 animals you want to be included! Voting ends April 20. The results of the international vote will be announced May 17.
“What a great project the New Big 5 is. I wonder what the final choices will be. There are so many incredible animals in our world, all fascinating in different ways. Any project which brings attention to animals, so many of whom are threatened or endangered, is truly important.”
A quick stop over in Wakanda on my recent trip to Africa definitely did not come up short! It’s rare to capture these unique short-necked giraffes (Giraffa abbrevis) outside of captivity. It was an incredible experience and I’m honored to have been invited to capture these rare animals!
Their unique evolution gives them the distinct advantage of being able to target the brush and leaves that’s too far off the ground for zebras and other herbivores, but not so high up that they need to compete with their long-necked relatives. Evolution is cool!
Enjoy the photos and sign up for an Art Wolfe Workshop and discover your own unique vision! See how you can help all manner of African Wildlife survive and thrive at www.awf.org.
If you caught the recent episode of Tequila Time, I shared images from our recent Olympic Workshop and also discussed just a few of the many lessons we teach in this beautiful location. Sure, there are the typical scenic shots to capture- but anyone can set up a tripod and take the same old shot. This doesn’t help us grow our visual vocabulary, however. Fine if all you want are the token travel photos!
A keen eye that’s trained to find the beauty in the less-obvious is going to come away with the more interesting and unique shots. While each one may not be a masterpiece unto itself, every shot in which you are mindfully seeking compositions that hold the viewers eye in the frame represents a cognitive effort to improve your artistic eye.
Much like a truly invested fine artist will more often than not have dozens of sketch books of incomplete works, never intending to see the light of day, it’s through this practice of finding a shot where others don’t see one that will translate to taking ALL of your photos to the next level.
In the video above are just a few examples of learning to see beauty and something worth capturing in scenes that others might quite literally walk right by. While you may want the big picture of the old-growth forest, it’s really the misshapen lumps of knotted limbs saturated in moss that show the verdant and wild nature of this location. What appear to be simple shots of limbs and trees are intentionally composed to frame the leading lines to keep the viewer’s eye engaged.
Again, not every shot you take needs to be in consideration to sell as a fine art print. On the contrary, most of your shots, much like the sketches of master fine artists are simple tools to train your eye over time.
Hard to believe it’s been over a year now since we all buckled down to distance in an effort to curb the pandemic! When this whole thing began my staff and I put together this post of some tools that might be useful to help you continue to be productive and creative at home.
Since we aren’t quite out of the woods yet, I figured we could re-heat this post and also solicit YOUR comments below about the tools and processes you’ve been using to stay busy and continue to enhance your photography tool kit – and I can pass your tips along in a future blog post!
Ten Tech Tools of the Trade (In No Particular Order):
AW: Lets get the most obvious tool out of the way first as I’m sure most people are familiar with Adobe’s tools. I spend most of my time in Lightroom, where I use it as both an organizational tool, and to add some post processing to my photos. Most of the tools you’ll find here keep photography at the forefront, simulating many traditional practices in a much more simplified and speedy manner.
AW Staff Note: Art rarely uses Photoshop, however when I’m preparing his photos in final edit for a book project or print, it pays to have more control over the fine details. There are lots of tips out there for things like enhancing sharpness, reducing noise, and much more.
2021 Update: Check out Petapixel’s article on Adobe’s new “Super Resolution” tool for their Camera RAW app – create images 4x the resolution with virtually no loss in quality!
AW: This is a tool I’ve just recently started using. In the past, most de-noise tools operated roughly the same, or at least to my eye seemed to have similar results. This app from Topaz uses a new process to remove nose, and so far it works great.
AW Staff Note: It does take some time to process however, so make sure you have the time to spend getting everything just right, and pack your patience! Not that Art is ever impatient. . .
AW Staff Note: These are tools we use to edit audio and video. It’s not a huge part of what we do, but as they can come packaged with the other adobe tools we use it doesn’t hurt to have them. Premier is used primarily for cutting and editing video clips; AfterEffects is kinda like photoshop for video, and Audition is for editing sound clips to remove things like echo, mic popping, etc. . . they are complicated programs but just simple enough that most things you might need to do, you can find a tutorial online to get you through it.
AW Staff Note: Yep. Art doesn’t use this one himself either, but when we are working with video files, they are often for the web and therefore require slightly less fidelity than if we were say, creating an HD TV show with all the Audio/Video bells and whistles. But you also want to start with the best possible quality. That means huge video files. Handbrake is a great (and free) tool for taking huge video files and turning them into smaller video files that still look and sound great, with a lot of tuning available to get the result you want.
AW: Ah! Now we are speaking my language again. Currently I’m living in Keynote working on Pathways to Creativity, a new series of seminars that will be divided into chapters and made available for download, aiming for this fall! These programs are simple enough. I create all of my presentations in Keynote, whether it’s for an epic stage or a slide show at home. Lightroom does have a built-in slide-show feature as well, but Keynote gives me more control.
AW Staff Note: Powerpoint and Keynote are similar so if you’re on a windows-based computer, PP might be your option. They mostly play nice together, but aren’t without some small issues if you’re going back and forth.
AW: I don’t personally use Photoshelter often, but I have their plug-in installed in Lightroom. When I export my photos it can be pre-set to upload automatically to Photoshelter assuming I have an internet connection, so staff back home can see my latest photos.
AW Staff: Photoshelter is a great way to store, organize, and share your photos online. We use it to drive our stock site and host innumerable images. We’ve had very few if any service interruptions or down time in my experience with it. There are a lot of options for sharing your work, and also protecting it with watermarking and small file downloads.
AW: This one goes without saying – if you’re taking photos, share them! And follow me – maybe you’ll get a follow back – in fact, if you leave your handle in the comments below, I’ll be sure to do so.
AW Staff: One thing you’ll notice about Art’s Instagram page is that we try to avoid the square crop when possible and aim to preserve Art’s preferred aspect ratio for his images. We accomplish this in a simple manner – a square background slightly off white (RGB all set to 251), and then size the image to fit within the square.
AW Staff: YouTube gets more traction, but I find Vimeo to be more user friendly. The best solution is to use both if you’re using these tools for promotion. Don’t forget about the Handbrake tip – you don’t want to spend hours uploading a huge video that is going to soak up your storage space!
AW: Having a place to dump or receive files on the road or while travelling is incredibly useful. Both DropBox and Google Drive are good options and easy to use. Photoshelter is limited to just photographs, so having another way to store and transfer other file types online is necessary.
AW Staff: Another shout out to wetransfer.com as well, a free service (with some paid options) where you can send files to people to download via emailed link.
AW Staff: Last but not least with everyone working from home these days, we use GoToMyPC.com to connect to the office. We’ve never had any issues using it, and after the initial setup it’s very easy to use. There’s also a file-sharing option to make transferring files between computers easy and painless.
AW: Well, that rounds out today’s list, though there are plenty of other tech tools out there. Comment below if you have any additions or suggestions for things we should be taking a look at while we have the time to do so.