In this video shot on location in New Zealand, Art discusses the equipment used to compliment ideal overcast lighting to take photos in a forest of trees, moss, and lichens. The overcast lighting provides the perfect opportunity to capture the many layered textures of the forest without the distracting shadows and highlights of sunny direct lighting that can often hide or blow out the fine details.
Along with the overcast lighting, a longer lens to focus on areas of interest, and a shutter release with tripod to minimize movement, Art is able to capture the immense detail of the thick verdant forest.
Even in an environment with an abundance of interesting detail to focus on, like the Pancake Rocks of the South Island of New Zealand, sometimes stepping back with a wide angle lens to give context to those details is the best way to capture them. It can be easy to get caught up in the surreal nature of an unfamiliar landscape and focus too much on the alien details of something you won’t find anywhere else in the world, but it’s that contrast with the more familiar surroundings that can make them feel even more unique.
Here I’ve used a 16mm wide angle lens with, at the time, my Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III. A shutter speed of 1/60th froze the waves in the background while an aperture at ƒ10 ensured the subject of the pancake rocks were captured in full detail. The bright day allowed for a low ISO of 100, so very little noise infiltrates the image.
Last week I posted about additions and changes to my upcoming workshop schedule, and I wanted to take some time to expand on this as they begin to fill up. Despite the lack of bright sunny weather, spring is here. The days are longer, and the overcast lighting is perfect for the purposes of taking photographs in the beautiful landscapes of the Pacific northwest.
In less than a month, I’ll be leading a Columbia River Gorge workshop. From waterfall-laden rainforests to grasslands, this workshop will encompass a variety of subject matter – and good food from local restaurants to boot! My goal is to not only provide tips and techniques for shooting the varied landscape, but I’m also excited to announce that we will be lending 6-stop neutral density filters to participants to use for nighttime captures of waterfalls. I’ll also provide all participants with personalized copies of my how-to book, The Art of the Photograph.
As of this post there are six spots remaining to join me, but with only weeks to go it will fill up quickly!
I’ve scheduled another Lake Quinault retreat for October. Not only will we be photographing one of the more lush and green rainforests you’ll find, we are also providing a full day of instruction on Adobe Lightroom, as well as printing tips on EPSON printers. Come away from this workshop with new skills in the field, a better understanding of powerful and affordable photo editing and organizational software, and beautiful print or two!
We are a couple weeks away from Photography As Art in Scottsdale, Arizona at the Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts on May 13th. Sign up now to spend the day hanging out with me and learn how a lifetime of photography and a background in art can change the way you see the world around you. Be inspired to capture interesting and unique images!
While browsing my website, you may have also come across a couple new additions. Many people have asked me about the equipment I use in the field, and to that end we’ve created the Art Wolfe Recommended Gear page. All items listed here are items I use in the field or in some cases as I travel or edit my photos. The Featured Partners on this page are also all companies who’s products we use both in the field and in our office.
We’ve also launched the Pro Tours page – workshops led by my associates Gavriel Jecan, Sean Fitzgerald, and Yuri Choufour. I can’t be everywhere at once, and these instructors have traveled a great deal with me over the years.
Lastly, enjoy some of my latest exhibitions and photos! I was recently in Hamburg, Germany and cut the ribbon on my first ever open-air exhibit, Meisterhaft Getart. Over 50 large format prints from my book Vanishing Act are on display for free all day all night on the streets of Hamburg’s Überseequartier through June 30ths. If you find yourself in Germany, check it out!
I’ve also recently returned from central Africa, where little shade and 110 degree temperatures made for a grueling trip – but I couldn’t be happier with the variety of wildlife I was able to capture. On the ground, I was happy to find a variety of wildlife mingling within each shot. From the sky, we were able to capture the magnificent elephant herds who’ve come together in search of dwindling water sources, and in unity against the attacks of poachers in the region.
Some of the most common questions I receive from photographers of all skill levels and backgrounds are in regards to the equipment I use and recommend. While I always emphasize the importance of understanding fundamental art and design principles first and foremost when it comes to taking great photos, finding the right equipment in a sea of options can be understandably overwhelming.
I’ve put together a gear page you can check out here that highlights some of the equipment I use and recommend, as well as some of the brands and companies I trust. Bookmark this page and check back often, as I’m constantly trying out new equipment!
At San Cristobal & Floreana Islands I was able to capture some wonderful shots of the local bird life, and the Galapagos sea lions were all too willing to show off for the camera. I purchased a generic light weight camera housing along the way to ensure I could get these under water shots, although I was admittedly a little weary of putting my new Canon 1DX into the water in a setup that I hadn’t tested before and trust it would not leak, but no guts no glory! The payoff made the risky endeavor worth while as the sea lions gave us quite a show. I also managed to capture schools of fish as well as some boobies looking for a meal.
I couldn’t be happier with what we were able to find on this trip. The local wildlife has been an incredible host for our group.
I usually shoot with a 16-35mm or a 70-200mm. However, when I know I am going to be getting a chance to photograph wildlife, like Brown Bears in Katmai, I bring along something longer. Shot on location in Katmai National Park, Alaska, USA.
Keep your eyes peeled for an announcement on an exciting Katmai event coming soon!
Along with great exhibits, demos and informational talks, I am the special guest speaker and will be doing my Earth Is My Witness presentation! Also, click through to the festival information to learn about their print contest.
Iceland is a wonderland of volcanic landscapes and this was a great place to try out the new Canon EOS 5DS R, which is even superior to the 5DS I shot with earlier in May. This camera is not about pushing the ISO boundaries into the stratosphere, rather it’s about amazing details in the enlargement. The 5DS R offers much more clarity in the shadow and highlight details, a greater dynamic range, in addition to its obvious pixel packing punch in huge installations. I also like the familiar feel and weight of the camera vs. moving away from the 35mm look and feel to a medium or large format type body. This will be a game changer for packing in a camera with this resolution capability to remote locations where gear weight is an issue.
Traveling with photography gear can be a pain, especially if you are not sure what to bring and what to leave at home. Here are the basics that I take with me on every trip, and it all fits in one backpack! Filmed on South Georgia Island.
The new-look PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine goes on sale now worldwide. It includes an 8 page interview with Art by David Clark.
Subscribe to PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine before June 15th and you’ll get their entire special 100th issue (not just the 4 pages shown here) plus the Ultimate Canon Handbook for free! That means you’ll get 14 issues in a 1 year subscription, wherever you are in the world.