OPTIC ALL-STARS 2020 Virtual Event – This Sunday/Monday!

The OPTIC 2020 Conference is happening this Sunday and Monday! Things have obviously shifted to a virtual venue- however, that’s made time to ramp up with tons of content for this event!

Frans Lanting and I will be the keynote speakers. For my part, I will be discussing international wildlife, and it’s status in the age of man – with a showcase of a lifetime’s worth of wildlife photography to accompany my perspective on how things have changed over the course of five decades now of being a world traveler.

My segment will be available at 1 PM Eastern / 10 AM Pacific on Monday, November 23rd with a Zoom Q&A to follow!

Also, the OPTIC challenge returns with another exciting round of contests. Upon registration, submit your photos to win your share of over $13,000 worth of prizes!

Registration is free – Sign up today!

mountain ridge

RSVP Now For OPTIC All-Stars Outdoor & Travel Photo Conference!


I’m excited to announce my participation with B&H Photo once again for this year’s OPTIC 2020 Conference! Things have obviously shifted to a virtual venue- however, that’s made time to ramp up with tons of content for this event!

Myself and Franz Lanting will be the keynote speakers. For my part, I will be discussing international wildlife, and it’s status in the age of man – with a showcase of a lifetime’s worth of wildlife photography to accompany my perspective on how things have changed over the course of five decades now of being a world traveler. My segment will be available at 1 PM Eastern / 10 AM Pacific on Monday, November 22nd with a Zoom Q&A to follow.

Also, the OPTIC challenge returns with another exciting round of contests. Upon registration, submit your photos to win your share of over $13,000 worth of prizes!

Registration is free – Sign up today!

mountain ridge

Workshop Wednesday – Introducing Abstract Port Townsend!


After a scouting trip last week I have made the executive decision to switch the upcoming Abstract Astoria workshop location to beautiful Port Townsend on the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula. It offers just as much or more photo opportunities and I am particularly smitten with the bunkers at Fort Worden State Park, the waterfront, and the wonderful restaurants. Join me there right after the election! We’ll all need a bit of a respite!

Of course, we are keeping our workshops to safe and small groups. Only a few spots are left – sign up today!

If you’d like a little more insight into what I’m looking for when on the hunt for intriguing abstract shots, check out last night’s episode of Tequila Time, where I discuss one of the major themes I teach in this and other workshops, as well as my Pathways to Creativity streaming series – expanding your visual vocabulary! Check it out!

mountain ridge

Introducing Art Wolfe’s Assignment & Assessment LIVE Course!


I’ve been overwhelmed with the response to Pathways to Creativity, and one of the most requested features from those who have subscribed has been some kind of assignment and critique component. Given that most workshop participants find the critique session of our workshops, doing an online course with assignments and critiques seems like a no-brainer – now’s your chance to sign up!

We will be offering two different time slots recurring at the same time and day for three weeks – a morning option on Tuesday, October 13th at 10 AM, and an evening course at 6:30 PM beginning on Wednesday, October 14th.

Throughout our three Zoom sessions together in a limited group of roughly 10 participants, I will discuss lessons involved in Pathways to Creativity and task participants with a weekly assignment, which we will review as a group and learn from one and other. These group reviews are in my opinion the very best way to improve as a photographer!

Subscribing to Pathways is NOT a requirement, but it certainly couldn’t hurt! Space is limited – sign up soon!

If you’re interested but the times just don’t work, drop a comment below and let me know what would work for YOU and we will take your input into consideration to schedule future installments of Assignment & Assessment. Hope to talk to you live!

mountain ridge

#FridayVibes – Getting Back To It!

Happy Friday! Apologies for a light week on the blog, but a lot has been going on – I talked about upcoming workshops last night on Tequila Time. It goes without saying, but I will say it anyways – safety first! We take the pandemic seriously, and with an appropriate measured preparations and precautions. As we start traveling again with the hopes of a vaccine on the horizon, I’m taking every precaution to keep myself and our participants safe. We come with masks and hand sanitizer for all participants, and both Gavriel and myself are COVID tested and ready to get out there!

If you’re local to the Pacific Northwest or plan to be in the area soon, We have a few spaces left in upcoming workshops, including one space remaining to join us on the Oregon coast in Bandon next week! The Mt. Rainier Fall Color workshop has sold out – but now is a great time to sign up for next year with early bird pricing.



Above is a photo gallery from the Olympic Peninsula, home to Lake Quinault and setting for an upcoming workshop at the end of the month. Some of these images you might recognize from last evening’s Tequila Time. A couple spaces remain – don’t miss out if you’re aching to get out and shoot!

If you missed it, catch up on last night’s interview with legendary surf photographer Ted Grambeau on Earth Is Our Witness either on Facebook or YouTube. As usual, the EIOW Instagram page has images of all our featured photographers. Come for the fantastic photographs, but stay for the humor and immersive stories our guests have to share!

Last but not least, we have ANOTHER Earth Is Our Witness happening tomorrow at 10 AM PST – this time with Manoocher Deghati. Manoocher has been photographing world events for over four decades including the Iranian revolution in his home country, from which he has been living in exile since 1985 when he was forbidden to leave his home with his camera. There are sure to be some fascinating stories here!

mountain ridge

#FridayFeelilng – TT & EIOW Recap!


Happy Friday everyone! I’m about to head out for an overnight trip to the Mt. Rainier area but before I hit the road I wanted to give a quick update on what’s going.

First things first, the final episode of season 1 of Pathways to Creativity dropped on Tuesday. I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback for the series, and fantastic suggestions have been sent my way for future episodes. Keep them coming! If you’ve been waiting for the whole series to drop before purchasing, now is the time! 13 lessons encompassing nearly 12 hours and hundreds of photos. Most importantly, I’m focusing almost 100% on themes and concepts that are evergreen and don’t require you to be a technical wizard – because I certainly am not!

Comment below with your suggestions – I’m already hard at work on Season 2!


Last night was another fun-filled episode of Tequila Time – now with improved audio for Facebook users! Check it out if you didn’t get to catch it live and remember, all past streams of tequila time are available on Facebook and Instagram.

Following the shenanigans of TT, Canon Master Photographer and author of Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Photography Richard I’Anson joined Parimal and myself on Earth Is Our Witness – our weekly talk with photographers around the globe featuring their work and their perspective on the inspirational people and cultures of the world. Past episodes are also avialable on Facebook and YouTube – and don’t forget to follow EIOW on Instagram for beautiful galleries of work from the featured photographers!

Welp that’s it for me – time to hit the road. See you soon!

mountain ridge

Pathways to Creativity Season 1 is a Wrap & EIOW w/Richard I’anson!

All 13 Pathways to Creativity Season 1 episodes are in the books, and I’m already prepping for season 2. Stay tuned to the blog for updates! The feedback for Season 1 has been tremendous and appreciated. I’ve been meaning to do this for so long that I can’t believe it’s a reality, let alone with 13 episodes in the can. It’s taken hundreds of hours to compile and edit, let alone the nearly five decades of captures that have gone into it. At least my time stuck at home hasn’t been without productivity!

I’m already looking forward to creating Season 2, and implementing all the things we’ve learned along the way. Leave a comment below if you’re a subscriber if you have any suggestions or comments.

Another project that I’ve been enjoying is the Earth Is Our Witness live-stream that Parimal and myself have been doing on Thursday nights following Tequila Time. EIOW is our chance to speak with photographers from all over the world who are bringing awareness and insight into cultures, wildlife, the environment and more. With so much negativity we want to emphasize the good happening, and we want you to join us!

This week’s guest will be Canon Master photographer and Lonely Planet author Richard I’Anson! Join us on Facebook live or Youtube this Thursday at 7 PM Pacific!

mountain ridge

Tequila Time Images, Earth is Our Witness w/Bandeep Signh!


As promised during Tequila Time last night, here are the images from last night’s talk in case you wanted a closer look. As always we can print almost any image you see here, on my website, or anywhere else! Contact my staff and let them know what you’re looking for  – they would be happy to help walk you through the process. If you happen to like an image from this series, just use the “i” button to see the photo info and note the last 3 digits of the file name when you inquire about the image.

In case you missed it, after TT Parimal and myself also had a great talk with Bandeep Singh and his never before seen body of work, “Gaia’s Song”. Check it out, and be sure to follow Earth is our witness on YouTube for more great interviews with photographers about their important work documenting culture, conservation, climate, and more!

mountain ridge

Pathways to Creativity Episode 11: Color Theory is up!

Season 1 of Pathways to Creativity is just about in the books, with a new episode dropping today! This one is all about color – and in some part, lack thereof. I find that while many photographers do focus on important factors like light and composition, color is equally as important but often goes overlooked.

When I shoot, it doesn’t matter if it’s wildlife, culture, abstract, or the landscape – I’m always looking for ways to use color creatively. I also touch briefly on infrared photography, and spend a good chunk of time talking about contrast both high and low.

If you haven’t hopped on board, now is a good time to do so – you can be caught up just in time for the final episodes of season 1 and prepared for more to come!

mountain ridge

Witness with Michelle Valberg & Submit your Tequila Time questions!

Hard to believe it, but we’ve been doing a weekly live broadcast every Thursday night for four months now. If you’ve been missing out and can make it work with your time zone, make sure you follow me on Facebook and Instagram so you don’t miss out on tomorrow’s live broadcast! I need your help though – in the form of more questions! Leave a comment below with anything you might want to know about photography, my career, or something completely random – have fun with it!

We’ve also added Earth Is Our Witness to the mix, which is a fantastic way to get to know some of the world’s greatest photographers some of which you’ve likely heard of, and others you should know! The premise of EIOW is to emphasize the ways that we are, by and large, similar around the world, with the same goals, dreams, and wishes for our friends, our families, and ourselves.

This week on EIOW, we will be talking with Canadian Geographic photographer-in-residence & Nikon Ambassador Michelle Valberg on her work in the Arctic and the inspiring stories behind the lives of the Inuit people who reside there.

Tequila Time kicks off at 5:30 PM PST every Thursday on Facebook Live & Instagram.

Earth is Our Witness begins at 7 PM PST on Thursday on Facebook Live & Youtube.

Enjoy – oh and last but not least, Pathways to Creativity episode 9: Using Light Part 1 is up and available!

mountain ridge