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 Creativitydropped 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!
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!
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!
In early August, five photographers gathered in western Washington for a journey into the wild landscapes of Olympic National Park. Not so unusual… except for the way we met.
We met each other through Art Wolfe’s Facebook page.
When Brigitte Lucke (from Mallorca, Spain) announced she was coming to Seattle in early August, Emily M. Wilson, Victoria Hobbs Braden, Carol Ann Morris (that’s me) (all from western Washington), and Kathy Pfeifer Hansen (from Oregon) were quickly on-board to grab gear and go shoot. A cabin (The “Twilight Eclipse”) was found in Forks, Washington, and the trip was set. Olympic National Park gave us cascading waterfalls (Marymere and Sol Duc), zen-like landscapes (Cape Flattery), beach sunsets (Rialto), and silhouettes and sand formations (Ruby Beach). Add in bald eagles, turkey vultures, cedar waxwings, and it became an extraordinary adventure! Then we were off to Hurricane Ridge (at 4am) for a blazing sunrise and dramatic moonset (the views of each just 500 feet apart). Next was Obstruction Point, where we spotted a sunning marmot, and a cautious ptarmigan with her flock.
We ended our journey in Seattle, at Emily’s home. The super moon, houseboats, a paddle-boarder that somersaulted for our cameras, a Lebanese toddler, flying kites, Tibetan monks, Korean girls, Seattle at night, a lightening storm, visiting Art at his home… it was all one big grand photo op. We felt as if we’d known each other for months, not just the seven days since Brigitte first stepped off the train in Seattle.
A big heart-felt thanks from all of us, Art. Because of you, we connected.
This has become a wonderful circle of friends because of Art. I am so fortunate to have met Art last October and to go outside my comfort zone in an effort to meet the others. I have not only learned a great deal in the last 10 months, but have gained so many friends. I feel blessed.
Art book publisher extraordinaire (Johsel Namkung – A Retrospective) and photographer Dick Busher is having a small show of his personal images at the Sand Point Grill in Seattle’s Laurelhurst neighborhood. The prints will be on display during August and September.
This will be his first show of personal work in many years, a “coming out again” event, so to speak, now that he is retired from the world of commercial photography.
The images are nature/landscape in genre, mostly close ups. The sizes range from 20 x 16 to 44 x 55 inches. Digital inkjet prints made from scans of 4 x 5 inch color transparencies.
The Sand Point Grill is a wonderful restaurant. The Bartlesons are the owners/chefs. He does the entrees, and she does the deserts. They also have a full bar. Hours are 5 – 10pm, Monday to Sunday. The food is fantastic. The address is 5412 Sand Point Way NE, about a mile NE from Children’s Hospital.
Look what I discovered in one of my trees when I was pruning with my friend!
If you create a natural habitat you soon get wild animals to share the space with. I unfortunately left for a trip right after discovering these cute little guys and figured they would fly the nest before my return. I sent requests to several of my friends to go photograph them while I was away. My assistant Libby Pfeiffer made it up there over the weekend and got some nice shots. She reported the mother was vary concerned about her presence, and would only land on the opposite side from her camera. You can see how much they grew in a few short days! Also, I want to mention to those near Seattle, if you want to check out my garden, it will be part of the West Seattle Garden Tour on July 20th. I will be there to greet visitors and sign books.
Award-winning author and photographer David FitzSimmons has a unique approach to animal portraiture, and he loves sharing it with kids. Instead of seeking rare animals in exotic locations, David photographs common animals—many found in your own backyard—against plain, white backgrounds, producing detailed close-up images that motivate children and their families to appreciate and explore nature. The striking images are the visual foundation of his Curious Critters children’s picture book series. Volume one (2011) won five national book awards and sold over 100,000 copies. Curious Critters Volume Two, featuring amazing animals from across North America, will be released in February.
David FitzSimmons is an award-winning freelance photographer and writer. His first book in the Curious Critters series won the coveted IBPA Bill Fisher Award for best first book (children’s/young adult). A Sigma Pro photographer, David has exhibited works at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, the National Center for Nature Photography, and the Telluride Photo Festival. He is a life-long educator, teaching students from kindergarten to college. Currently David is an Associate Professor at Ashland University. He has appeared on ABC, CBS, and NBC-TV. You can see more of David’s photography at www.fitzsimmonsphotography.com.
FitzSimmons’ unconventional approach to wildlife photography allows animals’ colors, textures, shapes, and seeming “personalities” to shine through. “Kids focus on the animals. That’s when the learning begins,” David explains. “They focus on and notice clues about animals’ behaviors, diets, life cycles, and habitats.” The first image in Curious Critters Volume Two is a monarch butterfly preparing for its 2,000 mile flight from Milkweed, Minnesota, to Oyamel Fir Forest, Mexico.
In writing the Curious Critters children’s picture books, David imagined that each critter talked to him during its portrait session and that he just wrote down what was said. The audiobooks for Curious Critters Volumes One and Two capture the sometimes calm, other times excited, and occasionally irascible personalities David envisioned. For the audiobook version of the conversation among four recently-born Eastern cottontail rabbits, David cast his two oldest daughters and two nieces for the voiceovers.
Besides the extraordinary photography, each of the twenty animals in Curious Critters Volume Two gets a chance to tell its story. The indigo bunting talks about calls in his “song neighborhood.” The indigo bunting reports that some “songbirds complain because I repeat myself, but I enjoy saying things twice, sometimes in very long songs. Sweet! Sweet! Chew! Chew! Where? Where? Here! Here! Sweeter! Sweeter! Chew! Chew! What! What! Sweet! Sweet!”
Curious Critters Volume Two is not only entertaining but also educational. Before David began composing the short vignettes accompanying the photos, he reviewed national science education standards. Curious Critters Volume Two meets all the life science standards for grades K-4, making the nonfiction picture book appeal to teachers, librarians, and education-minded parents. In the narrative alongside the green frog, the powerful male boasts about his healthy diet, including eating his own shed skin. “Hey! if it’s nutritious, I eat it.”
Adding to children’s enjoyment of the Curious Critters series, David partnered with nature-folksinger Foster Brown, who sings the predaceous diving beetle’s song, “Row, Row, Row Your Legs.” Beginning and ending both audiobooks is Foster’s catchy Curious Critters theme song, rich with the bluegrass sounds of guitar, banjo, mandolin, and upright bass.
David hopes that his Curious Critters picture books—featuring captivating animals like the vivid Northern Cardinal—will inspire children and adults to conserve nature. “To protect our natural world, we first have to care about it. I hope that my animal pictures allow people to see common animals—from frogs and fish to beetles and birds—in a whole new and meaningful way. It’s my goal that the close-up photography and playful prose in Curious Critters will captivate readers’ imaginations and motivate them to get outside and interact with nature.”
Curious Critters Volume Two (Wild Iris Publishing, hardback, 32 pp., ISBN 978-1-936607-70-9, $19.95) is available in bookstores, nature centers, museum stores, and other specialty shops, as well as online retailers Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Copies bought directly from Wild Iris Publishing are signed by and, if desired, dedicated by David FitzSimmons.
Check out other Curious Critters media, as well as games, parent and educator materials, sample flipping book pages, and other fun stuff at www.curious-critters.com. You can like Curious Critters on Facebook. To hear samples from the Curious Critters audiobooks, including tracks from Curious Critters Volume One, or to purchase MP3s or CDs of the audiobooks, visit the Audiobooks page on www.wildirispublishing.com.
What’s up next for David?
David can’t wait to share a variety of sea creatures with children and families. Coming soon is Curious Critters: Marine. Meet fish, birds, crustaceans and other animals from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as the Gulf of Mexico. Hear what the black sea bass, candy stripe shrimp, pencil urchin, crested puffin, California sea slug, horseshoe crab, roseate spoonbill, blue lobster, and other salty Curious Critters have to say! Available Fall 2014.
This three day workshop was filled with intensive field sessions. Art’s goal was to work closely with each participant to really transform and refine their skills. An image can have the power to stimulate the imagination and intellect while also telling a story that awakens the senses. He challenged them to explore the nature of creativity and discover ways to bring its power to each image.
Everyone that attended explored photography and the subjects that were presented more thoroughly than they ever had before. They all walked away with a new perspective on photography and a new found inspiration.
Photographs featured by:
Kevin & Kyle Mullen
“Kyle and I really enjoyed the workshop and Art helped me see and create some great images that I wouldn’t have considered before the workshop. I look forward to the next time I can travel with Art for some more great images.”
Mendocino, California native Justin Lewis was nurtured in the raw and rustic Pacific Northwest, where he honed a keen eye for capturing images that instill wonder and inspire action. Having traveled to over forty five countries and featured in many major global magazines, Justin has woven his photography career seamlessly into his lifestyle of exploration and conservation. As an artist, Justin finds inspiration in beauty, and finds beauty in nature.
Justin has spent the last two years dedicating his life to an eight phase photo-documentary project called 70 Degrees West. The project follows a single line of longitude from Greenland to Antarctica, illustrating the impact our modern civilization has on fragile eco-regions and cultures who dwell there. His photography hopes to expand global awareness of environments at risk by capturing the extreme landscape while also giving a voice to the battles each region faces both environmentally and socially. For more information, including slide shows and two video shorts, visit www.70degreeswest.com For more of Justin Lewis’s photography, visitwww.justinlewis.com
Here are a few images from Phase I – Greenland: Thule Hunter
It is said that Greenland’s Inuit name, Kalaallit Nunaat, means “The Land of Man.” To the Greenlandic natives, it is home, where the dark days and sunlit nights demand the human spirit to endure at all costs. Here, a sled driver and dog team rest for a moment under the arch of a looming translucent blue iceberg frozen in the sea ice.
The life of a dog sled driver is one of patience and discipline. Nine Greenlandic Arctic dogs rest during a long trek across the ice. Greenlandic Arctic sled dogs are only exist north of the Arctic Circle and found no where else in the world.
The magic of Northern Greenland’s midnight sun is filled with stunning beauty and extreme isolation. This image was taken at 3 o’clock in the morning where a tidal pond formed on the surface of the sea ice. Salt water was forced up through cracks in the sea ice as the oceans tide came up.
Spring time comes to Ilulissat, Greenland and the fisherman begin to venture out into the recently broken chunks of looming sea ice. Eager to get out fishing, some fisherman launch their boats into the Arctic waters, delicately navigating through chunks and sheets of ice.
Thomas Martika Qujaukitsoq was born in Qaanaaq, Greenland, one of the northern most municipalities in the world. He wears a reindeer jacket his grandmother hand-stitched for him when he was a young man. Although he has hunted extensively through the surrounding landscape, he has never traveled to any other part of the world. His home is Qaanaaq, his life is that of hunting, fishing, and driving his dog sled. He says, “I drive my dog sled because it is my culture and my life. It will always be like that.”
During the warmer months, massive icebergs calve from the glacier head and slowly drift through vast fjords. Certain icebergs can float for many years, very slowly melting and breaking into smaller chunks of ice.
I had the chance to take a chilly dive under the sea ice during our photo expedition in Ilulissat, Greenland. Dressed in a dry suit and specialized arctic gear, it was ethereal and thrilling. Having a ceiling of ice above me and no sight of a sea floor, it felt other-worldly.