This Earth Day, April 22, 2022, step into a beautiful free virtual exhibition put together by iLCP with contributions from myself and other photographers all over the world. iLCP presents Worry to Wonder: A Climate Story, a virtual exhibit that explores climate issues on a global scale and offers stories of hope and wonder about the beautiful planet we need to invest in to protect. In keeping with the theme of “Invest in Our Planet”, iLCP is offering a print sale of images portrayed in the exhibit. By purchasing images, you are directly investing in the work of our talented Fellowship of professional photographers and filmmakers who have made it our life’s work to protect and conserve our planet.
Follow this link to view our virtual exhibit and support iLCP by purchasing a print!
Two spots are available to join me in Detroit, Michigan in just a couple of weeks for the first ever Abstract Detroit workshop!
Detroit, Michigan is hard to define these days. Restoration projects abound in the urban sprawl that faced decline for many years. Nature preserves and neighborhoods have sprung up along the way, bringing green vitality to what many think of as a grey urban landscape. Modern commercial districts and the arts combine to form a growing down-town, feeling right at home amidst the array of architectural styles that define many middle-American cities.
Our home base will be the beautiful and modern Aloft Detroit at the David Witney, a modern hotel with every amenity providing the foundation for our retreat together. Over the next four days our explorations will provide opportunities to capture images unique to each participant.
I’m often asked by the curious and uninitiated to briefly explain what makes an Art Wolfe workshop unique to any other photography class you could attend. The answer is as simple as it is complicated – I simply want to change the way you see! I feel I’m uniquely qualified with a background in Fine Art and Art History to ensure you get the most growth out of your participation.
Click here for more details and to register. As the theme of today’s post states – there are just two spots left and it’s only two weeks away – don’t hesitate to get signed up and experience the many complimentary aspects of Abstract Detroit!
In less than a month I’ll be heading down the I-5 to Portland to share my Night On Earth presentation with friends and fans from all around the Pacific Northwest at the Portland Art Museum. After a month of travel from South America, Morocco, Spain, and Jerusalem (phew!) it will be nice to be back in the familiar confines of Oregon.
If you’ve never been to an Art Wolfe event, now is your chance! Space is available to come and hear me speak about my most recently published book – Night On Earth – and hear the stories behind the photographs and locations. If you HAVE been to an Art Wolfe event, you know what you’re in for – plenty of photos and lots of fun banter.
With more time spent at home during the production of this book, I’ve been able to create a stunning presentation that highlights the travels, preparation, and insights that went into each and every image. From anecdotes about the shots I was lucky enough to grab serendipitously without much planning at all to those that required months of both myself and my staff preparing for just the right moment, I can promise you won’t come away feeling underwhelmed.
Click the link below for more details on the event, and I hope to see you there!
Recently my staff received the following question in regards to the above image:
“Was this photo a single shot, an HDR composite, or some other technique?”
this is from the good ol’ days when you shot a slide (single exposure in this case) and waited a few months to see if anything turned out…
All the details – Canon EOS-1N, Canon EF 17-35mm lens, f/2.8 at 30 seconds, Fujichrome Provia 400 film, Gitzo G1325 tripod.
The aurora borealis, or the “northern lights” as they are often called is an atmospheric phenomenon that occurs as electrically charged particles from the sun make gases glow in the upper atmosphere. Despite the dryness of this scientific explanation, it is difficult to view the aurora borealis without experiencing a sense of wonderment and mysticism. It remains one of the most dazzling sights in the natural world.
To get this image, I flew to Fairbanks, Alaska, then drove eight hours north to the Brooks Range on the famous pipeline road to Prudhoe Bay. The Brooks Range lies within the Arctic Circle and thus provides a more predictable chance to see the aurora borealis. I timed my journey to coincide with a half moon because the snow-clad range would be properly illuminated by the half moon’s light. A full moon might actually have been too bright during the required 30-second exposure. I discovered that despite the fact that the aurora is in continuous motion, a 30-second exposure is usually fast enough to yield proper exposure and reasonably sharp lines within the displays. When I photographed this display, I was unhappy with its color, which appeared to be a dull, pale green. When I returned home and developed the film, I was delightfully surprised to discover that the film picked up the reds.
This photo is featured in the book “Edge of the Earth, Corner of the Sky” as well as being available as a fine are print.
Are there any photos in my collection you’d like to hear the story behind? Drop a comment below – your suggestion could spark an idea for a future blog post!
There are plenty of reasons that every Summer in late July and early August I return to Katmai Alaska to lead multiple workshops. From a new perspective on a location that’s become very familiar to me, to capturing the kinds of shots of the local bears one simply cannot get anywhere else, it always has something new to offer.
I’ll be back there this year, and there are still some spaces available to join me on both tours – but space is limited!
If you’re still on the fence, here are 10 more reasons to join me in Katmai, Alaska this Summer!
1.) Coastal Brown Bears are beautiful and powerful, and to be in the presence of an animal of this magnitude it is humbling.
2.) Capturing amazing images of these creatures is even more magical. There is no substitute for experience in the field, and I’ll be bringing decades of it to our group as well as our interactions on an individual basis.
3.) We have two dedicated pilots and four planes at our disposal. Not only is this convenient, but it means we have the utmost flexibility to change our plans depending on weather conditions. If the group cannot fly, we can always take the group up to Lake Clark to see the bears fishing for clams, or to see Dick Proenneke’s cabin!
4.) The remote Katmai Coast is the largest intact stretch of uninhabited coastline left in North America, and provides a rich and contextual backdrop for the bears.
5.) The lodge has a top-notch cook, so the group can enjoy delicious meals while reminiscing about the day’s adventures on the tour.
6.) Late July and early August is the peak of the salmon run, and is why we reserve these times with our local experts and accommodations well in advance. The rivers are running with beautiful red salmon, which is an excellent secondary element for fantastic photographs.
7.) I’ve been such a frequent visitor of this location that I can recognize individual bears by sight and in many cases can predict their behavior and identify their strengths, giving us a distinct leg up in capturing them at their best. If an individual is known to be an expert fisher, rest assured I can point them out to ensure we capture the best possible action on the river!
8.) We work with the local lodge owner whom scouts the area before our group arrives to ensure we have a good idea of where the bears are going to be. This cuts down the amount of hiking the group needs to do so we can get right into photographing.
9.) We always find several mothers with young cubs and they are generally not intimidated by humans, so our groups can sit and photograph the cubs as they run and play for hours if we like.
10.) If it hasn’t become clear already, this is a region I know like the back of my hand, and we’ve spent several years working with the same local folks to ensure as much consistency as possible. So few variables and unknowns means I’ll have more time to spend directly working with participants to ensure they all come away with stunning photos!
Check out the events page for more information. These workshops always sell out, so reserve your spot today to ensure you don’t miss out!
On March 14, 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt established Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, along Florida’s Atlantic coast, as the first unit of what would become the National Wildlife Refuge System. There are now more than 560 refuges across the country that protect species and the landscapes they depend upon for survival.
My favorite refuge is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. After rafting rivers in the refuge several times over the years, I filmed an episode of Travels to the Edge there in 2006, which can now be streamed online!
You never know what you will find when wandering around a city with a camera in hand. When light and subject and circumstance come together, magic can occur.
In this particular case, the facts behind the shot are nothing special. Workers had been putting gravel onto the parking lot of a restaurant in Panjim, Goa, which kicked a lot of dust into the air. Pedestrians were simply going about their business. However, when backlit by a late sun, the scene became street art–performance art. The activity of putting gravel down created an amazing atmosphere for a nicely layered image.
Standing back from the scene, I used a 70–200mm zoom, which enabled me to shoot a series of shots without interfering with the people so that they would not pay attention to my presence. I positioned myself looking directly into the late afternoon light so that the dust kicked into the air would be filled with light. I was not so much concerned about capturing details and faces of the people, as much as I was with the positions of the bodies within the frame. I kept shooting and reframing the shot as the scene changed every couple of seconds when the workers threw on the next load of gravel and different people came through the scene. I love the layering effect of the light and dust that comes from the backlight.
Photo tip: Dust, rain, humidity, fog, haze all add dimension to a scene when shot with backlight, light behind the conditions. It creates atmosphere and interesting changes in tonality and light, as well as creating layers in depth. Be careful that bright atmospheric conditions do not cause your camera to underexpose the scene.
Camera & settings used: Canon EOS-1Ds, EF 70–200mm F2.8 lens, f/7.1 for 1/160 sec., ISO 100
Celebrations abound for Lunar New Year among Asian cultures, with various Buddhist traditions marking the occasion. I’ve been fortunate to have experienced the festivities myself in person several times. Some fond memories:
In 2005, I visited Labrang Monastery in the Gansu province of China to witness the unfurling of a thangka – a large tapestry of painted cotton usually depicting a scene from the Buddhist belief system and way of life. The tapestry is carried by the monks up the long hill where it is unfurled and displayed above the monastery.
A few years later, I visited Bhutan and photographed the prayer flags and temple dancers that constitute a part of their lunar new year traditions. The prayer flags have come up several time in my talks and lessons, which might be an indicator of just how fascinated I was with this location. Prayers are inscribed on flags that have been erected in the loftiest, windiest heights so that the gusts turn the flags into tatters and send the prayers scattering to the heavens one fiber at a time.
Finally, in more recent years I witnessed the Setsubun Festival in Japan where elaborate costumes and traditions such as throwing packets of roasted soy beans and burning tree boughs wards off the lingering evil spirits of the previous year and bringing hope to the new one.
Happy year of the Tiger! Enjoy the image gallery above, and check out the episode of Travels to the Edge on Bhutan to learn more about this truly unique culture.
I’m pleased to be joining B&H Photo Video and the National Parks At Night organization to discuss my most recent book Night On Earth in a couple weeks. How might you catch my talk and many MANY more insights into photographing between dusk and dawn? I’m glad you asked!
The Night Photography Summit
More than 25 presenters teaching over 40 classes and participating in 3 panel discussions on the subject of night photography
February 4 – 6, 2022 – with access for all participants to all recordings of the summit presentations through February 7, 2023!
Everything will be online – find out more information on the official Night Photo Summit Page by clicking here.
You’re a photographer of any skill level who wants to up your knowledge of shooting at night, astrophotography, and much much more!
I also have a number of new workshops being added in the coming months. It’s been tough to navigate the calendar with how fast things change in terms of COVID, but my staff is getting quite good at it and we take every precaution. We may not be able to buy happiness, but we can purchase a little peace of mind in the form of travel insurance and I highly recommend utilizing it, especially during these *deep breath* unprecedented times.
I’ll be LIVE in Seattle next week for another talk at Town hall Seattle – this time discussing my new book Night On Earth – and I’m thrilled to be joined by Ruskin Hartley of the International Dark-Sky Association. Ruskin is an expert on the subject of light pollution and the efforts to preserve the deep, dark night skies that allow us to view the heavens and the trillions stars that surround us – among many other conservation efforts!
Town Hall Seattle – The Forum
1119 8th Ave (Entrance off Seneca St.)
Seattle, Washington 98101
Nighttime is wonderfully mysterious, beautiful, and full of a certain kind of energy — and most of the time, we diurnal humans sleep right through it. Have you ever wondered what would happen if you could not only stay awake for it all but also peek in on what’s happening at night across the entire planet?
In his newest book, Night on Earth, acclaimed photographer Art Wolfe gives us a glimpse of nature, animals, and human activity on every continent, after the sun goes down. Blazing sunsets over Antarctic ice. Night markets pulsing with activity in Morocco. Glittering star trails over the Australian outback. Colonies of penguins awaking to the dawn. Wolfe reveals it all through a dazzling compilation of photos that Sir David Attenborough calls “…a suburb evocation of some of the most breathtaking spectacles in the world.”
Wolfe takes the Great Hall stage to present slides and share stories of his travels, the process of creating the book, and the fine art of picture-making at night.
Art Wolfe is an American photographer and conservationist, best known for color images of landscapes, wildlife, and indigenous cultures. His photographs document scenes from every continent and hundreds of locations, and have been noted by environmental advocacy groups for their stunning visual impact. Wolfe has created millions of images in his lifetime and travels nearly nine months out of the year photographing for new projects, leading photographic tours and seminars, and giving inspirational presentations.
Ruskin Hartley is the CEO and Executive Director at The International Dark-Sky Association, where he champions equitable access to dark skies and quality lighting for all through IDA’s award-winning programs. Prior to his position with IDA, Ruskin directed and managed conservation programs that protect land, water, and ocean resources. He has served as executive director of Save the Redwoods League, as president and CEO of Heal the Bay in Los Angeles, and as vice president of resource development at Fair Trade USA.