Michael Rainwater just got back from China with Art. His reflections:
Over thirteen days, we travelled to some of the most spectacular scenery in southeastern China – from the Yellow Mountains (Huang Shan) to the rice terraces of Yuan Yang to the Li River, near Guilin. We all came back with images that we are very happy with. I, for one, am ready to go back again, especially to the Yellow Mountains. Though we were able to catch glimpses of rural life in the hill tribe communities, it is obvious that China is changing and modernizing much faster than any of us expected. The time is approaching when it will be difficult to find the “old” China at all. This has been a wonderful experience that was greatly enriched by the instruction and guidance we received from both Art and Jay. These guys are masters.
The weather for last two days of our China workshop were a bit dreary, but the subdued light always makes for saturated color. We finally got the mist in Guilin that we had hoped for earlier in the trip in Huanshan. The precipitous karst mountains are at their moody best wreathed in fog and the spring greens of the bamboo are fully evident. We also revisited the marvelous fishermen who still fish with trained cormorants on the Li River.
For the last 11 days I have been conducting a travel workshop in the heart of China to some of my favorite locations. While the large landscapes have been spectacular, I have been trying to open up my participants to a new way of seeing–looking for the unexpected. The following photos show some of my best images from the past few days, among these include, mud spattered cars that recall the paintings of Jackson Pollock, various wall details that highlight the residue of previous signage, and finally, the bittersweet encounter with a group of trained macaques.
The weather has been beautiful in Huang Shan, but not conducive to good photography. Without good light, there is a whole lot of nothing going on. In spite of this and the huge volume of tourists that now come here, these mountains remain spectacular. We are heading off to the rice paddies south of Kunming & hoping for better shooting conditions.
“Traveling to Japan with Art was a trip I had been wishing to do ever since I saw his Travels to the Edge show on Japan several years ago. This trip exceeded my expectations. Traveling with Art, Gavriel, and our Japanese guides was simply outstanding. It was the hardest trip I have taken as we had to get up around 3 AM many nights to get to our location for sunrise. It was all worth it in the end. We got spectacular light and I feel I made some of my best images on this trip. Our timing for this trip was very fortunate. I arrived after the volcano erupted and left just a few weeks before the earthquake. I really got to see Japan at its best. The people were happy and extremely friendly and helpful. I also feel Art was an outstanding teacher who worked tirelessly everyday to help improve all of our photography.”
Welcome to another international travel workshop, this time friend and fellow photographer Jay Goodrich is accompanying me to China. For the next 14 days we will be traveling through some of the most industrialized parts of China as well as the most rural. We will get to experience multiple cultures and multiple disciplines of photography. Never wanting to waste any time while traveling abroad, Jay and I decided to head out into Shanghai yesterday to look for unique and interesting compositions throughout the city. Here is what we found. The key here is that by trying to push your creativity beyond the standard vision of just recording what you see, you can walk away highlighting a different perspective of the world for your viewer.
In February Becky Jones traveled with Art to Japan. Her thoughts:
It didn’t take me long to realize I was the least experienced of the group and to somewhat, panicked! But my worries were to become non-existent as Art helped me in the field and everyone else on the trip, including Gavriel, pitched in to help me learn more about Lightroom-3 and processing my photos. In the end I learned more on this trip then I have in all the other educational classes I have taken. There is something about riding along on a bus for two hours beside a new friend that is taking the time to show you, on your laptop, how to process your photos for that nights critique. I didn’t even feel bad during the critique as Art pointed out my good points and only what he thought I might do with the photos to improve them. I went home extremely happy as I knew I was now set up to do a much better job of photographing and processing my pictures. I am also signed up for the China trip and can’t wait to try out my new photographic abilities with Art and a new group of what will soon become friends. I had a total blast!!
Alan Sund traveled to Japan with Art Wolfe in February. Here are his thoughts on the experience as well as a few photos.
A wonderful experience! I’ve been a fan of Travels to the Edge for years – and this was great to finally go along with Art to see where and how so many wonderful images were taken, to experience it on a truly personal basis, to learn from the absolute best about how to improve my own wildlife, cultural, and landscape photography, and to practice each day from before dawn until after dusk. And add on top of that, each evening, Art’s excellent lectures and feedback on participants’ images. BTW… the behind the scenes planning was flawless (Art has a great crew). Best part of the trip??? I got to wear Art’s famous wool cap!!! The only way to top this would be to go on multiple tours with Art and Gavriel. Thanks guys!
Hokkaido- And then there are the Whooper Swans. These large birds look so beautiful as they fly or float together. We have had great weather. The warm air from the water provides a cloud of mist that adds to the mystery.