#WorkshopWednesday – 10 Reasons To Join the Carmel-by-the-Sea Retreat!

This May, I’ll be making a return trip to California’s Monterey Coast originating in stunning Carmel-by-the-Sea with an exclusive opportunity to join limited to just six participants. Assisted by my associate Gavriel Jecan, decades of experience will be available to support you in capturing the beauty synonymous with this location. However, the picturesque landscapes of the coastline are only the beginning, as we will delve into the abstract and many of the themes prevalent in my Abstract workshops and my Photography As Art seminar.

A retreat in a paradise, an exclusive small-group setting, two instructors, and the many lessons and themes of my popular abstract workshops and seminars – What more do you need? Well, fortunately, I have answers here!

Without further ado, here are the Top 10 Reasons to Attend the Carmel-by-the-Sea Retreat in May!

1. A retreat in paradise – a gorgeous location on California’s fabled Monterey Bay!

2. At only six maximum participants and two instructors, you’ll get plenty of one-on-one time with us to answer any and all of your questions and provide direction to ensure you get the absolute most out of your time.

3. Go kayaking and photograph otters with the world’s premier nature photographer; if you’ve never kayaked before, rest assured we will have trained guides so you can focus on your photos!

4. Great food! This is a region famous for it’s cuisine – join myself and Gavriel every evening to discuss the day’s shooting.

5. Explore the region that inspired the likes of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston.

6. Get your photography portfolio reviewed! Gavriel Jecan and myself will look at everyone’s work and provide constructive feedback that you’ll be able to carry with you onto future trips.

7. Receive a copy of my limited edition book HUMAN CANVAS.

8. Experiential learning at its best. It’s my hope that the lessons you learn on this retreat will be referenced on your travel and photography adventures moving forward.

9. Through lectures, critiques, and instruction in the field, we’ll cover many aspects of my Photography As Art workshop – now is your chance to go all out and put the topics discussed into action!

10. New friends with alike interests – many a friendship has been forged thanks to the balance of levity and learning on our workshops. Here is an opportunity to meet fellow travel and photography enthusiasts!

Spaces on this retreat are extremely limited, and some are already spoken for – sign up today to ensure your spot!

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#ThursdayThoughts – Plan Your 2019 Travel & Join Me On a Workshop!

Is it a little late to say Happy New Year? Perhaps ‘Be my Valentine’ would be more appropriate. Time flies when you’re out and about photographing like I have been here in the Pacific Northwest (owls), California (bobcats), and Yellowstone (wolves). A few of these predator photos are bound to make it into a top secret book project I am working on. Shhh – don’t tell anyone!

When looking forward at your 2019 schedule, consider joining me for a workshop! I’m excited about what we have in store for the coming year, with diverse locations both new and familiar. Whether you’re looking to join me somewhere exotic and share an adventure or attend one of our recurring fan-favorites, I’ve got a lot on the calendar.

Every day was a learning experience and loads of fun as well! Thank you for being so open to sharing your skills and knowledge. I’m continuing to put this into practice.”
-Elane Z.

New on the workshop front is a retreat in beautiful Carmel-by-the-Sea in May. We had so much fun last year we’re going back! We’ll be concentrating on abstract photography along this glorious coastline, kayaking with sea otters, and critiquing our results every day. I am offering an earlybird special through February 15th. Please note that this workshop is limited to a small group of 6, and all participants will receive a limited edition Human Canvas book along with a print (a $1400+ value!)

“I enjoyed…the challenges of working in different environments…and I met people from all over the world…Thanks for doing what you do and sharing your love of nature…You make us all better stewards and people…”
-Cheri A.

When considering any workshop take a look at ratio of instructors/guides to participants. My assistants and I strive to deliver whether you are a seasoned photographer or just starting out, whether this is your first workshop with me or your fourth.

 

 “A workshop with Art Wolfe is so much more that a photo shoot at a beautiful location. It is an opportunity to grow and try new things with a master artist and superb teacher.”
– Bill O.

 

I look forward to meeting new friends and seeing old friends on my travels this year! My goal is nothing less than to change the way you see.

Wishing You the Best of Light! Click an image or description below to find out more about all of my upcoming workshops!

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#WildlifeWednesday – New Photos from Yellowstone!

Not even the government can shut down Yellowstone! This vast volcanic caldera has always delivered photographically for me. I headed out with some close friends and in a few short days were able to photograph wolves, coyotes, bison, otters, and two horns, big & prong. I caught one otter rolling and gamboling in the snow and sliding across the ice of the Yellowstone River; and there was an energetic young ram who put on quite a show leaping back and forth across a rocky hillside.

Enjoy the photos – more to come soon from Japan. It’s just days away, but two spaces have just opened up. There is also one spot remaining to join me on a trip to India in March to photograph the Holi festival as well as tigers – grab it before it’s gone!

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#ThrowbackThursday – Kumbh Mela in India


Much has been made of the Kumbh Mela lately because it is such an extraordinary event – a mass Hindu pilgrimage, largest in the world. Each Kumbh, tens of millions of pilgrims descend upon one of four Indian cities to celebrate and bathe in sacred rivers.

The location for the Kumbh Mela rotates each time, roughly every three years, with smaller celebrations occurring at each city during various off-years. These dates are dictated by the Vikram Samvat,  or historical Hindu calendar.

I’ve had the pleasure of visiting during this spectacular event multiple times throughout my career:

2001 – Allahabad

This visit to Kumbh Mela ended up producing one of my most popular images – Spiritual Journey.

2007 – Allahabad

I returned in Allahabad in 2007 for the “Ardh” or “half” Kumbh Mela with our Travels to the Edge crew. This trip is featured in Travels to the Edge: Season 1, episode 11.

2010 – Haridwar

2013 – Allahabad

This occasion was a “Maha” or “Great” Kumbh Mela – over 120 million people attended!

If you’re ever able to attend this historic spiritual event, it’s well worth the trip to witness the spirituality and dedication of the pilgrims who attend. Though popularity and exposure has risen over recent years, it’s a sacred event that exemplifies spirituality through the dedication and sacrifice. Rarely seen in the public eye, the Kumbh Mela offers a rare chance to witness the emergence of the sadhus, or holy men, who spend most of their lives in isolated meditation and deprivation who come and further display their dedication through discomfort as they bathe in the melted glacial waters of their sacred rivers.

An upcoming Ardh Kumbh Mela takes place this year in Allahabad (officially known as Prayagraj), and the next Kumbh Mela will happen in 2022 at Haridwar.

 

 

 

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#TravelTuesday – Early Bird Special for Lake Quinault Retreat This Fall!

The Lake Quinault Retreat that we have put together is fast becoming one of my most popular workshops. The small-group setting in conjunction with accommodations at the esteemed and historic Lake Quinault Lodge sets the stage for the quintessential Pacific Northwest experience in the lush Quinault Rain Forest. I’ve been visiting this location for many years, and yet I always find new experiences and subjects to focus on. There’s simply never enough time! And this is specifically why you visit with an expert – my thorough knowledge of the area will allow us to adjust our shooting plans on the fly, whether it be for weather conditions or simply the group’s desire to explore the various features of this location.

For a limited time we are offering an Early Bird discount on this retreat – save a few bucks and treat yourself to an engaging, instructive get-away in this iconic location on the Olympic Peninsula. Couples are welcome on this trip as well, so if you’d like to roll your photographic excursion into a get-away with a partner, they are welcome to join us for critiques and meals.

Sign up today to lock in your spot!

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Technique Tuesday – Tilt-Shift Lens

Since they are a niche piece of equipment, not everyone is familiar with what exactly a tilt-shift lens is and what they are used for. Admittedly, I’ve only used them sparingly in my career. Speaking in simple terms, a tilt-shift lens is a lens that allows the optics to tilt and rotate in relation to the image sensor on your camera.

When you take a photo with a standard lens, your lens and the sensor create planes of the same angle. At a wide aperture, everything in front of and behind your focus point will gradually become more out of focus. Using a tilt-shift lens, you can achieve more control over what is or is not in focus by having greater control of your focusing planes, therefore keeping more of the image both in and out of focus, depending on what you’re looking for. It should be noted that there is no auto-focus available on T/S lenses.

You can use this flexibility to achieve a number of desired outcomes. Although on short notice prior to my trip my Canon rep was unable to get me the lens, I was able to rent the Canon TS-E 135mm f/4L MACRO from borrowlenses.com and use to great effect while photographing a king penguin colony on South Georgia Island. By tilting the lens down, you’re essentially moving the plane of lens to be closer to the angle of the the ground and in effect, widening what falls into the range of focus. This allows you to utilize some of the benefits of a relatively lower aperture while still achieving a great deal of detail.

This is just one use and effect achievable with a tilt-shift lens. Even if you’re not familiar with their use, it’s likely you’ve seen photos or even video utilizing the concept. In portrait photography, where a longer lens is ideal to bring attention to the subject and blur the background, a tilt-shift lens can be used to use such a lens in a tight space. In architecture, having greater control over your image plane can be used to combat the distortion that often happens to parallel lines. If you’ve ever seen a photo of a cityscape that looks more like a scale model than an actual city – that’s a tilt-shift lens in action!

 

 

 

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Travel Tuesday: 10 Reasons to Visit Japan with Me in February!

I’ll be heading to Japan in February with Gavriel Jecan and no more than 8 other travelers for a special photographic journey. Very limited spaces have recently become available – here are 10 reasons to claim them!

1. Japan in winter is one of the most majestic locations you could ever imagine.

2. Take a tub with the charming Snow Monkeys

No, you don’t have to strip down and commune with the macaques. But this is an amazing photographic opportunity: these furry primates come down from the pine and oak forests and for a couple of hours a day they hang around a natural hot spring where you can photograph from within inches without interrupting their behavior.

3. Explore the wilderness that is Hokkaido.

Hokkaido reminds me a bit of Alaska, full of forests of birch, pine and fir with a back drop of beautiful volcanic mountains.

4. Dance with the endangered Red-crowned Cranes

Leave the dancing to the cranes. These elegant birds have been symbolized in Japanese culture for thousands of years due to their grace and beauty.

5. Fight over fish with the massive Steller’s Sea Eagles

Don’t worry, we’ll have plenty of our own sushi to eat! These majestic eagles don’t want to share anyway.

6. Whoop it up with the cacophonous Whooper Swans

Overwintering from Siberia, these swans congregate in the thermally heated waters of Hokkaido’s lakes, making for ethereal, misty photographs.

7. Take a break from nature and explore buzzing Tokyo

8. Experiential learning at its best. It’s my hope that the lessons you learn on this photographic journey will be referenced on your travel photography adventures in the future!

9. You will be traveling in a small group of 8 participants. Other tour operators are a minimum of 12 or more, so you will get far more one-on-one time.

10. Photograph under the tutelage of one of the world’s premier nature photographers and take full advantage of your time spent in Japan!

 

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New Photos from India!


On the heels of spending time at South Georgia Island & the Falklands, I headed off from Chile to eastern India. After a day to rest we departed Kolkata for Nagaland in the northeast and photograph the colorful Hornbill festival, where the region’s many tribes gather to celebrate their culture, art, athleticism, and much more. The cloudless skies and throng of festival-goers made for a frenetic and challenging environment to photograph in, but I did come away with many of the shots I was seeking.

From there we went north to Kaziranga National Park where we were treated to dozens of Rhinos and an abundance of other wildlife including elephants, water buffalo, great hornbill, and more – and then to Kanha in search of tigers. Unfortunately during the time we had allotted to seek them out, a cold heavy rain fell and kept them mostly out of view. We were, however, treated to the playful Indian wild dogs and other denizens of the area.

Enjoy the photos, but most importantly – Happy Holidays! Ill be spending mine with friends in Thailand, before finally heading home to Seattle for the first time in nearly a month and a half. . . and then it’s off to the next adventure!

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Flashback Friday – Travels to the Edge Season 1: South Georgia Island

Fresh off my recent trip to South Georgia and the Falkland Islands (see my recent blog post with new photos here) It seemed appropriate to reflect back on the filming of Travels to the Edge from that location. Enjoy this excerpt from the companion book, “Travels to the Edge: A Photo Odyssey” on this #FlashbackFriday and if you’re looking for gift ideas, my staff is ready to send off DVD’s of each and every episode!

South Georgia Island, the Southern Ocean

Despite it’s cold, unwelcoming climate, South Georgia Island in the South Atlantic is one of my favorite places on earth. A remote, hundred-mile whaleback of rock, South Georgia Island resides in the Southern Ocean, more than eight hundred miles southeast of the Falkland Islands. It features glacier-clad mountains rising two vertical miles above the sea. South Georgia is as wild as it gets, hosting one of the largest concentrations of wildlife anywhere. Over four hundred thousand pairs of king penguins walk the beaches and swim in the frigid blue ocean. Seals, albatross, and even reindeer (imported for meat by long-gone Norwegian whalers) also inhabit this isolated island. I used a wide-angle lens to photograph austere landscapes, intimate plant studies, and endearing animal behavior in this wildlife oasis.

On a tiny island near the coast of South Georgia Island, a courting male albatross bonds with it’s potential lifelong mate. The wandering albatross, with an eleven-foot wingspan, is clearly king of ocean birds, but overfishing and destructive longline nets threaten it’s survival in southern oceans. Some nets stretch up to sixty miles and snare fish and birds indiscriminately.

An adolescent king penguin challenges reindeer crossing through a penguin rockery on South Georgia Island. Long gone European brought reindeer to the island as a dietary alternative to whale meat. Reindeer herds continue to roam through the remote island.

Forty-pound king penguins line the shores of South Georgia Island. They are on their way to the rockery where territorial instincts prompt numerous quarrels among the birds. The beach is a respite from the dangers of the ocean and the crabby neighbors on the nests. Although the island experiences some of the worst weather in the world, we were fortunate to shoot in the pink light of a clear sky with the sun hidden behind the horizon.

Want to know more, and see these animals in motion? This episode is featured on Season 1, Episode 4 of Travels to the Edge, available individually, as part of the entire first season, and the full series! Have a great weekend!

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New Photos from South Georgia & Falkland Islands


Here I am in Dubai, editing photos in sunny climes that are in stark contrast to the cool temperatures of the South Georgia and Falkland islands from where I recently departed. This weeks-long photo expedition led by Tom Mangelsen, Frans Lanting and myself provided plenty of opportunities four our group to capture the variety of species that call these remote islands home. Our accommodations aboard the Polar Pioneer gave us all a chance to get to know one and other – making new friends is always the highlight of any trip.

Frans, Tom and myself were discussing where we might go next; leave a comment below if you have any suggestions! Enjoy the photos, and stay tuned for more as I head off to India!

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