From India to Antarctica, it seems I’ve spent the Holiday season just about everywhere on the glob. When you create a lot of books, you also spend a lot of time looking back at old photos and reflecting! Enjoy this selection from 15 years of December travel – and have as warm and safe Holiday season with the people, pets, and/or endeavors you love!
Happy Technique Tuesday! A little less of a technical lesson today as I’d like to talk about the many ways simple shapes and forms can become the basis for decades of design inspiration. This photo is from the book Indian Baskets of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska and captures a Cowlitz-style basket made from bear grass and dyed cedar bark. Coiled baskets were generally used in cooking are adorned in diagonal zig-zags and checkers.
The detail and quality of these baskets was cherished and ownership of them was prestigious enough that many baskets of this caliber were kept unused as pieces handed down generationally or traded. This particular pattern was used as inspiration when Westlake Center in downtown Seattle underwent a re-design in 1989. The pattern covers Westlake park and expands a block in any direction and was intended to bind the central down-town park into a ‘living room’ for the city.
From beautifully hand-crafted basket to (exquisitely captured, if I do say so myself!) photograph to major metropolitan design element, the original artist had no idea their work would become so very timeless. Next time you’re down town, give it a look – and the next time you’re looking to do your own decorating, it’s worth considering that inspiration may come from unlikely places!
At the beginning of November I pried a few friends away from their families and obligations and had a great time exploring the canyonlands of Utah; A simple excursion for photography’s sake of the sort I haven’t had in some time! Usually I’m leaping from location to location, itinerary in hand and a clear goal in mind – to fulfill a book project, or fill a gap in my catalog with previously unexplored location, creature, or culture.
This time it was a relaxed trip with friends to feed the soul and recharge the batteries with no expectations that would elicit success or failure. It was a great trip and I’ll definitely make time for these kinds of trips in the future. Enjoy!
It’s a #TravelTuesday, and as I prepare to head off again this evening to distant lands, I’m doing a bit of reflecting on my past November travels. It looks like South Georgia Island is a common favorite for the month in years passed, sprinkled in between with warmer locales.
I don’t have any current plans for another trip to South Georgia Island at the moment, but several 2020 and 2021 trips are on the docket, and who knows what *secret* plans I may have brewing – keep an eye on the Events page for all the upcoming adventures!
I just loved the two weeks I had in Israel and Jordan, with a brief foray into the West Bank. For once I actually had friends set up a trip for me instead of the other way around. We had an extraordinary time with an insider’s access to what is the center of several of the world’s great religions. I found it to be exceptionally energizing and fascinating; with all that we hear about the Middle East, this was not what I was expecting. It is a microcosm of how well people of different faiths & cultures can live together and alternately how cruelly it tears people apart.
In Jordan we drove up the Wadi Rum and I had flashbacks to Lawrence of Arabia, which is one of my favorite movies. Its rock formation are reminiscent of the desert southwest (without the camels), but instead of angular, the sandstone is pillowy.
We also visited the famous ancient city of Petra. It was fascinating to see in person, though the amount of tourists and the instantly recognizable features made it less interesting to me as a subject. Still, I’m thankful to have experienced it in person. Enjoy the pics!
Coming up in December, I will be giving the keynote at the Lowland Photo Festival in Antwerp, Belgium. I’ve been putting together quite the presentation, and I can’t wait to share it!
During the weekend of December 7th, 2019, thousands of nature photographers will once again settle in Kinepolis Antwerp to enjoy diverse lectures by famous nature photographers from around the world. Nature photography exhibitions with hundreds of works will be on display, along with a photography fair packed with demos and workshops.
Mis hét natuurfotografiefestival van de Lage Landen niet! Het Lowland Photo Festival is dit jaar al aan zijn zesde editie toe en tekent steevast voor dé hoogdagen voor elke natuurfotograaf.
Duizenden fotografen strijken neer in Kinepolis Antwerpen om er te genieten van de
* PRACHTIGE EXPOSITIES NATUURFOTOGRAFIE (GRATIS)
* GROOTSE FOTOGRAFIEBEURS & DEMO’S (3 EURO)
* SPECTACULAIRE LEZINGEN (VANAF 42 EURO/ DAG)
Behalve het kruim van de natuurfotografen uit Vlaanderen en Nederland maakt ook een rist internationale toppers hun opwachting tijdens het Lowland Photo Festival. Eén van de absolute headliners dit jaar is ongetwijfeld de wereldberoemde fotograaf ART WOLFE (USA)!
From the Cloud Forest of Ecuador to the icy shores of Greenland and a trip to visit the bears in Katmai, it’s been a productive few months! With as many trips as I take and so many factors that need to fall into place to ensure I get what I’m after, I can’t help but appreciate it when consecutive trips all happen according to plan.
Enjoy the photos, and as always don’t forget to check out the events page to see where I’ll be headed next – sign up and come along! I arrived in Portland last night, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone who’s signed up for Photography As Art – I’ll see you tomorrow! There are still a few spots left for both Saturday’s seminar in Portland as well as in Seattle on Sunday – come join us!
With the fall of Communism in 1989 and the integration into the European Union, Romania is changing quickly. We spent a day in Bucharest and then headed for the hills where traditional life can still be found. This time of year is beautiful in the Carpathians with fall color, morning mists, and agricultural landscapes.
Overall, I was happy with what I was able to capture here, from the golden landscapes to the flow of daily life here. I was also grateful to be able to observe traditional rituals and the celebration of religion here that will play nicely into an upcoming book project. Now it’s off to Israel! Stay tuned for more. . .
Currently I’m on the road traveling, but have some photos to share from our visit to Romania. While there, I was able to photograph the Bear Dancers whom parade through the streets of villages every year between Christmas and New Years in their bear-skin costumes. It was a privilege to photograph them in this way long before they will officially don the outfits.
This ceremony is a joyfulcelebration belying the fearsome appearance of the traditional costumes and demeanor of the dancers within. It is a tradition intended to scare away evil spirits – including an accompaniment of drums, flutes, and singing – with beginnings that have been difficult to pin-point due to sparse documentation of the region’s history.
To begin with, we assemble the performers! Dressed in a red military uniform, the “Bear Tamer” leads his group of dancers while a wool-clad shepherd stands with the musicians in blue and white garb. A more overcast day may have been ideal, but you must work with the circumstances you are given. By closing in close on the group of dancers themselves, we can put the focus directly on the savage costumes.
Here, a young girl peaks out from below her mask, giving us a great opportunity to capture a similar shot of the group, but with this reveal adding an extra sense of context to the photograph. The contrast of her face among the fierce, snarling bears only adds to the story.
Again, I want to isolate and emphasize the costumes and the dancers themselves without any other outside information informing the story – the subjects here are the elaborate costumes, their muzzles silhouetted against the blue sky, and the shadowed faces of the dancers themselves.
Of course, these ARE dancers after all – so action shots are necessary. Capturing the dancers in their furs against the rich evergreen background of Romanian landscape ties them together nicely. As complimentary colors, the rich reds of their costumes stand out against the forest green.
Here we focus on the procession of bears as they might appear in their journey through the village, usually ending up in a town square for further celebration. Whenever you are given an opportunity like this, take full advantage of it and get all the shots you possibly can – I’ll have more up soon along with the rest of our haul from Romania!
Photography As Artis just around the corner in the Pacific Northwest! On Saturday, November 9th I’ll be in Portland, Oregon – and the following day I’ll be back home to give the presentation in Seattle! Sign up today to ensure your spot!
This seminar is designed to completely change the way you view photography, and my intent is to inspire you to bring unique artistic visions to life using your camera as both brush and canvas. With an emphasis on the abstract, imaginary landscapes, and capturing metaphors the lessons learned here can be applied anywhere and with whatever equipment you have available – no globe-trotting or a plethora of fancy gear required.
2020 is shaping up to be an incredibly busy but fruitful year, and this will be one of the last chances to join me for a day-long seminar before kicking of another year of constant travel. If you’re interested in joining me on a trip, click the banners below to find out more information. Many of these trips are already sold out, but don’t hesitate to join the wait list! Not only will you be notified if a spot opens up, it also gives me a good idea of which locations you’re most interested in visiting – great information to have when I’m looking to add new trips to the calendar!
Also, if you missed out on my Japan tour last year my associate Gavriel Jecan will be leading another tour in February of 2020 – see his page for more details!