What’s become an annual trip to Namibia was particularly great this year, with different views of Sossusvlei, great wildlife views in Etosha National Park, and fun with abstracts at an old diamond-mining ghost town slowly being inundated with sand. The quiver tree forest was spectacular too, though the moon was full when we were there which somewhat inhibited photographing the Milky Way at night. I also came away with some great new elephant shots for the upcoming book project. Enjoy!
I am leading another Namibia tour in August 2020. You can get on the preregistration list now to be the first notified when trip details are posted. This trip will sell out, don’t miss out!
I had an amazing session with Elephants a few days ago in Botswana! I spent hours in a stuffy, sunken blind, but was rewarded late in the afternoon when several elephant herds began to show up for a drink and a splash. It was about ninety degrees here, and they played in the cooling waters just five feet in front of us. The elephants were very aware of us and we were splashed intentionally many times – we had a major cleaning session afterwards since the churned water had turned to liquid mud.
This lasted for over an hour and I shot thousands of frames; the results are full of the personality and affection these amazing animals possess.
The task of editing has been daunting to say the least. I am working on a book with fellow UW alum & biologist Sam Wasser, who has been instrumental in using DNA to track endangered species, especially orcas and elephants, and now Dr. Wasser is trying to use DNA to track illegal shipments of ivory and shut down major poaching cartels. It makes my work look easy by comparison, and those of us who work with and care for the well being of these animals and their place in the world are so very grateful for his work.
September finds me spending the month in Africa with good friends and plenty of subjects. We’re currently in the midst of our Namibia photo journey after having spent some time in various locations around the southern regions of the continent. We began our travels in Kenya, where we were able to capture much of the region’s wildlife over the course of several days spent at Maasai Mara National Reserve; lions, zebra, cheetah – and much, much more. This location also provided several shots that will look great in the book on elephants I’m currently working on! Giraffes and several species of birds were on display as well. Derived from the Maasai language, the term “Mara” describes the flora and fauna spotted nature of the wide open spaces, and wildebeest mingled with the other wildlife in the area to dapple the landscape.
Enjoy the new photos, and check back on the block soon for more photos from Namibia!
This coming February, I’m proud to present the Japan Photo Journey – an intensive photography workshop and journey to one of the great places to visit in the winter time for truly unique photo opportunities. Both myself and Gavriel Jecan will be with you and 9 other participants over the course of an 11-day workshop that begins in Tokyo before heading to the mountains to photograph the snow monkeys enjoying their hot springs.
Once the monkeys have had their fill of our small group, we will head to Japan’s northern island, Hokkaido. In the winter here, the days are short – but the stunning sunrises and sunsets can be lengthy, making this an ideal shooting location with expanded periods of time to shoot in ideal lighting conditions. The rich forests and mountains here provide the perfect backdrop to photograph the many bird species that congregate here, here including the symbolic Japanese Crane, whooper swans, and the very large Steller’s sea eagle.
The days may be a bit shorter, but they will be full of adventures and opportunities. By the time the sun goes down there will be plenty of time for everyone to enjoy a nice warm bath before we have a meal together, after which we will engage in lectures, critiques, and of course cheerful banter. Though our day shooting may be over, teaching is my passion and it’s in these moments where we regroup and discuss the day where perhaps the most knowledge is gained and shared.
I can’t believe how fast the year has gone by! It started out a bit slow with a surgery recovery but has been a busy summer, and fall is off to a bustling start as well. As it stands now, there are only two more workshops left on the calendar for the rest of the year that aren’t sold out that will see us visiting locations on opposite sides of the country, but the same goal in mind – capturing gorgeous fall color!
In October I’ll finally be home from the month I am currently spending in Africa, and will be hosting my Lake Quinault Photography Retreat. Myself and my assistants will assist participants in a very intimate hands-on experience, both in terms of capturing the lush, earthen sensations of the Quinault Rainforest as well as a printing lesson and demo from our home base at the historic Lake Quinault Lodge. We have opened the invitation up to partners and spouses as well, so if they would like to come along and enjoy the lodge while we are in the field, they are welcome to join our group for meals and critiques.
Following that, I’ll be heading east to the Great Smoky Mountains to experience the fall color on the east coast – it’ll be interesting to compare and contrast! This will again be a small group affair, limited to 8 participants for some hands-on instruction in the field with group discussions and critques.
Act quickly, these sell out rapidly as we near the workshop dates and they are just around the corner!
It’s been a busy summer, but there is no slowing down for me! I wanted to take this opportunity to share an updated list of my upcoming workshop opportunities with you. Some return trips to familiar locations are here, and I love to share the knowledge that I’ve accumulated over the years of visiting these great places. We also have exotic and new locales to visit as well. My team is hard at work doing our research, working with the best local support available.
Many of these new destinations come from the feedback we received from surveying those of you who subscribe to my newsletter. If you don’t receive those, get signed up here to be notified and kept up-to-date on what I have planned!
Particular locations and workshops will sell it well in advance. Don’t hesitate to get your name on the list! As always if you have any questions about an upcoming worshop, contact my staff – they would be happy to answer any questions you may have about a particular workshop.
Fall in Washington state is gorgeous, and what better way to celebrate the season than to be part of an intimate group of photographers exploring the lush Olympic forest on my Lake Quinault Photography Retreat? This region is the gift that keeps on giving; a location that I can never seem to get enough of as far as photographic opportunities go. I always leave feeling like there is so much more to explore, and this exclusive small group setting is my opportunity to share what I see with you in hopes I can pass on four decades of knowledge to you.
Along with this very personal look at a region I’m particularly familiar with, I’ll be providing lectures and critiques. We will also have equipment on hand Epson during our time at the Lake Quinault Lodge for demonstration – take home prints of your best photos from our time together!
Sign up now, this Photo Retreat will sell-out as Autumn approaches!
Before heading to Katmai for workshops for the next couple weeks, I visited the Canadian Arctic. We had a great time with beluga whales, caribou, and polar bears. Most of the underwater shots were taken using the camera in a Nauticam housing (thank you, Backscatter Underwater Photo & Video!) suspended from an interesting contraption made from broom handles, bolts and rope, which enabled us to shoot without getting into the water. This was far more effective than when we struggled in the water to get close enough, which the belugas didn’t seem the like at all. Once we lowered the contraption into the water the whales became so curious that we had trouble keeping them from getting too close. The milky waters were so filled with sediment that sharpness became an issue. Despite the fact that the whales are largely in focus, they appear otherwise. With the polar bears I took the perspective of tiny bear in the big environment. The caribou, photographed with a 50MP Canon EOS 5DS, was a happy bonus.
I hope you enjoy checking out what I was able to capture here, and I can’t wait to see what Katmai holds for us this year!
Two months after it started, Kilauea is still erupting – even forming a new island off the east rift zone. Last week a friend and I made an all-too-quick trip to the Big Island to photograph some of the action. With the help of Bruce Omori we were able to get in the air above the eruption, as well as along side it from a boat. It is a stunning scene of earth’s power. The vog is so volatile that it creates it own weather, colorful clouds and swirling vortices that resemble nebulae of outer space.
As for the boat ride, it is not for the faint of heart. The water is extremely rough and there is always the chance that a sudden and violent explosion where the searing lava meets the cooler water (relatively speaking – it’s still over 100 degrees from our readings, about the temperature of a scalding hot tub!) will hit the boat.
Big shout out and thank-you to Bruce Omori for helping us on our trip! Check out his website and facebook page for the latest in volcano activity. If you want to see the eruption contact him – I couldn’t recommend his guidance enough!
In spring of 2019 I’m excited to be leading an epic photo journey to India where we will not only experience the color and good cheer of the Holi Festival, the majesty of the Taj Mahal, and the culture and history of Delhi – but the natural beauty of Bandhavgarh National Park as well. If you’ve ever contemplated what the ultimate India experience would be like, here is your opportunity to savor exactly that! We will observe and photograph the iconic as well as the atypical, assuring that the photos you come away with will represent the unique nature and variety of this adventure.
The two main attractions that are the namesake for this particular trip and set against the backdrop of this ancient land are, of course, the Holi Festival and the tigers of the region. The “Festival of Colors” is traditionally a jubilant recognition of the arrival of spring, and has become a celebration of positivity and good cheer world-wide, and it is here where it all began.
In addition to the Bengal tiger, Bandhavgarh National Park offers a rich diversity of fauna and flora, including leopard, striped hyena, macaques, langur monkeys, sambar and chital deer, Indian wolves, Indian hare, and monitor lizards – just to name a few of the species we hope to encounter.
Space for this photo journey is limited, with some spots already spoken for. Check out my events page for a more in-depth itinerary of our travels together, and sign up now to ensure your spot on what is guaranteed to be a once in a lifetime adventure where you’ll make new friends who share your passion for photography and the world’s great places!