You know what I loved about this latest “Winter in Japan” workshop? The Snow! Meaning snow was falling as we photographing in various locations. It made for great conditions at the snow monkey hot springs farther north in Hokkaido. It was positively magical with the iconic Japanese cranes; the world looked like a shaken snow globe. Using a faster shutter speed really emphasizes the snowflakes. Depending on the light conditions, I was using ISOs between 2000 and 4000 with my favorite 100-500mm lens.
Book projects lead me to all parts of the world. For an upcoming volume on the varied and fascinating faiths of the world I am working on, I ventured to Bangladesh to photograph the Bishwa Ijtemi. The World Muslim Congress has been held since 1942 in Tongi and it’s the second largest Muslim congregation in the world after the Holy Hajj. 4 million – and then some – Muslims gather here for several days of activities and devotion. Everyone arrives and departs on trains in Dhaka, resulting in a crush of humanity I’ve only ever experienced in the Kumbh Mela in India.
Bangladesh is a fascinating, gritty country full of extremely friendly and welcoming people. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many people want to take selfies with me—it’s not a country that gets a lot of tourists. In Cox’s Bazar we photographed the elegant moon boats; their crescent design aids fishermen to get across sand bars to shore. On the very real side of life, we photographed vast smoldering garbage fields, dusty brick factories, and Asia’s largest shipyard. These are hard workers, who appreciate everything they have and it shows!
10. The Moab region has so much to offer and we have park permits to conduct our workshop in both Canyonlands and Arches NP’s. This is a fantastic place to capture the beautifully sculpted rock formations and stars at night!
9. Check two National Parks off your bucket list. Do you have a National Parks passport? Maybe it’s time to get one and start visiting the sites of “Americas Best Idea!”
8. Our diverse itinerary includes a variety of locations; finding abstracts in reflections along the edges of the river, some of my favorite petroglyphs and pictographs, and of course night sessions.
7. Moab is a small town that relies on tourism to fuel its needs, great food and we plan to share some fantastic meals together!
6. Critiques – what good is a workshop if you’re not there to do a little work? I’ll be giving critiques of your photos as we review them and discuss!
5. Limited to just 8 participants, this retreat is designed to combine the best aspects of a relaxing vacation, inspiring seminar, and hands-on workshop all in one exquisite trip.
4. If you’re a movie buff, this location should be on your bucket list. Movies such as Thelma and Louise and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade filmed scenes here.
3. Mid-March is the perfect time to visit, when things are warming up from the cold winter, yet haven’t reached the scorching days of summer. With a bonus of snow capped LaSal mountain peaks making a great background.
2. Of course, hands-on instruction and educational lectures. I love to teach!
1. Adventuresome learning! I work hard to make sure everyone comes away from these workshops feeling better about and more enriched by their photography skills.
Today is World Hippo Day! As the second largest land animal on earth they are a great subject to juxtapose with smaller animals, especially the birds that swing by the pools and rivers where hippos congregate by day. They almost always live in communities of a dozen or more fellow hippos so capturing a group of them at once and then picking out some unique individuals to focus on can provide a variety of photographic opportunities.
Fun fact – Hippos secrete their own natural sunscreen! They release two chemicals that when combined, help block their skin from the harmful rays of the relentless African sun. These chemicals can turn pink or red when combined, earning them the term “blood sweat”. Yummy!
2022 was a great year for bird photography! Bookended by two photo productive trips to Brazil, I photographed storks in Morocco, mergansers in Alaska, ostriches in Namibia, oxpeckers in Botswana, and dippers in Canada.
Of course, I’ve shot more than just birds over the past year. Make sure you check back here often for more new photos from my travels. Better yet, join me on a workshop and we will make some memories together.
Enjoy the photos, and most importantly – have a Happy New Year!
Happy Holidays from Art Wolfe Headquarters in currently snowy Seattle! Here’s wishing everyone a safe and healthy winter with family and friends. As we move ahead to 2023, it’s important to also look back and reflect on the year that was.
For myself, that means reviewing a whole lot of trips and photos as I prepare the end of the year collection that I’ll eventually share with friends, including here on the blog with all of you! I’m still working on this, along side wrapping up final selections for Wild Lives, my epic opus on international wildlife coming in fall of 2023.
For the time being, here is a selection of my most recent images from Q4 of this year. Enjoy the photos, enjoy the season – and have a very happy New Year!
Art and design nerds rejoice! It’s the most magical time of the year – when Pantone announces their color of the year. For 2023, it’s Viva Magenta – a nearly wine-red take on the traditional magenta. As usual I’ve put together a gallery inspired by the color. Enjoy!
Pantone’s Color of the Year, Viva Magenta 18-1750, vibrates with vim and vigor. It is a shade rooted in nature descending from the red family and expressive of a new signal of strength. Viva Magenta is brave and fearless, and a pulsating color whose exuberance promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration, writing a new narrative.
This year’s Color of the Year is powerful and empowering. It is a new animated red that revels in pure joy, encouraging experimentation and self-expression without restraint, an electrifying, and a boundaryless shade that is manifesting as a stand-out statement. PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta welcomes anyone and everyone with the same verve for life and rebellious spirit. It is a color that is audacious, full of wit and inclusive of all.
I’m happy to announce that Travels to the Edge Season 2 is now available for streaming on my Vimeo On-Demand channel – just in time, as DVDs are getting harder and harder to find. Check out fan-favorite episodes on Mongolia, Iceland, Australia and much more! To celebrate upcoming 2023 international workshops, I’m offering up two full episodes to watch completely free! Just sign up for my email list – don’t worry, I hate spam also!
Art Wolfe’s Travels to the Edge Season 2 Episode 1 – Japan: Hokkaido & Honshu
The Image many of us have of Japan is congested and kinetic. But Japan has a wild side. In winter, beyond its crowded cities, the country delivers quiet, unexpected natural beauty. In the second season opener, Art Wolfe ventures north to the remote region of Hokkaido to view iconic red-crested cranes; south to the mountains to film the mischievous macaque snow monkey; and journeys on to the sacred temples of Mt. Fuji and Koyosan on a photographic pilgrimage.
Art Wolfe’s Travels to the Edge Season 2 Episode 10 – The Kingdom of Bhutan
Known as the “Land of the Thunder Dragon”, Bhutan has survived in isolation for more than a thousand years. As this enlightened Buddhist kingdom greets the 21st century, its greatest challenge is to preserve its soul. In episode ten, Art Wolfe finds a photographer’s nirvana of mountainside monasteries, sacred festivals and chanting monks in an environmentally and spiritually progressive nation.
Things have really picked up this year in terms of international travel – from Brazil to Morocco, a couple tours in Africa, and all manner of points in between. It’s been good to get back to traveling again with new faces and old friends and I’m looking forward to the coming year!
Several new workshops have been posted on my events page, a few with early bird specials to save a few bucks. I’ll be adding more later in the year as well, so check my events page often for up to date opportunities.
Here’s what’s on the agenda so far – sign up before they fill!
It’s an odd thing, but I’ve had some good wildlife sightings when just standing still and, uh, relieving myself. Mostly owls peering down at me, but just last month I was in the Great Bear Rainforest attempting to photography the Spirit Bear and just when I took a break, one ambled by.
I first photographed these white-phase black bears way back in 1990, long before this region of British Columbia’s coast was designated as global treasure. Now, working on my magnum opus wildlife book, I headed back to this rich temperate rainforest in hopes of seeing this ghostly bear again. We had only four days and the waiting was long. To pass the time I taught a quick class in how to take abstracts; after all, there is always something to photograph, especially when the main objective is proving elusive. We were visited by spawned out salmon, Steller’s jays, American dippers, and a very curious, very black, black bear. Spirit or Kermode bears are merely a color phase of the American black bear. They just happen to carry two alleles of a gene that turns them a creamy white, but they are not albinos.
So when the spirit bear appeared for the first time, I zipped up and grabbed my camera. That session lasted a total of fifteen minutes. My fellow travelers implored me hourly to pee again, but that charm wore thin as did my stream. The next day she regaled us with another 15 minute appearance. Half an hour in four days and we all felt very lucky. That is the nature of wildlife photography.