This past weekend I was in San Francisco visiting my friend Ian Mackenzie. Ian is a brilliant anthropologist and his life’s work has been working with and writing the only dictionary for the Penan of Indonesia. The Penan is an indigenous Bornean rainforest tribe whose way of life is being forever changed by rampant resource extraction.
In 1995 he published Nomads of the Dawn with Wade Davis and Shane Kennedy. To this day it remains a powerful, tragic testimony to a disappearing way of life.
2:45am wake up call! Art Wolfe and John Greengo are off to South Georgia Island and the Antarctic Peninsula today. Stories and photos to follow as we can. We will be posting some things here and hopefully more with Creativetechs.com.
We’re working on a special mixed media, still and video project, where we are working with a wide range of cameras.
A series of about 400 shots that I took while leading a group through the Park on Sept 26th, 2009.
The Arnica fire on the northwest side of Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park has now burned 9,300 acres and has again required that the Grand Loop road be closed between West Thumb and the junction at Fishing Bridge Lake. The park said the road will be closed indefinitely due to fire activity and hazardous snags falling across the road.
Our trip to the Antarctic Peninsula with Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris in 2010 is just about full. Now, we have the opportunity to visit the Peninsula and South Georgia on the recently refurbished Clelia II this November. We couldn’t say no. We love the Van Os trips because they land on less-traveled beaches and Joe always allots maximum time for photographers on land. The voyage on the Clelia is designed with unheard-of comfort in mind, complete with piano bar, dvd player in each suite (every room is a suite), and beds in place of bunks.
As I have often said, South Georgia is my favorite place in world. Mountains two miles high bracket tidal glaciers calving into the South Atlantic. Nesting king penguins blanket beaches patrolled by albatrosses and skuas. Comical macaroni penguins shake off seawater on isolated rocks, and giant Elephant seals belch and quarrel.
South Georgia is where Shackleton made his daring mountain crossing to safety after a year and a half fighting for survival after ice crushed this ship, the Endurance. The more hardy among us may retrace his steps on a multi day crossing with legendary guides Peter Hillary and Dave Hahn, the first Westerner to climb Everest ten times. (There is an additional cost for the traverse). I intend to think about them bivouacking on the glacier as I sip a gin and tonic after a hard day of shooting.
After South Georgia we will cruise past the rugged South Orkney Islands through the wreckage of disintegrating ice shelves. The abundance of icebergs is stunning. We will explore the islands and passages along the west coast of the Peninsula, culminating in the Lemaire Channel, one of the most scenic in the world.
The trip runs from November 21 to December 13, US to US. Prices range from $15,995 to $25,995 for the penthouse suite.
If you want to join us, or just need more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-332-0993.
Kenmore Camera invited to me to present my Between Heaven and Earth show at a Canon-sponsored event at the Lynnwood, WA Convention Center north of Seattle. I had a great time meeting people. The room was SRO and the response gratifyingly boisterous. The show chronicles how I started with photography in the North Cascades, and how my involvement with a 1984 expedition to the Tibetan side of Mt Everest led to a life-long obsession with the Himalaya. I’ve returned to Tibet, visited Nepal, explored Bhutan, trekked up the Baltoro Glacier of Pakistan, and wandered in northern India. No other part of the world, with the exception of the Pacific Northwest, has influenced my life and work as deeply.
We have arranged to take the M/V Ushuaia from the tip of South America to the Antarctic Peninsula. We have room for 77 passengers, an ideal number since the entire complement is allowed to land at once. With the larger ships, each passenger’s shore time is cut in half. We will spend much more time on shore than most companies.
Our 11-day adventure runs from November 22 to December 2, 2010. The early season is the best for penguin chicks so we anticipate great shooting opportunities.
These trips sell out rapidly so don’t wait to contact us if you’re interested. For more information, check out the pdf on New on artwolfe.com.
I drove to the Skagit River flats last weekend. The area had flooded and I heard that the bald eagles were congregating in trees on high ground. It was a grey day, drizzly and dark. The reports were true. We found 15 eagles in a tree, and as soon as we stepped out of the car, we saw why. Voles swam in the flooded fields, scurried under the car, hid in the tall grass. A few drowned voles lay on their sides in the water. It was a buffet for eagles, and they acted showed no interest in further dining. I never touched a camera. Exposing for the black backlit eagles would have pegged the histogram to the right, blowing out the sky. Without light, natural or artificial, there is no shot. Sometimes the experience is enough.
Back in Bangkok to my favorite hotel and amazing street food. The cooks, toiling above a coal fired wok, go easy on the spice when they see a Western face unless you plead for more. For me Bangkok is an ideal Asian city for a traveler where one can explore the exotic or take refuge in a familiar hotel indistinguishable from home.
November 12, 2008
I’ve photographed tigers in India for decades, but we had amazing luck at Bandhavgharh National Park in the center of the country. Seven different individuals permitted us to capture them in a variety of backgrounds and occasionally in excellent light. We could see and hear the reason the park supports so many tigers. We saw Chital aka Spotted Deer, sambar, and a barking deer every day. Langeur monkeys act as sentinels; we watch them to see if there is a tiger in the area. This is a modern day Jungle Book.
November 4, 2008
I’m midway through a trip to India with friends and we are all sick with food poisoning. I never get sick from street food, even here, but we were felled by cuisine in a five star restaurant.
The Pushkar Camel Festival was fun, as usual, a riot of noise, dust, heat, and chaotic activity. Just seeing a line of camels cresting the dunes evokes centuries of commerce at this Indian crossroads. The photographic opportunities were limitless.
I was interviewed by The World on NPR at the Fair and tried to convey the bustle and delightful strangeness of the scene.