Happy World Whale Week!

I’ve been informed that it’s World Whale Week. . . .Wow, wonderful! As much respect as I have for these amazing and unfortunately endangered creatures, it’s my own self-preservation that comes to mind when thinking about whales.

While filming Travels to the Edge, I was trying to guess at where a whale would surface next for a shot. I had the camera to my eye, prefocused, poised and ready to capture what I hoped would be a magnificent breach 100 yards off the bow – only to have the whale come up right next to the boat, spouting mere feel from me!

It scared me so much I screamed, and the footage from the film crew was rendered unusable as what came out of my mouth next was not suitable for the PBS audience.

Over the years I’ve had many more great memories while working with whales, and looking forward to making more!

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Happy Lunar New Year!


Celebrations abound for Lunar New Year among Asian cultures, with various Buddhist traditions marking the occasion. I’ve been fortunate to have experienced the festivities myself in person several times. Some fond memories:

In 2005, I visited Labrang Monastery in the Gansu province of China to witness the unfurling of a thangka – a large tapestry of painted cotton usually depicting a scene from the Buddhist belief system and way of life. The tapestry is carried by the monks up the long hill where it is unfurled and displayed above the monastery.

A few years later, I visited Bhutan and photographed the prayer flags and temple dancers that constitute a part of their lunar new year traditions. The prayer flags have come up several time in my talks and lessons, which might be an indicator of just how fascinated I was with this location. Prayers are inscribed on flags that have been erected in the loftiest, windiest heights so that the gusts turn the flags into tatters and send the prayers scattering to the heavens one fiber at a time.

Finally, in more recent years I witnessed the Setsubun Festival in Japan where elaborate costumes and traditions such as throwing packets of roasted soy beans and burning tree boughs wards off the lingering evil spirits of the previous year and bringing hope to the new one.

Happy year of the Tiger! Enjoy the image gallery above, and check out the episode of Travels to the Edge on Bhutan to learn more about this truly unique culture.

The Kingdom of Bhutan

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Art Wolfe’s 2021 Year In Review!


2021 Year in Review

As in 2020, we did what we could to get through 2021. There was a rush to a new normal, but then a backslide. Thanks to the miracle workers at Moderna and Pfizer I was able to get back on the road, traveling for projects and teaching in-person workshops.

I began the year photographing in Kenya, taught workshops in Arizona, Utah, Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, Iceland, and made two trips to Mexico. The highlight of my year was photographing the Mundari cattle-herders and their royal cattle in the South Sudan. This was a trip that I had been dreaming of doing for decades and it finally came to pass.

In September Tequila Time morphed into Art Wolfe Live, a very informal monthly show on YouTube and Facebook Live riffing on current events and photo discoveries and techniques. Parimal Deshpande and I continued with Earth Is Our Witness and there are now over forty episodes featuring discussions with some of the top photographers.

After a long wait for books, Night on Earth was published by Earth Aware Editions. It garnered glowing reviews from both editorial critics and book collectors. In December I was joined by Ruskin Hartley of the International Dark-Sky Association at Town Hall Seattle for a presentation. I also wrote the foreword for Private Gardens of the Pacific Northwest.

Watch Art & Ruskin’s Town Hall event here.

2021 keynotes included the Outsiders Landscape Photography Conference, the North American Nature Photography Association, and the Photographic Society of America. It was a distinct honor to be the recipient of the first Fine Art in Nature Photography Award.

I was pleased to be a part of the latest Remembering Wildlife book on African wild dogs as well the We Are Puget Sound: Discovering and Recovering the Salish Sea group exhibition here in Washington.

Despite an inauspicious start I hope that 2022 brings better things. I look forward to doing international workshops that have been rescheduled from 2020 (I am eternally grateful to those who have kept their reservations), working on new book projects, and doing ever more experimentation with photography. Even after decades of shooting, it feeds my soul and is a never-ending source of happiness. I hope to see you in the field or online!

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New Photos From South Sudan & the Mundari!


Last month I took a trip to the South Sudan to photograph in specific the Mundari people and their cattle camps – a defining element of their culture. Their great cows with their incredible horns and size are interesting enough on their own, however the interaction and symbiosis between them and their caretakers in the Mundari are truly fascinating.

Photographically speaking, I got exactly what I was after here. Utilizing the smoke from burning piles of cow dung that the Mundari keep at smokey smolder to drive away insects and atop a ladder I was able to capture atmospheric moody images of both the cows, and the people. The contrast of light colored cows and the darker tribesmen also made for some graphic shots as well.

If you missed Tuesday’s episode of Art Wolfe Live, I talked in a bit more depth about this trip, and shared the following video with the audience. Enjoy!

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Join A Fall Workshop With Art Wolfe – Limited Space Remains!

 


Fall Color Olympic Peninsula small group workshop – Three spots left!
October 21 – 24, 2021

To the Northeast of the Mt. Rainier region across the Puget Sound and bordering the Pacific Ocean before it reaches out towards Japan, the Olympic cost brings a variety of it’s own to the mix. Mossy old-growth forest borders a breath-taking coastline with absolutely no limit on the amount of subjects to photograph – not the least of which is the ever-present possibility of capturing local wildlife.



The Art of Seeing in Portland – Two day seminar. 
October 29 – 31, 2021

The recent Art of Seeing Workshop here in Seattle was a huge success, and I know there is also a large contingent of folks in the Portland Area who catch Travels to the Edge on Oregon Public Broadcasting regularly who have been eager for a weekend seminar to come their way. The Seattle seminar sold out – so if you missed out, Portland is just a short trip away!



Abstract Port Townsend Photography Retreat
November 18 – 21, 2021

Join Art for what is fast approaching Abstract Astoria as his most popular and requested workshops! Explore beautiful Port Townsend, a location that embraces both its Native American roots and everything that comes along with being a cultured seaside town. From here we will visit Ford Worden Historical State Park on the hunt for abstract images.


 

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#FridayVibes – The Year So Far!


Take a virtual journey and check out a few of my favorites taken since January 1. Locations include places near and far, from my yard to Kenya, coastal Oregon and California, abstracts from the Desert Southwest and the Pacific Northwest, underwater off the Yucatan, and the latest from Alaska’s Katmai National Park and Iceland.

Enjoy – and I’ll talk to you on the 28th on https://artwolfe.com/2021/08/27/fridayvibes-announcing-art-wolfe-live/!

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New Photos From Iceland!


We managed to have a great time in Iceland even though the weather did not cooperate. There was fog and rain and wind, probably the tail end of a storm that hit the East Coast a couple weeks ago. But we made the most of it, heading into the interior in Iurie’s intrepid bus, where the damp brought out the volcanic earth tones. Happily, puffins were still in residence, rather later than usual so that was a plus.

I also shot a great deal of video on this trip, which I’ll reveal at the end of this month when I return to doing live streams with Art Wolfe Live. I’m currently working to compile the footage and make a roughly 10 minute feature. I had a blast capturing the footage, and I can’t wait to bring you more video from the field when possible!

Weather not withstanding, our group came away with some amazing photos thanks in large part to our team on the ground in Iceland. We had an amazing specialized bus to get us where we needed to be, and all the expertise we could ask for. Over all, it was great to get out for some international travel and the COVID protocols in place offered peace of mind. Next week, off to Africa!

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Greetings From Iceland – Announcing Art Wolfe Live!

Greetings from Iceland! I’m still out and about here and have yet to really dive into editing. I figured I could whet your appetite with a small preview of what’s to come when I return and have the time to go back through all the great shots on this trip.

The weather hasn’t always been ideal, but our group has stepped up to the challenge; a little adversity is how we learn and grow.

I would also like to take this moment to announce that at the end of September will mark the return of my live broadcasts, so if you’ve missed Tequila Time and just can’t wait for more candid shenanigans and honest-to-goodness insights from yours truly, rest assured I’ll be back live on YouTube & Facebook!

Art Wolfe Live, or “AWL” as I suppose we will call it, wont be as frequent as Tequila Time with my travel schedule and other obligations, but the goal is to do it monthly at the very least. I simply don’t want to create an unsustainable format. I do however miss the live streams and connecting with everyone.

Not only will AWL be a way to connect with everyone on a monthly basis and talk about what I’ve been up to, I also intend to discuss current events and other important topics that aren’t solely related to my work.

Art Wolfe Live will kick off September 28th!

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New Photos From Katmai National Park!


As you may have heard there has been a record salmon run in Bristol Bay this year. In Katmai there are always a lot of bears and salmon, but this year the numbers were off the charts!

Though I haven’t been in many years because of the crowds, we made the effort to go to the famous Brooks Falls and were rewarded with great light, patiently fishing bears, and leaping salmon. Elsewhere in the park we discovered some deep snow patches that were favorite play and sleep areas for the bears. It was a great place for them to cool down in T-shirt weather for humans—I can only imagine how hot they get with all that fur.

The cubs had discovered channels and tunnels in the snow and would pop up to bite their siblings only to disappear again. There was an abundance of sows with two, even three cubs. It takes a lot of salmon to fuel mothers and cubs, and the fish did not disappoint.

Overall, it was great to be back in Katmai after taking a hiatus last season, and I can’t wait to be back here next year with another group of amazing participants!

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Friday Feeling – Feeling Like I’m Ready For Fall Color!

It’s been a warm and dry summer here in the Pacific northwest. Until this past week, we hadn’t seen a drop of rain in the city most famous for it in nearly two months, and more often than not the temperatures have been in the upper 80’s and low 90s.

I’ve been fortunate to get away on tours recently in Katmai, and I’m preparing this week to go with a fantastic small group to Iceland – where there is still room to join if you are the spontaneous type.

With limited trips last year and so much uncertainty, I’m looking forward to capturing the fall color once again – and cooler temperatures! It’s unfortunate that we seem to be taking a step backwards in terms of combating COVID, but executing workshops has become much easier when you know the right questions to ask and have been through it all.

If you’ve been thinking about joining a workshop, we’ve got several coming up that highlight the fall color in the Western U.S., as well as a shindig at my place in October to kick off a weekend I’ve titled The Art of Seeing. Looking forward to seeing you there!

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