Capturing brown bears in Katmai, Alaska! Though specific to this location in the video, this is a lesson and focus I employ regardless of my subject – to capture that subject within the context of the environment rather than going for the same ol’ shots. Certainly as you travel and visit recognizable locations and subjects, you should capture the shots we are accustomed to seeing – but moving a step beyond and ensuring your photos are telling the story of that subject’s place in it’s environment makes for a much more informative and lasting image. Taking the time to explore a bit and focus on wide shots where the bears are present but not necessarily the focus, or finding details of the bear’s impact on the environment without showing them directly will not only immerse your audience in the location, it will inform and inspire other shots you choose to take.
Gavriel Jecan has traveled to this location with me many times, and he’ll be leading a trip here in July – sign up today! I’m leading a couple trips here as well, but they are sold out. If you’re interested, feel free to join the wait list in case we have any cancellations.
I’ve been holding on to some episodes of Where’s Art?for the busy holiday season, and I’d like to finish rounding out my September trip to Africa with the final episode from Namib-Naukluft National Park in Namibia. Those of you familiar with the location know that it’s an excellent place to capture stunning images of this landscape, with sand dunes casting shadows and fading into the hazy distance. The shadows that fall from the wind-swept peaks and valleys filling the vast expanse of this region provide an opportunity to capture varying levels of the beautiful orange hues of the sand.
The dead and calcified Acacia trees as well as the angular horns of the gemsbok that populate the area are just a couple examples of how even the organic elements of the region only reinforce the graphical nature of the images one can capture here. Few places in world combine such a unique environmental aesthetic with varied wildlife and a deep local culture. Though Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei have attracted a number of tourists in recent years, this is still such a large area that it hardly impacted our group. Many of the local visitors come out for a short period of time, behold the beauty here, and move on. If you’re willing to make the effort and invest the time to being here at the margins of the day, however, you’re bound to capture some truly unique images. Enjoy!
Great news on my evergreen TV show! The first thirteen episodes of Art Wolfe’s Travels to the Edge are now available to stream in the US & UK on Amazon. If you haven’t seen them before, it’s now even easier!
Check them out at an affordable price, or stream them free if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber:
Revel in the beauty of awe-inspiring landscapes and the unique animals and people that inhabit them through an artist’s lens. During these journeys, I share my knowledge, curiosity, and enthusiasm about the world around us. You will also learn professional photographic techniques in such an intimate manner that you feel as if you’re right there with me getting a personal photography lesson.
Art Wolfe’s Travels to the Edge was produced by Edge of the Earth Productions, LLC in association with Blue Moon Productions, Inc., presented by Oregon Public Broadcasting, and distributed by American Public Television (APT). Funding for Art Wolfe’s Travels to the Edge was generously provided by Canon U.S.A., Inc. and the Microsoft Corporation. Additional funding was provided by Conservation International.
Though my Africa trip seems like a ages ago, I still have much to share in the form of another episode or two of “Where’s Art?”! This leg of the journey was to Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe. I had two book projects in mind when I planned to come to this location, and it did not disappoint! For a book on elephants, coming to Mana Pools was a must due to the unique flora that can be found here providing a backdrop that you just won’t see anywhere else. I also had my sights set on capturing some nighttime exposures of baobab trees silhouetted against the starry evening sky for a book that will focus on images captured in between dusk and dawn.
Though the elephants here are generally accustomed to visitors to this area, they are still wild animals – and that was proven when a mother decided to charge our group. Fortunately we were prepared and able to use the surrounding trees to our advantage and no one was hurt, but it was just one more reminder about the importance of staying alert and respecting that this is their home. Rounding out the trip were African wild dogs which were entertaining, to say the least!
The first leg of my excursion to Africa took me to Botswana; specifically Makgadikgadi Pans National Park. Although this location doesn’t feature the wildlife that everyone might expect from a trip to Africa, the bold and curious meerkat in the area came out to mug for the camera. We took to the air via helicopter to capture the vast, beautiful landscape from the sky, and visited a remote landmark revered by the local San bushmen.
This time around, I’m on the coast of eastern Greenland photographing the austere landscape, ice in it’s many forms, and the local wildlife. You may be surprised to know that in my 4-plus-decade career, this is my first trip here! Fortunately I’ve done my research and the location didn’t disappoint. Don’t forget to check out the blog post and stock site for more photos from this location. Time is also running out on our print sale, where you can save 20% on just about any image in my collection!
In this edition of Where’s Art?,I’m in my home state of Washington, visting the Olympic National Park – specifically Shi Shi beach, located in the northwestern most corner of the contiguous United States, to capture the rocky and rugged coastline that can be found here. We shot at all hours of the day and into the night, as photographing the stars over the shoreline in this location so far removed from the bright lights of any major city for an upcoming book project was my primary goal here.
I hope you enjoy this episode of Where’s Art?, and stay tuned as I am currently in Greenland where we will record another episode very soon!
When shooting in harsh conditions, it’s important to keep your equipment protected. Avoid exposing your camera’s image sensor to dirt and the elements by avoiding changing lenses in the field when conditions may be problematic. Having multiple camera bodies with a range of lenses attached keeps the sensor from being exposed, with the added benefit of allowing for quickly capturing different looks for your images by simply grabbing your second camera.
As you know, I am all about capturing a unique and compelling image regardless of your equipment. However, if you’re going to invest in the time to travel and photograph amazing places it pays to be prepared. If you’re looking into a second camera body, consider checking out some of the used equipment on the B&H website or your local camera stores. Be sure to pick something up that’s compatible with your current lenses. Although the latest and greatest cameras offer some spectacular features, finding a backup camera body in a range that fits your budget will ensure you never miss a shot!
Don’t forget that you can also rent camera bodies and lenses as well! Your local camera shops may rent equipment, and there are websites like borrowlenses.com that will ship rentals to you. This can be a great way to try before you buy, or simply ensure you have the best gear available if you’ve already invested money into traveling and participating in photo workshops.
I’m pleased to bring you an extended edition of “Where’s Art?” this week, as my long history with a location that never ceases to provide new opportunities means I have a lot to say and a lot to show! Hopefully you enjoy this episode – and if it piques your interest to get out into the wilderness of Alaska with me, be sure to sign up for my 2018 trips here as they WILL sell out!
When lining up a background for a subject, make sure to give it a clean background to create a more graphic image. In this example I am trying to shoot a Chinstrap penguin in Antarctica where the snowy backdrop isn’t working to make the white belly of my subject pop.