Technique Tuesday – Capturing Abstract Images

Happy Technique Tuesday!

As you likely know by now I love to create abstract, painterly images. I often find some of my favorite captures in locations that most people might not even notice. This video was filmed on location in Eastern Idaho, however if you’ve attended any of my abstract workshops – you know what I’m looking for! A background in Fine Art and Art History serves me well in these instances, where I can draw on abstract expressionists to see the shapes and colors and contours as something more than a rusty old truck – metaphors and imaginary landscapes abound.

While some abstract captures such as this have gone on to be prints, parts of calendars and more – it’s really the activity of training your eye to see and capture them that is the real value here. Training one’s eye to see the metaphors, colors, and potential of a given shot will only expand your visual vocabulary, and serve as valuable tools in any photo work you do.

Abstract of a hood of an aging truck, Idaho, USA
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“Tequila Time” Evolves into “Live With Art Wolfe”!

In case you missed last night’s episode of Tequila Time (which is possible considering some technical difficulties and a late start!), my usual co-host Parimal Deshpande wowed us with more photos from his homeland of India, currently facing a pandemic crisis. His message that the beauty, humanity, and symbiotic nature of India and it’s people will lead them past this tragedy is timely for us all as we look to move forward. If you missed it, check out his presentation!

Prior to Tequila Time, Tom Mangelsen joined us on Earth Is Our Witness to discuss his Legacy Reserve Collection and the stories behind some of his most impactful wildlife shots – if you missed it, check it out on the EIOW Facebook & YouTube pages – and don’t forget to give EIOW a follow on Instagram to see galleries of all of the EIOW Alum’s work.

Last but not least, we made an important announcement last night regarding the future of Tequila Time and my live broadcasts. Tequila Time was an excellent way for us to stay in touch, and I hope that it helped if even in some small way for folks to find an easier time navigating a strange year or more.

Now that things are returning to a bit of normalcy, we want to make sure that our live broadcasts are relevant and informative and ever-evolving. To that end, we will be evolving Tequila Time into a new live feature we will call simply, “Art Wolfe Live!”. This should not only help save my body some extra wear and tear from the extra tequila – but will also be a more planned and intentional broadcast, featuring my perspective on current important world events, highlighting what we are up to here at the AWI office and out on workshops, and of course a Q&A session to answer all your burning questions!

Stay tuned for Art Wolfe Live this August! Prior to the inaugural episode, we’ll also be reaching out for Q&A questions – keep an eye out to submit yours!

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EIOW Welcomes Tom Mangelsen; Tequila Time Update!

From left to right: Frans Lanting, Art Wolfe, Tom Mangelsen in the Galapagos Islands 2018. Photo by Yuri Choufour.

Tomorrow night, my good friend and renowned wilderness photographer Tom Mangelsen joins Parimal and myself on Earth Is Our Witness. Tom will be sharing photographs from his Legacy Reserve Colelction with us; a very limited collection of his most poignant wildlife images and the stories behind the struggle that iconic species face in their fight for survival in a modern world.

Tom and myself go way back, so the banter should be flowing and I know you’ll be instantly engaged by his images and their stories! Join us tomorrow, May 4th at 6 PM PST on the EIOW Facebook or YouTube pages!

Following EIOW, at 7:30 PM PST  – join us once again for Tequila Time Live! Parimal will be sharing more timely photos from his homeland of India, currently experiencing immense strife in the face of the pandemic. As national headlines emerge from that region of the world, it’s the perfect time to glean some insight and perspective from someone whom is familiar.

Following Parimal’s presentation, I’ll have some exciting news about the future of Tequila Time and future live broadcasts.

See you tomorrow for our visit with Tom & Tequila Time!

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Tequila Time Returns Tonight!

I’ve been away for a few weeks teaching U.S. Workshops and the first order of business upon getting home is to ensure we do a Tequila Time in it’s “standard” time slot – tonight at 5:30 PM PST on Facebook Live & YouTube!

If you haven’t tuned in to TT yet, I think you’re missing out and now is as good a time as any to join the fun as I sip tequila and wax poetic over photos, memories, tips and more.

I started Tequila Time over a year ago now when things began to shut down as a way to make sure all the amazing folks in the Art Wolfe fraternity had a place to connect with me live since so many events would be going by the wayside. Now that we are getting our shots and cautiously returning to a bit of normalcy and I’ve been leading workshops once again, I still look forward to connecting with you all as often as possible.

Since we are getting back to workshops, this provides an awesome opportunity to share the photos we capture on these workshops with you – both my own, and our wonderful participants who have given me permission to do so. I hope they are able to tune in as well!

See you tonight!

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#FridayVibes – One Year of Tequila Time!

Hard to believe, but this week marks the one year anniversary of Tequila Time! From it’s humble beginnings (awwwwwwkwarrrrrd!) to the latest episode we did before I got back to teaching workshops, the format has changed over the months as I’ve learned what works for me and what doesn’t – but most importantly, I’ve absolutely loved looking forward to connecting with you all as much as possible!

I am back to traveling and I’ve seen the grumblings about the lack of Tequila Time – we all knew this would happen when I got back on the road, but rest assured that though they may not be as frequent, I fully intend to connect with you live whenever possible.

Episodes have been proliferated on a number of platforms, however soon enough we are very much looking forward to curating them all in one place. For now, check out episodes on YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram. Do you have any favorite episodes, moments, or subjects from the past year of Tequila Time, or are there any subjects we didn’t cover that you’d like to hear about?

Leave a comment below, we are always looking for great suggestions and questions!

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#FridayVibes – Honing Your Eye: Lessons From the Olympic Workshop!

Happy Friday!

If you caught the recent episode of Tequila Time, I shared images from our recent Olympic Workshop and also discussed just a few of the many lessons we teach in this beautiful location. Sure, there are the typical scenic shots to capture- but anyone can set up a tripod and take the same old shot. This doesn’t help us grow our visual vocabulary, however. Fine if all you want are the token travel photos!

A keen eye that’s trained to find the beauty in the less-obvious is going to come away with the more interesting and unique shots. While each one may not be a masterpiece unto itself, every shot in which you are mindfully seeking compositions that hold the viewers eye in the frame represents a cognitive effort to improve your artistic eye.

Much like a truly invested fine artist will more often than not have dozens of sketch books of incomplete works, never intending to see the light of day, it’s through this practice of finding a shot where others don’t see one that will translate to taking ALL of your photos to the next level.

In the video above are just a few examples of learning to see beauty and something worth capturing in scenes that others might quite literally walk right by. While you may want the big picture of the old-growth forest, it’s really the misshapen lumps of knotted limbs saturated in moss that show the verdant and wild nature of this location. What appear to be simple shots of limbs and trees are intentionally composed to frame the leading lines to keep the viewer’s eye engaged.

Again, not every shot you take needs to be in consideration to sell as a fine art print. On the contrary, most of your shots, much like the sketches of master fine artists are simple tools to train your eye over time.

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Join Me This Month For Olympic Peninsula & Abstract Astoria Workshops!

If you happened to catch last night’s episode of Tequila Time, you may have heard about the slate of upcoming COVID-compliant workshops we have available. Now that spring is here, you might be anxious to get out and shoot, and we have two workshops happening this month with a few openings yet available for those able to get tested and get to the Pacific Northwest!

In just a couple of weeks, I’ll be leading my signature Olympic Peninsula workshop. Last night on Tequila Time, I shared some of the photos I took this past weekend while scouting the area to refresh myself and find some new places to explore. Check out the video at the bottom of this post to see the photos and hear me talk about what I look for in this beautiful old-growth forest and all of the features it encompasses and it’s surroundings.

Abstract Astoria still has a few spots left, although I anticipate we will fill these quickly! I still continue to mine this location for all it has to offer, both in terms of a top-notch place to simply spend a weekend, as well as a time-worn historic beacon of the West Coast that provides so many subjects and themes to photograph.


If March is too soon, check out the full slate of 2021 workshops, and I hope to see you in the field for a safe and inspired year of getting back to doing the things we love!

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Pathways to Creativity Season 1 & 2 Available Now!

I’ve recently wrapped up the final episodes of season 2 of Pathways to Creativity – both seasons are now available in their entirety on my Vimeo on demand page! Far beyond tutorials or simple how-tos, Pathways is the culmination of five decades of learning and teaching photography, studying Art history, and traveling the globe. Through hundreds of images and stories from my travels abroad to my own back yard, I cover it all.

Enjoy the free preview above for just a small taste of the many hours of content included in Pathways to Creativity, and when you’re ready to put aside the banal “bucket list” of photos and truly find your own creative vision give the series a watch!

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New Photos From Kenya & The Return of Tequila Time!

I made my first international trip in some time a couple of weeks ago, and my goal was two-fold – yes, get some amazing photos! Also – get an idea of what international travel is like at the moment. I have to say the experience was smoother than expected, and I felt safe throughout my travels.

If you missed it, I shared photos and stories about the trip on the latest episode of Tequila Time – give it a watch if you weren’t able to join us live!

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Final Tequila Time of the Year – Book Prizes for Great Questions!

As we close the book on 2020 and look forward to making 2021 the bounce-back year we all want to have, there’s time for one more Tequila Time with Art. Don’t worry; I’ll be back live in 2021, and anticipate these chats will just be part of what I do going forward – I love it! but with New Years and the second half of Pathways Season 2 to finish up before some January travel I have a full plate.

To that end, tomorrow’s Tequila Time (5:30 PM PT on Facebook & Instagram Live!) with be a great Q&A along with my top personal photos of the year. We’ve been collecting your questions from social media to hopefully have time to ask; feel free to leave a comment below here to add your question to the list if we have time to get to more!

If you need some extra incentive, I’ve got a few special gifts to give away to the top few folks who ask great questions – so make your inquiries and then join us LIVE tomorrow night –  hope to see you then!

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