Happy Friday-Before-The-Fourth of July! There is a lot going on here in the USA, but one thing remains constant – beautiful locations, scenic views, and amazing wildlife! over the next year or so I’ve got several US-based workshops and photo retreats to sign up for – reserve your spot today and join me in the field and take your photography to the next level!
A very famous French diver once called Indonesia’s Wakatobi an underwater Nirvana. I am not going to quibble with Jacques Cousteau. Last week I traveled with very good friends and serious underwater photography gearheads (which I am not) to this island archipelago. My friends endured lost luggage and had to rent equipment, and I, a fish out of water doing underwater camera work, battled against stronger-than-expected currents, a leaking mask, and balky SD cards. Fortunately on the last couple days of shooting things worked themselves out and I managed to get a few really nice photos that will fit very nicely in the huge new wildlife book coming out next year!
One of the more challenging aspects of photographing underwater in this and similar locations are venomous fish – in this case, scorpion fish. On top of managing the underwater camera system while trying to stay steady in a difficult current and not scaring away my subjects, I also had to keep myself from disturbing the sea floor. At one point my underwater guide and myself were balancing ourselves on a tiny wooden dowel stuck into the sea floor to try to stabilize ourselves. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it – enjoy the photos!
I used a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV camera with an EF8-15mm f/4L FISHEYE USM lens in a Nauticam underwater housing.
Wildlife Wednesday on World Rainforest Day? Great timing!
The first leg of a recent trip took me to Brazil, with one subject in mind – the Harpy eagle. This is a massive bird at the top of its local food chain, distinct by its double-crested head feathers that spring to attention whenever the eagle is on alert. I came away thrilled with the photos I got, and included below is also a bit of video we shot from the blind.
Art Wolfe Live returned this week with a special look at Katmai, Alaska and the bear tours Art leads annually to this unique location. We run multiple tours here because demand is high. The first trip in August is nearly sold out! However there are still a few spaces remaining for the second tour that begins right on it’s heels – reserve your spot today!
It’s Wildlife Workshop Wednesday! I have several upcoming photo journeys which will have great wildlife viewing opportunities: Madagascar, Mongolia, Katmai Alaska, Botswana, Namibia, Mount Rainier, Japan, and Glacier Bay Alaska. Join me on a trip – visit the events page or click on a specific trip below for more information!
Two spots have recently opened up to join me in Madagascar in May! This is one of the most prestigious locations on any photographer’s bucket list, and one that’s been requested for some time now. Check out the video above for more information on what this unique location has to offer!
There are plenty of reasons that every Summer in late July and early August I return to Katmai Alaska to lead multiple workshops. From a new perspective on a location that’s become very familiar to me, to capturing the kinds of shots of the local bears one simply cannot get anywhere else, it always has something new to offer.
I’ll be back there this year, and there are still some spaces available to join me on both tours – but space is limited!
If you’re still on the fence, here are 10 more reasons to join me in Katmai, Alaska this Summer!
1.) Coastal Brown Bears are beautiful and powerful, and to be in the presence of an animal of this magnitude it is humbling.
2.) Capturing amazing images of these creatures is even more magical. There is no substitute for experience in the field, and I’ll be bringing decades of it to our group as well as our interactions on an individual basis.
3.) We have two dedicated pilots and four planes at our disposal. Not only is this convenient, but it means we have the utmost flexibility to change our plans depending on weather conditions. If the group cannot fly, we can always take the group up to Lake Clark to see the bears fishing for clams, or to see Dick Proenneke’s cabin!
4.) The remote Katmai Coast is the largest intact stretch of uninhabited coastline left in North America, and provides a rich and contextual backdrop for the bears.
5.) The lodge has a top-notch cook, so the group can enjoy delicious meals while reminiscing about the day’s adventures on the tour.
6.) Late July and early August is the peak of the salmon run, and is why we reserve these times with our local experts and accommodations well in advance. The rivers are running with beautiful red salmon, which is an excellent secondary element for fantastic photographs.
7.) I’ve been such a frequent visitor of this location that I can recognize individual bears by sight and in many cases can predict their behavior and identify their strengths, giving us a distinct leg up in capturing them at their best. If an individual is known to be an expert fisher, rest assured I can point them out to ensure we capture the best possible action on the river!
8.) We work with the local lodge owner whom scouts the area before our group arrives to ensure we have a good idea of where the bears are going to be. This cuts down the amount of hiking the group needs to do so we can get right into photographing.
9.) We always find several mothers with young cubs and they are generally not intimidated by humans, so our groups can sit and photograph the cubs as they run and play for hours if we like.
10.) If it hasn’t become clear already, this is a region I know like the back of my hand, and we’ve spent several years working with the same local folks to ensure as much consistency as possible. So few variables and unknowns means I’ll have more time to spend directly working with participants to ensure they all come away with stunning photos!
Check out the events page for more information. These workshops always sell out, so reserve your spot today to ensure you don’t miss out!
On March 14, 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt established Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, along Florida’s Atlantic coast, as the first unit of what would become the National Wildlife Refuge System. There are now more than 560 refuges across the country that protect species and the landscapes they depend upon for survival.
My favorite refuge is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. After rafting rivers in the refuge several times over the years, I filmed an episode of Travels to the Edge there in 2006, which can now be streamed online!
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.
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!
This year’s bear tours in Katmai National Park didn’t disappoint. The salmon were plentiful, the bears were actively fishing for them, and we were happy to capture it. It was great to visit some locations that I had previously avoided due to crowds, and myself and our participants were rewarded with plenty of opportunities to capture great photos.
This being one of our more popular workshops, I wanted to feature the great photos our participants took on this trip. Fortunately they were gracious enough to accept this request and send me several photos to post and attribute.
Be sure to comment below if you have any favorites!