This coming February, I’m proud to present the Japan Photo Journey – an intensive photography workshop and journey to one of the great places to visit in the winter time for truly unique photo opportunities. Both myself and Gavriel Jecan will be with you and 9 other participants over the course of an 11-day workshop that begins in Tokyo before heading to the mountains to photograph the snow monkeys enjoying their hot springs.
Once the monkeys have had their fill of our small group, we will head to Japan’s northern island, Hokkaido. In the winter here, the days are short – but the stunning sunrises and sunsets can be lengthy, making this an ideal shooting location with expanded periods of time to shoot in ideal lighting conditions. The rich forests and mountains here provide the perfect backdrop to photograph the many bird species that congregate here, here including the symbolic Japanese Crane, whooper swans, and the very large Steller’s sea eagle.
The days may be a bit shorter, but they will be full of adventures and opportunities. By the time the sun goes down there will be plenty of time for everyone to enjoy a nice warm bath before we have a meal together, after which we will engage in lectures, critiques, and of course cheerful banter. Though our day shooting may be over, teaching is my passion and it’s in these moments where we regroup and discuss the day where perhaps the most knowledge is gained and shared.
Excellent photos and inspiring words from Andrew Snyder regarding our trip to Katmai, Alaska! Andrew was a recipient of the Luminous Endowment’s Art Wolfe Next-Generation Photographer’s Grant. His essay is full of some great tips and insights from Katmai – give it a read!
The Luminous Endowment provides grants to photographers world-wide to pursue photographic projects. Learn how you can apply for the various upcoming grants they provide.
This past August, I had the honor of spending time with some very skilled and adventurous photographers on my Abstract Astoria workshop
I’m pleased to share some of the images our group photographed at this underutilized location. Thank you to the following participants for submitting their images:
Astoria, Oregon, as many may not know, was the first permanent U.S. settlement on the Pacific coast. Being located on the west coast, there are only a handful of great locations to photograph where history and time have sculpted the local aesthetic. Ancient pilings, rusty fixtures, and time-worn buildings flush with weathered detail that some may find unappealing make for deeply interesting abstracts. It’s location close to the elements of the pacific ocean only enhance these features, creating a cornucopia of visual detail that the discerning artist and photographer can’t help but appreciate. Astoria is a treasure trove of visual elements that too few photographers take advantage of.
This isn’t to say Astoria is not gorgeous; in contrast to these rusty and rustic elements, Astoria is a beautiful city, accommodating travelers with fantastic lodging and excellent dining, and I highly recommend paying it a visit!
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting the winners of the 2016 Art Wolfe Next-Generation Photographers Grant and sharing my Katmai workshop with them. They have been gracious enough to send us some of their favorite images from the trip. Enjoy, and definitely give their personal websites a look!
The past week in the back country of Alaska has surpassed all of my craziest dreams and expectations. A week long fellowship with Art Wolfe, Gavriel Jecan and 7 other amazing young conservation photographers has resulted in new friends, endless inspiration, a lot of learning, and a permanent smile on my face. Simply being in the presence of some of the most incredible animals I have ever had the privilege of shooting was amazing, and to have the opportunity to learn from Art and Gavriel made it even more spectacular. Sitting by the river and watching Alaskan brown bears fish for salmon or standing in a wide open field as 3 cubs playfully tormented their tolerant and loving mother are certainly experiences I will never forget. A huge thank you to Art himself as well as everyone else at Art Wolfe Inc. and the Luminous Endowment who made this possible. We are greatly indebted to you and will certainly apply these experiences and what we learned throughout the rest of our careers.
This experience to Alaska, photographing brown bears in the incredible wilderness, far exceeded any and all expectations. Being able to learn from and shoot alongside Art Wolfe, Gavriel Jecan, and the seven other extremely talented recipients of the 2016 Next Generation Young Photographers grant is an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life. Not only did I return home with a portfolio of images I am very proud of, I’ve returned home with unbelievable memories. Being able to have so many wonderful experiences with brown bears, watching mothers playing with their cubs, adults catching the plentiful sockeye passing through the rivers, salmon migrating to their lake or river of birth, I will remember these fondly for the rest of my life. To everyone who made this possible, Art, Gav, the Luminous Endowment, Art Wolfe Inc., Jerry Jacques and the rest of the crew at the Bristol Bay Sportfishing and Adventure Lodge, I can’t possibly thank you any more for providing this once in a lifetime experience!
1) Check the Olympic National Park off your bucket list. Do you have a National Parks passport? Maybe it’s time to get one and start visiting the sites of “America’s Best Idea.” The park system is marking its 100th anniversary this year.
2) Check a workshop with Art Wolfe off your bucket list. A UNESCO world heritage site combined with a world renowned photographer, who also happens to be a great teacher and inspiration? Check!
3) The trees. The temperate rainforest has a living standing biomass which may be the highest anywhere in the world. And it is stunningly gorgeous.
4) The coast. The rocky headlands, beaches, tidepools nurturing a living rainbow of colors and textures, offshore sea stacks of the park’s 73-mile wilderness coastline is a rare treasure.
5) Assistants. I am accompanied by terrific assistants to assure that your photographic experience is as rich as your surroundings. The Quinault retreat is manned by my workshop coordinator Libby as well as two experts in Leica cameras, who will have equipment on hand for you to use; Libby, Bill, Yuri, and Anthony will be working the Olympic Peninsula workshop.
6) Friendship. I don’t know how many friendships have formed as a result of these workshops in particular.
7) Vampires. They’re sexy.
8) Water. Water defines Olympic National Park. There’s a reason why the trees are massive and the moss lush; why the rivers are highways of life; why the glaciers are there to sculpt the massive peaks.
9) Wildlife. We may get lucky and see the huge Roosevelt elk that make the Olympics home.
10) Adventuresome learning. I work hard to make sure everyone comes away from these multiday workshops feeling better about and more enriched by their photography skills.
Art’s Abstract Photography workshop in Astoria was fantastic! What could be better than practicing my dream art in a beautiful environment with loads of inspiration, support, humor and companionship.
This workshop promised to change the way I see….and it lived up to its promise! It heightened my awareness of shapes, colors and textures. Now I can’t walk down the street without looking for metaphors! Making art out of a shipwreck or an abandoned WWII bunker was a right brain stretch for me, but I loved EVERY minute of it! Thank you Art Wolfe for heightening my awareness and opening my eyes!
I really enjoyed the workshop. Beforehand I was concerned that a workshop with someone of Art’s stature would be beyond my skills. My mistake! He found out the experience and competence of each of the participants and worked with that. He was available to all of us all the time and I really appreciated that. I was very inspired by Art and his approach and I suspect that my photography is changed forever. I’m certainly seeing shots where I never saw them before!
Somewhere along my three year journey with photography I lost the excitement I got from going out and taking pictures; photography became more about technical details and getting the shot than being in the moment and experiencing the beauty that surrounds me. After just one weekend with Art, I have regained my excitement and passion for photography. Take care, and I hope to see you all on another workshop in the future.
“Each day, Art would present an abstract element (such as “lines”) and clearly articulate how it could be effectively incorporated into the elements of a picture. Then we would travel to a spot chosen not for its beauty but instead for its ease of incorporating the “abstraction of the day” into our own photographs. Art and his assistants were there to answer questions, but the photographs we took were our own creations. Each morning we presented our own work to the group and for Art’s critique. His gentle humor kept the anxiety levels down and made for a great learning experience.”—Mike Colpitts
“Attending Art Wolfe’s Olympic Peninsula workshop was the most inspiring 2 1/2 days I have experienced as a photographer. The lectures, field time and critique provided a comprehensive learning environment. Art freely shares techniques and tips from his vast experience and shares them in a fun and memorable manner. And, his assistants are terrific photographers who provided excellent ideas in the field. All up, it was a phenomenal workshop — I learned a lot, had a lot of fun and am anxious to sign up for another.”—Ondra Hidley
“This was an amazing workshop that I enjoyed a lot. It was a great honor to meet and work with Art and his team.”—Mathieu Jonkers
“Art and his team taught us how to create photos, not just take photos. He brought out the artist in each of us, teaching us to compose images with our digital cameras as an artist would compose a painting with humor and energy created a wonderful environment of fun and laughter!”—Paige Roberts
“Studying with Art and his team was a fantastic experience. The workshop was full of precise and valuable information delivered with excellent humor. I’m thankful to have been able to study with such a world-class group of educators, and my photography is much better for having done so.”—Liana Lewis
“I appreciated the personal attention everyone received. In the field Art made sure that I got the most out of each shooting location. In the classes, as well as in the field, Art focused on us seeing things differently. During critiques, he edited our work, transforming the photographs as we watched, which was very insightful. His feedback was enormously helpful and I came away with a better understanding of how to take a more compelling photograph.”—Liz Fanning
“The Art Wolfe Olympic Peninsula Workshop was a tremendous opportunity to learn a great deal about photography in a few short days. We were at the mercy of the weather, and although we had too much sun at times that hampered some of the scenes, and too many clouds that disrupted a potentially awesome sunset, the assistant instructors, who were very knowledgeable and passionate about photography provided valuable insight into the creative process of capturing the most striking features of a scene. Art Wolfe provided a wealth of information on composition, equipment and techniques – and also helped me set-up a shoot in the middle of a rock-strewn stream. The workshop was very worthwhile – and highly recommended. “—Ric Raunio
This trip, which ranged from the color riot that is the Holi Festival in Mathura, to the holy waters and ghats along the Ganges in Varanasi, through the beautiful landscapes and tigers of Bandhavgarh and on to colorful desert settings of Rajasthan, was a terrific experience for us both. Art Wolfe magic was a big part that experience. Art is a funny, engaging and kind human being, as well as an excellent, patient teacher of photography. We would join him again in a heartbeat for more photography travel and hope to do so soon!
In early August, five photographers gathered in western Washington for a journey into the wild landscapes of Olympic National Park. Not so unusual… except for the way we met.
We met each other through Art Wolfe’s Facebook page.
When Brigitte Lucke (from Mallorca, Spain) announced she was coming to Seattle in early August, Emily M. Wilson, Victoria Hobbs Braden, Carol Ann Morris (that’s me) (all from western Washington), and Kathy Pfeifer Hansen (from Oregon) were quickly on-board to grab gear and go shoot. A cabin (The “Twilight Eclipse”) was found in Forks, Washington, and the trip was set. Olympic National Park gave us cascading waterfalls (Marymere and Sol Duc), zen-like landscapes (Cape Flattery), beach sunsets (Rialto), and silhouettes and sand formations (Ruby Beach). Add in bald eagles, turkey vultures, cedar waxwings, and it became an extraordinary adventure! Then we were off to Hurricane Ridge (at 4am) for a blazing sunrise and dramatic moonset (the views of each just 500 feet apart). Next was Obstruction Point, where we spotted a sunning marmot, and a cautious ptarmigan with her flock.
We ended our journey in Seattle, at Emily’s home. The super moon, houseboats, a paddle-boarder that somersaulted for our cameras, a Lebanese toddler, flying kites, Tibetan monks, Korean girls, Seattle at night, a lightening storm, visiting Art at his home… it was all one big grand photo op. We felt as if we’d known each other for months, not just the seven days since Brigitte first stepped off the train in Seattle.
A big heart-felt thanks from all of us, Art. Because of you, we connected.
This has become a wonderful circle of friends because of Art. I am so fortunate to have met Art last October and to go outside my comfort zone in an effort to meet the others. I have not only learned a great deal in the last 10 months, but have gained so many friends. I feel blessed.
This three day workshop was filled with intensive field sessions. Art’s goal was to work closely with each participant to really transform and refine their skills. An image can have the power to stimulate the imagination and intellect while also telling a story that awakens the senses. He challenged them to explore the nature of creativity and discover ways to bring its power to each image.
Everyone that attended explored photography and the subjects that were presented more thoroughly than they ever had before. They all walked away with a new perspective on photography and a new found inspiration.
“I have taken snapshots for more than 10 years, but I hit a wall. I knew there was something missing in my work but I just could not see it. This was my first workshop; Art Wolfe’s Oregon Coast workshop on Composition and Design. His distinctive view of the world, coupled with a unique talent to teach reinvigorated me. It was well worth the investment to get me to the next level. Thank you.”
“The workshop was the most intense, personal experience of any photo seminars/workshops I’ve attended. The focus on the artistic aspects of photography really whet my appetite and senses to see more of what surrounds me for photo opportunities. The review of technical basics like the 10 deadly sins plus the near genius demonstration by Art of the capabilities of Lightoom will allow me to continue to progress as a serious amateur. Art’s assistants were also very helpful and courteous throughout the 3 days—they complemented Art very nicely. I would definitely consider attending another session to continue to grow my skills and vision.”