With the publication of Earth Is My Witness, 2014 was a highlight year in my career. So much energy and time was put toward this mega project that to see it finally in published form gives everyone at Art Wolfe, Inc. an enormous sense of accomplishment. Earth Is My Witness was launched at an event at the California Academy of Sciences.
While my travel schedule slowed down somewhat, I did find myself in India twice—particularly in Ladakh, searching for the elusive snow leopard. I saw several, but at great distances. Regardless, it was a tremendous experience in a rugged and elemental landscape. Next up were Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park, Alaska’s Glacier Bay and Katmai National Parks, and Norway’s Svalbard Archipelago. After teaching a couple workshops in Oregon and Washington, I headed off to Kenya, Ethiopia and Papua New Guinea to make a series of specials for Australian TV. In November I joined Denis Glennon and Frans Lanting in South Georgia Island and Antarctica. Then Iceland’s Bárðarbunga volcano beckoned and I answered its call. It’s been erupting since August and shows no sign of slowing down. My final trip of the year to East Africa straddled 2014-2015.
On the awards front, Human Canvas was selected for the Graphis Photography Annual. Earth Is My Witness was named a “Best Photo Book of the Year” by American Photo magazine. I was honored be included in the UK magazine Professional Photography as part of their 100 Photography Heroes special issue.
Travels to the Edge continued to air around the world, including a first-time run in France as Voyages Au Bout Du Monde Avec Art Wolfe.
If you find yourself in Seattle, please do not hesitate to drop by my gallery. As always, please keep an eye on artwolfe.com for the latest updates. Wishing you and yours a bountiful New Year!
Now is the time of year for the Pushkar Camel Fair and here is a look back when I was filming there for my TV show Travels to the Edge. I did an audio postcard for PRI’s The World, which they used as an answer to the Geo Quiz.
In January I was in India, photographing in the desert Kutch, wild Kanha National Park and along the lush Kerala coast; I transitioned from that subtropical clime to snowy Yellowstone National Park. February took me back to India’s remote Ladakh region in a quest for snow leopards; hiking every day at high altitudes I lost seven pounds and found the cats extraordinarily difficult to photograph, but all in all it was a rewarding return to the High Himalaya.
I can say without reservation that this trip to Ladakh’s Hemis National Park was a great return to the Himalayas. I found the snow leopards extraordinarily difficult to photograph at close range. And yet with time and serendipity it is quite possible a snow leopard could walk directly through camp. Unfortunately, we experienced neither. We literally worked our butts off. I lost about 7 pounds in a week, hiking the trails every day at elevations between 12 and 14,000 feet. The dance ceremony was at the Likir Monastery, near Leh. Held annually, it commemorates the “letting go” of the previous year’s hardships. While at times disappointing, on a whole, the trip was fascinating and ultimately rewarding.
Nestled in the Indian Himalayas Ladakh is one of the best areas to see the elusive snow leopard. I am also getting to know more about the people who live here, and taking in the spectacular scenery and other wildlife.
The first couple days we spent in Leh getting acclimatized to the high altitude before heading out on our snow leopard expedition. The city and the surrounding valley and mountains are home to many imposing palaces and monasteries.
For the last couple weeks I have been traveling in India with some very good friends. As a last minute change in our itinerary, we decided to head off to Kanha, where we enjoyed seeing the abundant wildlife and the adjacent villages. Then we headed off to Mumbai and the Dhobi Ghat (the world’s largest laundry), which couldn’t be any more different than the bucolic countryside.
Click the play button to see all the photos, or click HERE