India’s diversity surprises you with great images. We found women beautifully dressed in bright colors, yet carrying dung on their heads for cooking and heating their homes. Ancient erotic art adorns temples. How interesting from a culture that doesn’t allow on-screen kissing in their very large and popular movie industry. Ceremonies along the Ganges, celebrate light and life with the poorest of the poor. City life and country life are expressive via the lives of the people and animals. Even a savvy street dog is found suckling from a sacred cow.
Damoiselle cranes could easily fit into the pages of my book titled Migrations. It is a never ending theme of fascination, beauty and the power of nature that arroused me once again. These beautiful graceful creatures in large numbers are an experience that I love to revisit and watch those that are witnessing this phenomenon for the first time.
Art is leading a photo workshop in India for two weeks and he’s starting to send back photos! This first batch was taken on the ghats of Varanasi. It is the holiest city in Hinduism and has been a cultural and religious center for thousands of years. A ghat is a set of stairs leading to a holy body of water, in this case, the Ganges. Some are public, some private; some are used for ritual bathing or cremation, while others are used for quotidian uses such as laundry. Whatever the use, they are always a center of colorful display—even the reflections in the water are beautiful!
There has been a lot of buzz lately about human Tiger Mothers, so let’s give a little air time to the real deal. Tiger moms give birth to 2-3 cubs, nurse them for about 6 months, and start teaching them to hunt about when they are weaned. Cubs stay at their mothers’ sides for up to three years, honing their skills, then they go out on their own. No violin or piano lessons for these kids!
We have marked down all our 2011 calendars Half-Off. We have very limited quantities left of the gorgeous European calendars; these are like buying a folio of twelve posters. We also have a couple of wonderful inspirational datebooks available as well.
Shop at online at Art Wolfe Stockor at the Art Wolfe Store
It sounds odd, but I have been looking specifically for cattails lately. They make for beautiful layered shots of color and texture.
This past weekend I went out shooting with Libby and David, who orchestrate my workshops. We headed out to Washington’s Sauk River, dodged the rain squalls, and got some lovely shots.
The Sauk is a tributary of the Skagit River and drains from the Cascade Range. It has the reputation of being a great flyfishing river. It is also very, very wet.
The moss swells on the bigleaf maples and hangs in long wispy tendrils from the alders.
And then finally I found the cattails, standing tall and golden against red twig dogwood, with pale green forest beyond.
Yesterday I was feeling more stressed than usual so I decided to take a day & go and shoot in my backyard—literally and figuratively. I took off before dawn and headed toward Mt. Rainier. The mountain (volcano) was haloed in lenticular clouds at sunrise, then the light quickly flattened out into a snow sky. I then concentrated my efforts on the Carbon River, the outflow from the Carbon Glacier on Rainier. There has been a cycle of freezing and thawing this winter due to the La Nina weather pattern. The icicles are particularly interesting with their nearly iridescent grooved patterns—not unlike a shining blade of a samurai sword.
Back at home in the late afternoon, I photographed a bonsai tree in my backyard at sunset. It was a good day.
In the last week I have photographed in two very different agricultural areas of Washington State. Some may remember my earlier post on the Palouse last fall. That was such an interesting location that I decided to go back and shoot more. The old abandoned farmhouse has such a dramatically bleak appearance, especially in the severe gray tones of winter.
I followed up that outing with a drive north to the Skagit Valley, where snow geese and trumpeter swans overwinter in the farmers’ stubbly fields. We’ve experienced a glorious stretch of weather, which has been icy cold and dry with bright blue skies. During this type of weather there is always an inversion and it makes for tremendous sunsets.
2010 started off with successful workshops in Southeast Asia.
I had special photo shoots for Epson and local Seattle television, as well as a pledge for Oregon Public Broadcasting. I emceed a very profitable fundraising event for the Puget Soundkeepers Alliance, an organization that is working hard to keep the Puget Sound a viable and functioning ecosystem.
The International Conservation Photography Awards were kicked off with a special event at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall and then opened to great applause at the Burke Museum, which will host the event again in 2012.
I had gallery openings at the G2 in California and the Saxton Gallery in Ohio. In my own gallery I opened the show “Unbridled”, featuring beautiful oversized prints of horses.
Throughout the year education continued to be a focus, with the Art of Composition tour and a four day workshop in the Grand Tetons. I taught a session at the Welt der Wunder Festival in Germany as well.
Wherever I went, I shot: New York, California, at home in Washington State, including the Pride Parades in Seattle and Vancouver, BC.
Hinduism’s massive festival, the Kumbh Mela, was in Haridwar this year. It was a crush of millions of people, it was oppressively hot, and infinitely fascinating and life-affirming.
In 2010 my public television show Travels to the Edge won five Telly Awards for excellence, and in October the Photographic Society of America honored me with the Progress Medal Award. Outdoor Photographer magazine thrilled me by using my photo of the French Alps as the 25th anniversary cover. Outdoor Photography magazine in the UK lauded me and 39 of the best nature photographers in the world for our conservation work.
I finished the year in Michoacan, Mexico, photographing the Day of the Dead festival for the first time and then headed off to Antarctica for the umpteenth time in December.