After a day of seriously photographing local color, which is hugely significant in Varanasi and India as a whole, we attended an aarti ceremony during which light is offered to deities.
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!
Before the New York Times picked them as their best places, we did for workshop locations for 2011:
April 22-24, 2011
July 4 to July 13, 2011
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.
I wish everyone a healthy & prosperous 2011!
For years I resisted going to India. When I was shooting for my book The Living Wild, I realized that tigers were a critical animal I needed to photograph. In March 1999 I went to Ranthambhore National Park and since then I have been back to India more times than I can count. It has become one of my favorite countries to photograph in—the colors, festivals, wildlife, and ancient traditions are astounding and enchanting.
To track tigers you venture out on elephant-back with a mahout. Photographing from an elephant is difficult at best but a necessary challenge. The forest is alive with birdsong and then suddenly you hear it: the spirited, scolding call of the hanuman langur, meaning a tiger or even a leopard is near. These ever-alert primates are the eyes and ears of guides and researchers alike.
I have never been so excited as to see a tiger in the wild. There is really nothing like it and the experience never grows old. Experience it for yourself and travel with me to India in January. There are three spots left for this marvelous trip.
It is a busy day here at the headquarters of Art Wolfe Inc. There is a big meeting going to happen this evening. In that meeting there will be discussions. BIG discussions. YOUR OPINION will matter. Help us decide where to take you, the friends and fans of Art Wolfe, next year.
Vote early, vote often! Your votes will help us decide. You can see where other people have suggested by visiting our post from yesterday.
I am planning my 2011 (and beyond) workshop schedule. If you could/would go on a workshop with me, where would you want to go?
Join premier nature photographer and television host Art Wolfe and associate instructors John Greengo, Gavriel Jecan, and Jay Goodrich in an intensive four day workshop in one of the world’s most beautiful locations–Grand Teton National Park. This workshop is designed for the serious amateur and semi-professional photographer. Expect days of long, but enjoyable hours, photographing from early morning until sunset. To register for the Grand Teton Workshop visit the registration page in our online storefront. For more information on the workshop and the instructors visit the Art Wolfe Workshop Website.
Due to the success of our recent Art of Composition Lecture tour Art has decided to add a series of dates for this coming fall. Join him in:
In addition, Art will be leading workshops to India, Japan, and China beginning in early 2011. For more information and even more opportunities to travel and learn visit our workshop website.
And would you like to know what other participants are saying? Here are a few:
“I thoroughly enjoyed attending Art Wolfe’s recent presentation of “The Art of Composition” In NYC. His comparison of some of his photographs to works from various artists allowed me to better appreciate and understand his background and how he approaches his “art” of photography. Drawing from his thousands of images, I thought he did a great job of providing examples of what to look for when “composing” a photograph in the field. His use of sequences of various photos he took was also well presented as it allowed me to follow along in his thought process as he was actually taking the photographs.
Being able to hear Art speak in such an intimate setting and present so many of his wonderful photos from his many travels all over the world was a tremendous learning experience and a real treat. Unfortunately, my list of places I want to travel to has now grown significantly.
“First of all, this was one of the best seminars I have ever been to, and I go to a lot of them.
Art Wolfe is a great speaker. He was very engaging with the audience. And the lecture materials were used in a great way; he didn’t show only the right ways to take a photograph but also showed the common mistakes with examples.
After this experience I now consider to join to one of his international workshops because I know now how much I can learn from him. He is willing to share his techniques and experience with the participants .
Overall it was a great lecture, and I hope to see him more often in NY for similar seminars.”
“I am pleased to provide feedback on Art’s recent seminar, The Art of Composition, in New York.
I approach photography from a scientific background. I guess this is due to my career as a research chemist. I have a solid understanding of the “nuts and bolts” of photography, such as the interconnectedness of shutter speed, aperture, depth of field, etc. What I struggle with are the artistic aspects of photography. The elements of design, composition, perspective, color, leading lines, etc are my nemesis.
Art’s selections of lecture topics were precisely what I needed. His first lecture on inspiration linked photography subjects with styles of painting masters. While I could never come close to Art’s knowledge and appreciation of the masters, I could certainly see where he gets inspiration from these great artists, and I am beginning to look at the great art masterpieces with a new eye, ultimately toward how I can use their artistic creativity to strengthen my compositions.
Probably the most useful lectures for me were on deconstructing the image, deadly sins of composition, and elements of design. Art’s descriptions of the scene, coupled with presentation of the critical aspects of the design and composition in the photographs were very enlightening. Through Art’s prompting, I could see how the use of diagonal lines were critical to making certain images successful. Likewise, his explanations of the use of color as design elements with description of how he orchestrated a scene and its perspective to make use of these design elements were extremely helpful.
I found the sins of composition quite useful. While we always read about not placing your subject in the bulls-eye, not splitting your images with a horizon at the center, etc, it was very useful to see “bad photos” (if Art can take such a thing!) showing these sins, followed immediately by a more interesting shot of the same scene with a slightly different composition. It was also interesting to hear and see Art’s examples of when to violate these rules.
Through out the day, the seminar was filled with hundreds of exquisite images, candid and honest descriptions of how these images were created, and discussion of many photographic topics. Art’s warm, informal interpersonal style led to a great atmosphere for learning. Even though Art is easily on the top of the field, he is very approachable and easy to talk with. I liked the weekday class. It seems like life is so busy on the weekends that it is hard to get away for a day. It was much easier (and enjoyable) to take a day off of work! The venue in New York was very good, adequately sized, and in a good accessible location.
I was fortunate enough to attend Art’s Creative Session in the Lehigh Valley a few years ago, and look forward to attending more of his seminars (and maybe even a photography tour).”