Aug 1, 2007

Wolf Art, Art Wolfe, and the Art of Photographing Nature

Ok, so I'm not really here to talk about wolves in art specifically. But I would like to talk about Art Wolfe and his TV series, Travels to the Edge with Art Wolfe. Probably anyone who is even halfway interested in wildlife has heard of Art Wolfe and his amazing nature photography. If not, I'd be interested to know what rock you've been living under. ;)

Art Wolfe is truly an exception nature photographer not just because he is good technically but because his images are also very artistic. Artists can learn a lot from good photographers. After all, the basic rules of what makes good image regarding composition, lighting, and design are pretty much the same.

This TV series has some great film footage as well as snapshots of Art's images. In some areas the show also airs in HD (high-definition) so if you have a HDTV you're in for a real visual feast! (Check out the web site for information on when the show airs in your area.) Also, Art Wolfe himself is entertaining in the show. His passion, enthusiasm, and sense of humor make him amusing to watch. But besides that he's also informative. He talks about how and why he picks particular shots and what excites him about it, whether it's the lighting, color patterns, or the underlying abstract designs. If you have a DVR and can pause it be sure to do so when he talks these things. It helps to stop the DVR and analyze the shot he's referring to fully appreciate the artistic value. Imagining it as a painting, thinking about how you'd do a painting using similar ideas of light, color patterns, and design can be a great learning experience. This is definitely a must-see series for anyone interested in any combination of art, photography, and nature.

I'm also reading a book, The Art of Photographing Nature, by Art Wolfe and Martha Hill, former photography editor of Audubon magazine. It's a great book for both photographers and artists who want to photograph nature subjects to use in their art. Many examples in the book use multiple shots of the same subject to compare in order to discuss what makes one image better than the other. Both give their opinions on what makes the better image. Most of the time they agree, sometimes they don't. In either case it gives you a lot to think about and learn from.

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