Showing posts with label story telling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label story telling. Show all posts

Saturday, August 31, 2019

When fog is more than fog

Morning Fog, Sparks Lake, Oregon

One of the biggest challenges a visual artist faces is capturing people’s attention — and then keeping it. Compelling art captivates people. It inspires them to look around and appreciate every inch. Most pictures, however, are lucky to get more than a few seconds of anyone’s time.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Eagle, fox, rabbit: One year later

Bald Eagle and Fox Fighting Over Rabbit in Midair, San Juan Island, Washington

It was just over a year ago that I caught the sequence of a bald eagle and young red fox struggling over a rabbit in midair. Since then, the image has run in newspapers from Moscow to Sydney, on network television and been honored by the National Audubon Society.

It was quite a ride — and not just for the fox. Given the new attention the work is receiving, I thought I would share some thoughts on the past year as well as a few images from that encounter that I haven’t previously shared.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

What does the wind look like?

Sunset on High Peaks, Pinnacles National Park, California

You often hear of artists talking about their careers in terms of personal growth. Over the nearly 20 years I’ve been photographing nature, my vision has certainly grown.

In the beginning, I was satisfied with images that made nature look as pretty as possible. Today, I try to make images that are pretty but also communicate how I felt when I pressed the shutter button. And in Pinnacles National Park, California, last month, that meant I had to find a way to photograph the wind.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The legend of the troll rocks

Rainbow and Reynisdrangar Sea Stacks, Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland

There have always been stories about the origin of the land and the life that calls it home. Before there was science, those stories came from imagination and spirituality. In this series, I have created contemporary nature photography to illustrate them. Read more about my Legends of the Land series.

Iceland is a great place to be a troll. There are trolls all over the country, but you never see them — at least not in the flesh. Trolls must forever remain in the dark. Sunlight turns their skin to stone.

So they spend their days in mountain caves or under sea arches, venturing out only in the black of night. And in the rugged landscape of Iceland, there are plenty of places for trolls to hide from the sun.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The legend of the Milky Way

Mount Baker, Perseid Meteor and Milky Way, North Cascades, Washington

There have always been stories about the origin of the land and the life that calls it home. Before there was science, those stories came from imagination and spirituality. In this series, I have created contemporary nature photography to illustrate them. Read more about my Legends of the Land series.

It used to be that once the sun went down, the sky was completely black. But that ended one night when the biggest dog ever decided to steal a snack from some farmers.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The legend of Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

There have always been stories about the origin of the land and the life that calls it home. Before there was science, those stories came from imagination and spirituality. In this series, I have created contemporary nature photography to illustrate them. Read more about my Legends of the Land series.

Niagara Falls is one of the most majestic waterfalls in the world, but where it stands today used to be an ordinary river. The waterfall is a tribute to the courage of a young woman and the spirit who helped protect her and her community.

Monday, February 29, 2016

The legend of the first robin

Robin in Snow

There have always been stories about the origin of the land and the life that calls it home. Before there was science, those stories came from imagination and spirituality. In this series, I have created contemporary nature photography to illustrate them. Read more about my Legends of the Land series.

The transition from boy to man isn’t easy for any teenager, but it was especially difficult for a boy named Opichi. He made that transition many years ago and we still celebrate it to this day — every year when winter transitions into spring.

Monday, November 30, 2015

The legend of the black crow

Black Crow and Full Moon, Bothell, Washington

There have always been stories about the origin of the land and the life that calls it home. Before there was science, those stories came from imagination and spirituality. In this series, I have created contemporary nature photography to illustrate them. Read more about my Legends of the Land series.

Today, crows are as black as night, but they used to be as white as snow. But appearances can be deceiving anyway.

While its color has changed over the years, its voice hasn’t. The crow has always been a loudmouth. And that’s what got it into trouble.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The legend of the lunar eclipse

Lunar Eclipse over Mount Rainier, Washington

There have always been stories about the origin of the land and the life that calls it home. Before there was science, those stories came from imagination and spirituality. In this series, I have created contemporary nature photography to illustrate them. Read more about my Legends of the Land series.

You don’t usually see the moon during the day, but that is not because he isn’t working hard. Once the moon almost lost his life because he tried to do more than he was able. He couldn’t tell anyone “no.”

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The legend of the rhododendron

Junco on Blooming Rhododendron

There have always been stories about the origin of the land and the life that calls it home. Before there was science, those stories came from imagination and spirituality. In this series, I have created contemporary nature photography to illustrate them. Read more about my Legends of the Land series.

There was a time when marriage wasn’t just for people — trees and shrubs got married too. But they don’t anymore and it’s because of a tree that was too quick to judge a beautiful potential bride.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The legend of the mice and the Douglas fir

Fir engulfing Douglas Fir Cone

There have always been stories about the origin of the land and the life that calls it home. Before there was science, those stories came from imagination and spirituality. In this series, I have created contemporary nature photography to illustrate them. Read more about my Legends of the Land series.

It was the middle of the night, but the forest was brightly lit as if it were day. A lightning strike had triggered a massive wildfire.

There had been other lightning strikes and other fires, but everyone from the smallest creatures to the biggest trees knew this one was different. Nothing was slowing it down. Not only did it continue to grow, but it grew at a faster and faster rate.

All the animals began to flee. Birds flew away. Deer and other many other animals ran, barely able to beat the heat. But the mice, with their tiny legs, fell farther and farther behind.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The legend of Face Rock

Face Rock and Full Moon, Bandon, Oregon Coast

There have always been stories about the origin of the land and the life that calls it home. Before there was science, those stories came from imagination and spirituality. In this series, I have created contemporary nature photography to illustrate them. Read more about my Legends of the Land series.

Ewauna was the very definition of adventurous. A child of the mountains, she spent all her free time climbing as high as she could, seeing as far as she could see. So there was no doubt that she would attend the first gathering of four tribes, which was going to be held along the coast, something she had only seen from far, far away. As a chief’s daughter, she had to go, not that it mattered; she would have invited herself anyway.

Arriving at the potlatch, however, she was immediately disappointed. She was forbidden to see the very thing she traveled so far to see: the ocean.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The legend of Crater Lake

The Legend of Crater Lake, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

There have always been stories about the origin of the land and the life that calls it home. Before there was science, those stories came from imagination and spirituality. In this series, I have created contemporary nature photography to illustrate those early Legends of the Land. Read more about the series here.

 

The spirits of the Earth and Sky used to be closer to us than they are today. While they lived deep below ground or way beyond the clouds, they would visit us from time to time. We could see them, walk with them, talk to them.

They are powerful gods, but we usually had no reason to fear them. They were friendly and often used their power to help us. But they were still sometimes controlled by their emotions. One of those emotions — jealousy — led to a particularly dark time.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Announcing my next photography project

Typically when I share a project with you, it’s nearing completion. Or at least I’m sure it will be completed. This time, I’m bringing you into a project early, although in some ways, this isn’t exactly the early stages.

I’ve been working on Legends of the Land for going on 10 years now. It was to have been my very first photography book. Today, I’m not even sure it will be my fifth.

It’s not that I’m not fond of this project. In fact, I find it even more interesting and inspiring than I did 10 years ago. The issue is that it has required far more time and resources than any other project I’ve ever attempted. Keep in mind I spent three years watching a bald eagle nest.

The idea is this:

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

March of the penguins

Yellow-Eyed Penguins, Jack's Bay, New Zealand

Think of penguins and you typically think of long lines of the flightless birds gathering on ice. New Zealand, however, is home to several types of penguins that march across bright scenery reminiscent of central California beaches, even if the temperature is closer to the Antarctic.

One of these types is the incredibly rare yellow-eyed penguin — one of the rarest penguins in the world. Considered by some scientists to be the oldest species of penguin in existence today, there are only about 4,000 left. And they’re all in New Zealand, where the natives call them Hoiho.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Letting nature tell its own story

Bald Eagle: Juveniles Playing Catch

It has never been easier for a nature photographer to create an image that they imagined in their head. No Photoshop required.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Moving to eliminate distractions


Why is it that some people feel the need to carve their name into everything? I realize the cavemen did it, but they didn't have Facebook and DrawSomething.

Whatever the reason, the work of a modern day caveman was squarely in the middle of a scene I wanted to photograph.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Making big scenes look big

There hasn't been a waterfall per se at Dry Falls in central Washington for at least 10,000 years. But when there was a falls there, it would have been spectacular: 400 feet high, 3½ miles wide and ten times as powerful as all the world's current rivers combined.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Don't let backyard photography give you cold feet

The black-capped chickadee is no ivory-billed woodpecker. Dozens visit my office window every day to feast on the free suet.

But just because they're common, doesn't mean they are not interesting. And a recent snow storm that, at times, had my yard buried under nearly 10 inches of snow allowed me to create some images that help tell their remarkable winter story.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Raining? Use an umbrella, not a lens cap.

It's a gray day in Seattle, just like yesterday, the day before, and the week before that. It's the end of May, and I've been able to barbeque only twice so far this year. And one of those times was in the rain.

So what does this have to do with nature photography? If you only photograph (or barbeque) when the weather is just right, there may be long periods of time when you don't get to do it.

You may have to change your photographic style a bit.