Tuesday, December 7, 2021
I’m always a little amazed at how bright it is at night — not just in cities, but even out in the wilderness. Even on a moonless night, even out in the middle of nowhere, it’s not completely black.
In the darkest skies, you can probably see about 2,000 stars. They produce enough starlight for me to be able to walk around. But recently on the Washington coast there was a second source of natural light and it came from the ground.
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
The American West is home to about a dozen majestic volcanoes. Most of the time we appreciate their towering summits. But what’s underground can be every bit as spectacular.
The volcanoes don’t erupt that often. Only one — Mount St. Helens — has erupted during my lifetime. But occasionally they erupt in such a way that produces dramatic caves, called lava tubes. One of my projects this year was to explore more of them.
Sunday, October 31, 2021
It has been said that every picture has already been taken. More than a billion pictures are taken each day. And some are largely recreations of images that someone else has taken before.
With such a glut of photography is there anything left to do? It’s a question that was in the back of my mind this past month — a month I mostly spent photographing fall color, something I’ve done every October for more than 20 years now.
Thursday, October 14, 2021
Thursday, September 30, 2021
What turns a bird picture into a work of art? A magazine recently asked me and other photographers who had been honored by Audubon that question. I’m certain we gave them enough material to fill a how-to book. But they were looking only for a short article, so little of it ended up in print. Here’s what would have gone into my chapter.
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
There’s a lot about nature photography that’s difficult. Fighting uncooperative equipment. Braving intense weather. Conquering tough trails. But one of the most difficult aspects is standing around, doing nothing, as nature does what nature does.
If you watch many nature documentaries, you may be under the impression that photographers get excited the moment they see animals struggle for their lives. Struggle seems to be a necessary part of life and it can result in dramatic images. While documenting that struggle can be a necessary part of my job, it is a part that, frankly, sucks.
Let me tell you about an afternoon I spent observing the nest of a pied-billed grebe.