In my most recent article on the subject of education, I lauded the value of the grammar school that I attended. Of course that meant that I would immediately make an error in grammar in that very same article. In my last moment before publishing, I changed the first sentence of my description of the first two pictures in the post. I broke it into two separate sentences and did so without making the other adjustments necessary to make those sentences proper. You might say to me, you should have just kept quiet, nobody pays that close attention to your articles. That may be true but I felt my criticism in the article dictated my honesty.
Today let’s look at some pictures from two of the great veterans of nature photography.
Darwin Wiggett is one of Canada’s finest. The pictures you see below were both made in the Canadian Rockies. I have spent time in the region where these images were made and the area is a dream for a landscape photographer. I
love the composition of the image with the mudflats. I usually call that the vertical stretch, as the viewer travels from within inches of the mud to a distant horizon line. When you are composing landscape images there is nothing like the opposite ends of the spectrum. Stretching the land with a wide-angle lens, and compressing the land with a telephoto will make your images amazing.
Lewis Kemper is one of the best liked and most versatile of nature photographers. I really never think of Lewis specifically as a landscape, wildlife or other type of photographer. He does it all. We have a beautifully detailed image of an Alaskan Brown Bear, and a great shot of a River Otter. The otter image was made on the American River as Lewis kayaked near home.
I need to say something about Lewis and a few other photographers. This is meant as the supreme compliment. Let me preface this statement by saying that I am well aware of the concept of only being as strong as the weakest image you show. When Lewis is shooting around home as he has been lately, he will share with the world, some average pictures that he thinks you may find interesting. Art Wolfe does this as well. Art is the most successful outdoor photographer in the world. They both make spectacular images but are comfortable enough in their own skin, that they will show the less than spectacular. They know that every photographer makes some average images. They give you credit for the intelligence to realize that. Being human is a big part of being near the top of anything. It is something that we all can share.
Our third photographer is new to me. I was attracted to Sarah Marino’s blog on the subject of photographer etiquette concerning landscape photographers. I have my own gripes concerning wildlife photographers, so her article interested me greatly. http://sarahmarinophoto.com/landscape-photography-etiquette/ Well said Sarah!
I will admit that if I were more mobile and still chasing images, there are several things I would have not done this winter. I would not have sought out Snowy Owls unless there were so many of them that I could avoid the crowds, and avoid those few photographers that I once dubbed “the camera cowboys”. Despite the beauty of the Lake Superior ice caves, I would not sit in my car for an hour, waiting in a line, only to explore the caves in a crowd. I know the shores of both Lake Superior and Lake Michigan very well. There are lesser known places that will suffice for ice caves. I would not work Lamar Valley in Yellowstone N. P. in the winter. It is crowded enough the rest of the year, but at least in the non-winter seasons the entire park is open, so the crowds are spread out. I would not work the north rim of The Grand Canyon in winter. There are always great places where the crowds will not be.
I realize that not everyone is like me. Some nature photographers seek out crowds and I do get it. I was like that with everything from rock concerts to auto races. I have always prefered that one special friend in nature. My best alternative is just me and Ma Nature, talking to each other.
Three of my own.
Great Sand Dunes Colorado–1986. This is one of America’s most unique habitats. You certainly cannot dispute that those expansive 700 foot high sand dunes are a desert. Just the same, the surrounding land is not a desert. It is grasslands and mountains. The sand in the deserts of southwest Colorado and southeast Utah come to rest in this particular location. All of the circumstances are perfect to stop the sand….right here.
That raging river you see is snowmelt from the high mountains. You have to walk through it to get on the dunes. On the previous morning to this shot, that is just what I did. This visit was made in May and yes it was very uncomfortable taking that long walk with my camera equipment through the 33 F water.
Thank you for stopping and may God Bless, Wayne