An Evening with Art Wolfe at WPPI

by Derrick Story

Las Vegas was far more interesting tonight because WPPI put Art Wolfe on stage to share his adventures from Travels to the Edge, a public television series that offers unique insights on nature, cultures, environmental issues and the new realm of digital photography.


Art's photography exists on the "margins of the day." He's up before dawn and out after sunset with his tripod mounted Canon capturing light as it emerges and descends. As a long time Fujichrome shooter, Art Wolfe emulates the look of that emulsion in post production of his digital shots. He has 11 staff people to keep things moving along as he travels to every corner of the world 8 months out of the year.

His favorite lens? He likes the 70-200mm f-2.8 with the 24-70mm f-2.8 a close second. And yes, he does use autofocus to help keep his shots tack sharp.

Art offered other shooting tips too, such as his secret sauce for capturing aurora borealis: Set the ISO to 400, mount the camera on a tripod, set the shutter for 30 seconds, and open the aperture to f-2.8. He suggests that your prefocus the lens while there's still light in the sky because once it's dark, accurate focus can be difficult.

Over the last decade of his photography, Art Wolfe has taken up the quest to help educate the public about the importance to caring for the earth. He supports many of the environmental organizations, including Conservation International.

One of the thoughts that crossed my mind as I looked at his spectacular images... this is a photographer willing to work hard, stay disciplined, and extend himself to shoot the best images possible. It's true, not everyone has Canon and Microsoft as sponsors (supporting the Travels to the Edge project), but Wolfe is the guy who crawls out of his sleeping bag at 5am on a mountain top to get the great shot. And he was doing that long before he had sponsors footing the bill.