It's almost time for me to head out to Papua New Guinea. I'm submerged in my normal pre-trip chaos (which, come to think of it, is inevitably followed by trip-long chaos, and then post-trip chaos), trying to sort through which bits and pieces to take along, and which other bits and pieces to leave behind. The fact that I have so much junk equipment and so many crazy notions photo ideas doesn't help much.
Despite my discombobulated state of being, I did manage to catch my friend Jon Cornforth for another photography chat yesterday, along with another photographer friend, Steven Kazlowski.
Jon and Steve were on a trip together recently to photograph stuff in Alaska, shooting images like this one that Jon sent me:
Sea otter on an iceberg in Prince William Sound, Alaska
Adorable, but brrrrrrrr.....
Jon manages to get to reasonable climates (read: warm places) on occasion, but Steve specialises in cold-weather stuff. Like, all the time. (You can hear the incredulity in my voice if you listen to our conversation.)
Among Steve's images, I particularly admire his photographs of polar bears, perhaps because he makes them look so cute:
Polar bear cub along a barrier island, Alaska
I mean...how can you not fall in love with that furry face and floppy paw raised in ursine salutation?
Anyway, the three of us spent just over an hour talking about a range of topics, including:
- - The ins and outs of polar bear photography;
- The importance of understanding/ relating to your subject for nature photography/ animals;
- Equipment we use for photographing polar bears, humpback whales;
- The role of pig-headedness in developing a sixth sense for animal behavior;
- How we address requests for free images; and
- The outlook for the professional nature photography market.
If you're interested and can bear (like the pun?) listening to us ramble for over an hour, here's the recording:
I've posted the audio file to my iTunes podcast as well, and here's a direct link (80MB, m4a file) if you prefer to download a copy of our mellifluous voices for later listening pleasure.
To close out this post, here's a photograph I took in Papua New Guinea, where the water is blue, warm and filled with pretty fish...just the way I like it:
I prefer warm blue water with lush, colourful coral and pretty fish!
Here are links to equipment, places and people mentioned in our discussion:
Nikon 12-24mm f4
Nikon 500mm f4
Nikon 200-400mm f4
Nikon TC-20E II
Canon 500mm f4
Canon 400 f4 DO
Canon 70-200 f2.8 + Canon 7D
Canon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 + Canon 1DMkIV
Light and Motion Sola 1200 light
xit404 tripod tray, legs and quad ball adapters
Ultralight Control Systems
Misool Eco Resort
Walindi Plantation Resort
- Steve: Svalbard polar bears, glaciers, etc. 1 spot left for 3-24 July.
- Jon and Steve: Polar bear trips, 23-26 Sep; 26-29 Sep; 30 Sep - Oct 3.
- Tony: Minke whales: 28 Jun - 7 Jul 2012. Trip full.
- Jon and Tony: Humpback whales in Alaska + Tonga: 23 Jul - 1 Aug 2012 + 21-28 Aug 2012.