August 8th, 2011

Frans Lanting and Art Wolfe: Using Photography’s Power for Planet Earth

In a special presentation before a packed room at PDN’s Outdoor Photo Expo in Salt Lake City on Friday, photographers Frans Lanting and Art Wolfe talked about their careers as nature photographers who have focused on conservation. Photographer Patrick Donehue moderated the presentation. Both Lanting and Wolfe are self-taught photographers, and each is extremely committed to preserving the beauty and disappearing elements of the natural world. During the presentation they spoke of their shared belief that one person can make a difference.

What follows are highlights and images from Lanting and Wolfe’s presentation.

In his early career, Frans Lanting discovered “pure magic” in the work of nature illustrators, Dutch wildlife photographers and landscape photographer Ernst Haas, and set out to develop his own esthetic point of view.

A well-known image Lanting recently made in Namibia caused people to wonder whether it was a painting or not, he recalled. He explained that it’s actually simple to make a painterly image if you can anticipate the pattern. “To me photography is about recognizing patterns, it’s subliminal,” he said.

This is evident in his Horseshoe crab image, pictured here. Lanting realized that he could apply this way of seeing to different habitats all over the world, and through this engage viewers with the content of the photographs. “If you want to get ideas of the natural world across, you better have a very graphic style that will attract a lot of eyeballs,” Lanting told the audience. (more…)