The Forest Through The Trees

Giant Sequoias in winter, Giant Forest, Sequoia National Park, California
Giant Sequoias in winter, Giant Forest, Sequoia National Park, California

In today’s modern world of fast-paced digital photography it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the constant stream of new technology. Cameras, software and accessories are being released at an alarming rate, and it’s easy to get caught up in the race to stay ahead of the curve. But it’s important to remember that first and foremost we are artists, and that technology serves the art and not the other way around.

You can be sure Rembrandt didn’t lust over the latest brushes or Ansel Adams the latest developer or papers whenever their interpretation of light and shadow faced a challenge. Instead, they trusted their familiar tools even more to allow their hand and eye (the only lasting tools of the trade) to record the scene faithfully.

When you do upgrade your equipment (and we all do at some point) you owe it to yourself to thoroughly understand its features and functions. No one likes reading manuals, but it’s time well spent that you’ll appreciate the next time the light is fleeting and you’re focused on capturing the moment, not fumbling with dials or menu settings.

So purchase when you must, but don’t lose sight of the forest through the trees. Put your energy into developing your vision and spend less time worrying about the march of progress. Art is about the seeing and no one will ever look at your images and say “that was made with a Nikon or Canon”.  More likely, they will say “what was s/he feeling”!  The more comfortable you are with your equipment the more it becomes an extension of your mind’s eye and allows you the freedom to truly see the world around you. And that’s when your vision outshines all the other tools in your bag.

©Russ Bishop/All Rights Reserved

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Travertine cascades on the Korana River, Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Travertine cascades on the Korana River, Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

The mesmerizing waterfalls at Plitvice Lakes National Park are renowned for their unique colors, ranging from azure to green and blue. The waters are fed from underground Karst formations, and the colors change constantly throughout the day depending on the quantity of minerals and organisms in the water and the angle of sunlight.

Delicate travertine dams separate the 16 lakes that are visible on the surface, creating a unique ecosystem between each body of water. Formed as plants and bacteria in the water interact with the air, these barriers grow at a rate of 1 centimeter a year and continue to shape and form the myriad cascades the park is famous for.

Established in 1949, Plitvice Lakes is one of the oldest national parks in Europe and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Croatia is a beautiful country with a rich and colorful past, and as one of the newest members of the European Union its friendly atmosphere and gorgeous scenery make this an ideal addition to any European adventure.

©Russ Bishop/All Rights Reserved

World Oceans Day

Sunset over the Na Pali Coast from Ke'e Beach, Haena State Park, Kauai, Hawaii
Sunset over the Na Pali Coast from Ke’e Beach, Haena State Park, Kauai, Hawaii

June 8th is World Oceans Day – a chance to celebrate the bodies of water that make up 70% of our planet and provide food, recreation and place to rejuvenate the spirit. As home to an estimated 230,000 marine species, our oceans are a vast wilderness with ecosystems critically linked with our own. Unfortunately many of the earth’s inhabitants never see or experience our oceans, yet our impact through pollution and over-fishing has taken its toll.

Organizations such as the The Ocean Project provide a great opportunity to get directly involved in protecting the future of our oceans through personal and community involvement. Working with zoos, aquariums, and conservation groups, they sponsor beach cleanups, educational programs, art contests, film festivals, sustainable seafood events, and other activities that help to raise consciousness of how our lives depend on the oceans and what we can do to keep them healthy long into the future.

©Russ Bishop/All Rights Reserved