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The Art of Wildlife Photography

Lesson 3 of 24

Tom's Story: Books and Galleries


The Art of Wildlife Photography

Lesson 3 of 24

Tom's Story: Books and Galleries


Lesson Info

Tom's Story: Books and Galleries

we'll go through back so to some these these uh end of yellowstone stuff so I know I'm lucky to live in a place like uh where I do because I couldn't go out everyday and shoot um people ask how did you get started we'll talk about this more in a later session um is my start off doing carter our aarti craft fairs you know standing in the on a park somewhere in boulder park city or jackson hole on used their jury art shows more often not it rained and stuff got trashed when came up and got blown over you sit there the sun and people don't know what kind of film used everyone's while they buy something but I didn't wasn't very it wasn't lucrative at all what it barely paid the gas and then I thought well I'll go to traditional gary so I went to new york boston and denver yourself like that and that was all consignment they would take it as long as you paid for you framed it they would usually put in the basement they considered while I fart no art that was traditional art well if it or if...

he was steps step gellar from wildlife park so I realized the traditional gallery thing didn't work so that my brother david had an idea that maybe way should try something in the denver airport so we built a chaos going on at this base we made our own frames a garage to two by fours and split him stained and we had three wonderful colors to buy two we had natural natural fine lacquer on it and we had walnut anyway has a dark oak you know that was her and we had this low kiosk then we later we had a wall display and that actually worked really well I mean it's a little threefold brochure sure brought one and at tri color picture was early colors of a color cranes for engine on eight hundred not burn and we were just gonna open up one of chicago atlanta in st louis and all these place in minneapolis and we're just gonna be plan high didn't work minneapolis worth okay chicago they stole all the pictures off the wall they were security screwed in these broke the frame so it took a whole thing so I decided that it opened my own gallery had little three hundred square foot gallery upstairs and jackson were living I had office across the hall and had a beeper on the door when somebody walked in I would go and help them and sold a few pictures and um fortunate for this great gray owl in teton park you kept kept at galleries two hundred dollars a month and um they're enough l freaks out there that bought enough those owls kept kept that gary go off for a few years buddy mind came and he said can you hire me went to college together and we're nobody's and nederland colorado I can afford you for three months and you watch a gallery and I could go back to photographing which is why I want to do this I don't want to get into retail tired you know not that's why I got out of the family business so he retired two years ago after thirty two years you start off a three month thirty two years he's give me thirty two years and now he's often arizona someplace cruising around news camper this canoe with this he's retired was good for him he was great so now I have a new gallery in jackson's maybe fifteen years old and on um galleries all together on my brother billy way decided tio to re bond after seven years he lived in hong kong for thirty years and you open a gary gallery in hong kong so and then this is a modern guy in omaha nebraska and it's it's great for me because it's a I mean this is what I wanted to do it wanted to show my work somewhere um and I tried a lot of things that tried stock and tried callendar tried um all kinds of things magazines in my early years but I want to be stuck on the prince and that was from a guy that I met own grommet who was a famous painter he was first god did limited edition principal his paintings and I had the naive idea I could do that with my photographs and it was really not you trust me because it took me about fifteen years to figure it out a little bit and then I had a book that came along guy some I work getting them then reports it we should do a book on when your work is never done a photograph book buddy a book of photography a dinner booking porsche's and quilting american duck stamps and uh a lot of the old masters like monet and renoir and stuff so we confer out what to do it was who decided set upon ecosystem so we had every eagle system you know grassland the perrys and already want him and I didn't have any pictures of pool appears I had a lot of arctic pictures they're all head was tracks pull over so I decided that I had to go to the arctic best place that time churchill manitoba and this book was on the shelf starting my friend boomer and I did research on I figured out that the you know true chill manitoba or that western hudson bay coast this this summer but western hudson bay was about the best place to photograph polar bears so went through first and the fall and I returned in the summer and um shot polar bears and fifteen years later I went there to shoot two of three pictures for the book okay go figure fifteen years later I was still there photographing full of that's my fault I mean that's my downfall and I got to meet fred broke my hero who unfortunately passed away last year great man who spent a lot of time together uh photographing bears and uh he was from montreal he spoke a language is liver the inuits every every year for about five months you go from northern greenland all across siberia alaska and canada and spent time with the last of the last people culture on documenting them plus he did a lot of stuff with bears this a very soul in cool hand luke after the movie he was embarrass all three or four years in a row I recognize him from a scar yet under his eye and it was always great to see him walk up to that were intended buggies at this time up to the tundra buggies and sir check us out and everybody else would move off you know like here comes sick luke I don't name animals very often but that way when we go bad boys of the arctic and um skull born of the north wind is actually one of bbc nineteen ninety four there the start of the year award and uh I'd shot some eighty thousand frames of polar bears during that time but I never felt that I'd ever captured the arctic polar bears like it should be so this was sort of the epitome of polar bears late ice wind storm sunset with this little friend arctic fox arctic fox attach is themselves tio two polar bears hopefully it's a good hunter because otherwise they screwed there they're screwed the I had to find a good hunter because they're dependent on the bare to catch catch seals and of course the polar bears and we all know what really endangered not because isis difficult and they have to be nice to catch seals seals come up through the air holes funny enough but I got the call from my assistant that I want this star of the year I said I couldn't have I was a montana traveling it's that didn't enter anything she's why did many years later franz launching my good colleague and friend who was on this program a couple weeks ago um he was a judge and it's a blind judging I've been a judge a couple times is gonna be one this lecture and you don't know who's for refugees and using that published so he said I argued for your picture I just want you to know that he's just because one guy there said it won't fit the format the book is like this wei don't do panoramic images in front says no it's the best image and they went back so franz is like il arctic fox uh picture that fred and I took together in a big white out snowstorm everybody else had left and we stuck with these two bears and fred came to visit me in jackson hole he'd already done a book of polar bears I'd ask him if you would do to an introduction from our polar bear book and he said who's writing at nice is I don't know yet he's already that's why you are done it's all right anyway so I was so pleased because he wrote the text we had a great time so he told the story of family beer's gonna throughout the seasons and became polar dance I am I haven't gone out much in the last ten years that was in ninety seven and but we did go up up about three years ago on um see the burgers again polar bears out to be my favorite species uh coming out of the den coarse hair big eyes well all the time you want to go to africa right I want to see everything of course I wasn't like everybody else on um had to go see the great great beast especially elephants and giraffes and cheetos all the cats she did chasing grant's gazelle they will talk about two birds in africa great place for birds so we go every year to see to africa for much going in january for a month east africa is my favorite place uh we'll talk about this leopard and in the sun and the bail badly or two this is one of my last actual panoramic film shots and someone just told me a couple days ago that that bull actually had been poached just last couple weeks which is really part heartbreaking um chris tigers are um uh become favorite animal but india bend of garden khanna around the boar casita she was a very famous tigris I get to ride elephants always wanted right elephants ever since I was watching the barnum bailey circus in grand dale and I was going to run away with the circus took right elephants I finally got my chance that's how a lot of the photography has done inventive or anyway they have these elephants and their drivers called the hoots to protect pretty much assigned to certain tigers tigers is on the early morning cat shot then we'll talk about that later but if I need it to be just is much smaller parks much more pressure from population in africa but the part of incredible wildlife so if you get a chance if I try to go india eagle owl course p fall peacocks we call langur monkey and this is seated with her her eighteen month old son the two history sisters had already gone off on their own but the sun was hanging onto apron strings and she would walk him around and and um try to get him to go but he just wouldn't go we finally did he wasn't was none too happy about it I have to get back to any of this next year courses spent time in antarctica and I had a lot of people say once you teo book of your panoramic just your panoramic work so I had well like twenty thousand images how did whittled it down to one hundred twenty or something so I picked my best my favorite ten places around the world so it's been about ten years since I did polar dance so then we did this but called the natural world a few years ago and that just it it sort of ten places I thought you know what I loved and of course done allie uh maybe a desert um south georgia in the falklands on the course tigers in india and coastal alaska and uh courses aaron getty and going round crater iceland antarctica polar bears and hudson bay and we're live the greater yellowstone and it's the book I was just a smidgen of without there and um of course um I haven't shown a lot of images that I could have but I always go back to polar bears and their plight you know they're they're in desperate trouble because of climate change way called global warming some but climate change but depends on where you are but their land is climate warming in their ice is melting um the last section talk about it's kind of what it takes to kind of go to um everybody romanticize about oh you go out you commune with nature you know come back and bring pictures and put on one wall solomon just make millions that's so easy drink a lot of fine wine but um you know it's it's great I'm lab so lucky I am simplest could do what I do but it does take a uh a lot of energy and ever work it's a place called el triunfo friend of mine told me about from mexico patricia rob lees gil great conservationist photographer from mexico city and I was one of the photograph um cats all's these beautiful birds that live in a few places like in costa rica I saw a flock of about summer eight and costa rica years and years ago flying overhead and I thought one day when I take a picture with that's all so um about the same time christina men admire form this organization called lcp international league of conservation photographers and that was one of the founding members of patricio and they came up with this idea of a rave rapid assessment visual expedition where they would send a team of photographers with different expertise is like a landscape photographer of macro photographer a camera trap photographer generalised I'm kind of a generalist um to document these rare endangered places that maybe geographic are the places don't expose so to speak and we go in there for ten twelve fourteen days would cover we just covered with you know area as quickly as we could with some of the best people I'll see b is a group of professionals that do work for conservation have a history of doing where for the conservation and then we would spread the word with magazines and newspapers and film and give all but all the images to these people I could use it you know of course we had rights to it that they you know pretty much they had the rights to it so we went to this place called el triumphal biosphere reserve she opposites right alone they guatemala border uh rainforest d forces twenty five percent of all the species in mexico live in this force it's mountainous is high it's dense and um this is their team florian chilton left he's from germany specializes in amphibians and and macro stuff camera traps on the left on dh jack that kinga who just had a lung transplant he's fine almost past but he's like back out at that a good friend from arizona for the great landscape photographers then patrice shows sitting down there from mexico city myself and um pull your cardy from italy no mexico sh we had a great team and we spent four days getting there by truck and plain and things and we had a team of fifteen total support system assistance and we had a lot of stuff and we had to go about twelve miles up this mountain to the reserve unfortunately we had mules to help carry our heavier loads um dense forest see his little tiny person back there you can get an idea how thick this place is you share everything who sounds secure kinds of birds we don't see much beautiful calico nia plants tons of firms the horn one it's about a turkey sized bird rate quite rare could barely fly basically sort of flutter down down the canyon sort crawl back up the trees patricio I was using the videographers head for a tripod because he put his tripod on the mule trying to get a picture of the horned one and this is a blind my guide set up a week before when it gets all ness because I just was fascinated and passionate about trying to see a cat's all trying to photograph one so he said this up just four by four and I looked out the window that morning we got one in her dark look out the window I saw this tail feather this kids I'll stick it out but had a heart attack just sort of had a little slip of the very shy birds never in dangerous she had to be really careful not to disturb them not to move them off their nasa stuff um that's sort of what it looks like in the inside pretty cramped that uh that's what I came for those feathers air like thirty six inches long and when I went back to camp that night we sat around the table geographic sort of sponsored we're going to run a story and so we divided up who want to do what I said can I just go back to the battles so I spent eight of my twelve days and that blind but there were three blinds all look the same but different nest because I was just I thought I'm gonna stay here because it may be my only chance ever on the mail would would call and all I would see which is that hole to settle the whole mike camera sticking out of it and and a barely move you could make a noise that they fly off and that's what he looks like from the front so he's quite beautiful roger tory pearson declared him is the most beautiful bird in the northern hemisphere and I believe him in the mines and aztecs revered the bird is spirit bird and anybody who killed this bird would be killed himself or herself male looking out of mrs telfer there's too big to get into the whole female they took turns incubating the eggs and feeding the young and he would drive off any other intruders and this is what the outside beyond um l triumphal the reserve looks like that this is the threat to adjust coffee farms are along the edge but they you know the people are desperate you know they're hungry you can't blame them you know so they cut these trees down for firewood you know to cook on and here's a man this sun chopping it up and they've got this really thin cattle out there beating them corn mazes they call it and uh this is what it looks like after it's over gray's nephew rains and on dh so that's what the jungle would look like if it were left to its own devices so to speak for people you know love to go in there and get the wood but fortunate there is a pocket there uh there's protected on dh so much just just like that but I was blessed I was lucky to be be able to go there and be part of this team now we have a little short video on another place brazil we went teo like three four years ago and uh we just roll it wear a plaster cast these guys amazing creature to on this one looks like it's going that way another one over one going that direction few people realize commercial fishing or jaguars are called boats is their parties ah the impenetrable you khun you know you'd have to have a machete to get through it because we came in looks like an alligator crocodile and cappie barrel which are the largest rodents in the world the favorite food of the jaguar those two animals that's what they pretty much live off that for a very special amazing cat three days in a row just so lucky to see your three days there are always in about three four miles is like a needle in a haystack way this could have been a really good place early this morning that backdrop but they're nice panoramic gobbling up there in the shade from some place looks like there were two cabs waiting pair back in the booth e so there's that patricia patricia also on this trip lis and hopes that that it was great being with him again so um thank you

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

Learn wildlife and outdoor photography from one of the most prolific nature photographers of our time in The Art of Wildlife Photography with Tom Mangelsen.

Drawing lessons from his 40 years of observing and photographing the Earth's last great wild places, Tom will discuss the complex process behind his breathtaking wildlife photographs. You’ll learn:

  • What it takes to be a great wildlife photographer
  • How to capture wildlife in their natural environment
  • The best places to find animals
  • How to increase the visibility of your work
  • The importance of respecting wildlife and wildlife ethics

Tom will cover the basics of gear and scouting and teach you how to think about lighting when capturing animals in the wild. Tom will also offer a critique images and portfolios submitted by viewers.

If you have a passion for outdoor photography and want to capture the spirit of wildlife in your camera, join Tom Mangelsen for this inspiring and educational class.


a Creativelive Student

There is probably just one word that comes closest to describing Tom Mangelsen’s photography. Glorious. There are other good words too, of course. And they are also inadequate. Mangelsen’s panoramas are (cumulatively and separately (any one of them)) the best I’ve seen. Mangelsen teaches by example and his examples are exemplary. I’ve seen several photographers giving courses on CreativeLive lately many of whose photos I would love to have taken - but with Mangelsen I envy his possession not just of his photos but of their subjects too. And he does possess his subjects in ways many outstanding photographers fail to - possesses them and then leaves them to continue on with their lives. There are other reasons I’m grateful for this course too - his field trips and critiques have shown me (as with other CreativeLive courses) just how lazy I’m being with my work. And if his critiques aren’t motivation enough I only have to view his slide show ‘Last Great Wild Places’ for more inspiration. The photos in this series are revelations all on their own - even without commentary. Thank you CreativeLive for continuing to bring us the finest wildlife and nature photographers at work today - and thank you to photographers like Tom Mangelsen for giving us a look at the way they work.


I could not stop watching this class and set aside time each day until I finished it. I guess you could saw that I binge watched it. Then I was really sad when it was finished! Like a good movie that stays with you and that you don't want to end! This is a wonderful class and the best I have taken at CreativeLive. I learned so much and have a great fondness for Tom Mangelsen. He really knows how to pull you into his passion. I am so grateful to have taken this course and grateful to Tom for all that he has done in his career to further his craft and to share it. I am inspired! If you are going to purchase and course from CreativeLive, this is one to be sure to take!!! Thank you again.

Dub Maitland

Excellent class! An incredibly talented photographer who has a vast knowledge of the subject matter as well as an outstanding ability to deliver the information. It was as enjoyable as it was informative. I first saw Tom's work in an office in Denver in 1991 and have been inspired by him ever since. Thank you Creative Live, for giving us the opportunity to spend this time with the Master! And thank you Tom for your willingness to share your talent with us! Dub Maitland, Missoula, MT.