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Create Art Through Photography

Lesson 1 of 16

Class Introduction

Art Wolfe

Create Art Through Photography

Art Wolfe

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Lesson Info

1. Class Introduction

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

Now as most of you know, Art Wolfe is an award-winning, world-renowned nature and cultural photographer. He's also an educator and his work spans five decades in every single continent in the world. With over 100 published works, his awe-inspiring images have been published in books, magazines, and exhibitions all around the world. He of course is known for his public television series, Art Wolfe's Travels To The Edge, and he was recently featured in a new Netflix series called Tales by Light. Art is also an advocate, passionate advocate for the environment as well as indigenous cultures. He is a legend and we are so thrilled to have him back here on CreativeLive. So please help me welcome back Art Wolfe. (audience applauding) Thank you. Thank you. So I'm a little nervous. I've never given this series of lectures before. I created it exclusively for CreativeLive. So cut me a little slack. You know, if I stumble or stammer on photos, just go with the flow, alright? What is gonna be is...

I'm gonna give the first lecture and it's really about how I work in all these different locations around the world. And with that, I'm gonna bring up my first image. This is my playground. I was born and raised in Seattle. But when I first got my camera, and I'll talk a little bit about that in a moment, that camera became a passport to the world and I've never stopped traveling ever since. So I look at the map of the world, I was one of those kids in grade school and junior high and high school, I'd love staring at maps and memorizing the countries. And it was an allure to travel beyond Washington state. We live in the West Coast of North America and if you head west from here, largely you're traveling out of country. And that was always the allure to me and fortunately, I've been able to execute that and live a life like that. But on any given year, I will travel all around the globe. I will circle the Earth, on average for the last 15 years, three or four times I'll circle the globe. And so it's not a lifestyle that most people really would want to do but I'm well suited for that. I have this insatiable desire to learn, I'm innately curious and over time, I've able to produce over 101 books. And so that really is the record of success is the fact that I've got this temperament. I hate sitting around, I'm always moving, so they've given me a little bit of a roaming room here. I don't presume that everybody in this room really knows where I came from or my history. So I'm just gonna briefly tell you a little bit about myself. You know, I was born in 1951 in the outskirts of Seattle, within the city limits. There were a lot of wooded ravines that I can remember as the earliest memories playing out in those woodlots. You know, collecting frogs and bird eggs and studying nature. And as I grew older, I started, I got an old car and I started traveling to the nearby cascades and olympics. And this was shot when I first got a car with my dog, Wolfie, and at that time, I was loving to go fishing along the creaks but my other love was drawing and painting. I was the school artist in grade school, junior high and high school. So I really had two loves. Nature and drawing and painting and in fact, you know, I'm 66 years old now and I've been able to pursue those two loves. There's a linear line that runs through my life and that is showed here. So when I'm now in my late teens and early 20s, I'm painting. I'm stretching water color paper and going out to in this case, port in towns and photographing the old German consulate. I would go to the beaches in West Seattle and then I eventually enrolled at the University of Washington and after taking several years of all the broad range of classes, I declared an Art major and I got a five year degree in Painting and a two year degree in Art Education which is why I can stand in front of you guys and give a talk because like most people, the biggest most common fear is speaking in front of a group of peers. And so I was able to kinda break through that. Not entirely, I'm still a little nervous as I start the day. But I loved really getting out to the natural beauty of Washington and doing two or three hour studies with water color paint and that's in fact the meeting medium of choice. And this was painted very close to where I live today. I live one mile from where I was born. So I, you know, it's circling the globe but always coming back to the neighborhood I know. I've got friends that I go out to dinner with that I've known since five years old. So I've got those really strong roots. I can never live out of a trailer and just roam the world. I always have to come back to the home base. As I've gotten older, my paintings became more and more abstract and certainly going through college, that really opened up the world to me and I really attribute a lot of my success is having that background in painting and art. Which goes to the third lecture which is called, Photography As Art, which is an abridged version of a class that I give around the country. That's all day class. The second lecture is really, was a challenge for me to put together. It's called Technology And How Technology Has Helped Me Advance My Work. I have a computer on my little table here and I'll look at about 27 images and quickly work on them in Lightroom and try to transform them into a slightly better photo. If I can do that, we'll see.

Class Description

Photography is more than just a click of the shutter as it can create a statement or evoke a feeling and thus becomes a powerful art form. Internationally acclaimed photographer, artist and educator Art Wolfe joins CreativeLive to teach creative professionals how to see and make art in exciting new ways. 

In this class Art will share:

  • How to maximize photographic opportunities while traveling to unique and beautiful photographic destinations.
  • The best ways to take those special images efficiently. 
  • His favorite technological advances and how he uses them to enhance his creative vision. 
As a special segment, Art will preview how knowledge of art history provides a creative foundation and show students how to apply these principles to enhance their own compositions. He will also include a live critique of student images and, using Adobe® Lightroom® CC, will guide students through the editing process to transform the images into stronger artistic statements.



Thank you, Art Wolfe and Creative Live for this outstanding and astounding invitation to open my eyes and mind to a new way of thinking based on classic elements of design. This set of video lectures is a rich feast for the brain and heart willing to consider change. Art explains the elements of design such as texture, line, etc., and then shows how he has applied those basic principles. He explores metaphor, ambiguity, graphic design and negative/positive space--all with eye-popping examples. Wolfe takes us through the galleries of the Impressionists, Abstractionists, and Pop Artists to show how visiting our local art museums with a photographers eye can teach us to see in new ways. I love the way he shows, for example, a Mondrian or a Jackson Pollack or a Hokusai painting and then segues beautifully into examples of his own work inspired by those greats. Never does Art lose sight of the mission he has in this series, which is to inspire serious-hearted photographers to rise to new visual heights in their own work. He has a way of seeming to say, "Look. If I can do it, you can do it. Here are my secrets--let me break them down for you." To me, it was a privilege to take this class--my brain is exploding, and I'm itching to get out and shoot! Thank you so much, Art Wolfe and the Creative Live team--you are both amazing! Sandy Brown Jensen Eugene, Oregon

JIll C.

After watching Art Wolfe's presentation for just a short while, I have an almost irresistible urge to pick up my camera and get out into the world to look for the abstracts that can make stunning images. His body of work is simply stunning, and his verbal patter is mesmerizing. He proposes to find beauty in decay, and to train our eyes to see what others overlook. This is not a technical class, and there is no discussion of gear or camera settings. I found it very inspiring, and his ideas will surely help me to overcome the lethargy that has overcome my photography hobby.


Wonderful lecture with tips and tricks of how he shoots, what gear he uses, suggestions for comp, and samples of how he processes a RAW file in LR. Art was just as awesome as I had heard he was in person. I'm a professional photographer and definitely came away with many new tips, perspectives and inspiration to see your image differently and to look closer at the less obvious scene. Thank you Art for sharing your talent, its so very much appreciated!!