Beate Dalbec has become a friend over the years and she is celebrating her first big commercial sale of an image of bison and Grand Prismatic to the state of Montana. Hear from Beate in her own words her path as a photographer and the role Art has played along the way:
“My introduction to photography came when I was 15 years old, a gift from my father.
I’ve always had a passion for nature and travel photography which led me to watching Art Wolfe’s “Travels to the Edge” on PBS. It gave me a needed boost and when Art offered a workshop in Acadia National Park in Maine in 2009 I jumped at the opportunity to learn from him. Taking this workshop completely changed the way I approach photography.
Art took me out of my comfort zone and made me look at the world around me with new eyes. I followed up this first workshop with a second one from Art the same year at Mt. Rainier National Park. Though the weather was miserable I was amazed at the photographic opportunities before us.Art has taught me to always keep looking, not just to go for the obvious shot. Sure, take it, but then keep looking for different angles, details, and never walk away too soon. Anyone who has taken one of his seminars or workshops can attest that his passion for photography is infectious and that you walk away inspired to take your photography to a new level.
Through Art I connected with Gavriel Jecan and took my first photo tour with him to Myanmar in 2011 – I was instantly hooked on this gorgeous country and its wonderful people. Seeing it through the eyes of a professional photographer makes all the difference. My next project is an exhibit of my Myanmar images from this first as well as my most recent trip.
The bison at Grand Prismatic is my first big commercial licensing sale (and hopefully not my last). I traveled to Yellowstone National Park in June 2011 with my mother. While there I had hoped to hike up one of the hills surrounding Grand Prismatic hot spring in order to photograph some nice abstracts (I was inspired by Art’s captures which he had shared during the seminar).
With unpredictable weather I headed straight to Grand Prismatic to take advantage of some accommodating afternoon light. As intended I hiked up one of the hills and when I reached a nice vantage point I was quite surprised to see a herd of bison heading straight for the hot spring. I just couldn’t believe it! I couldn’t really be that lucky that they would walk right past it?! But they did! I photographed a variety of compositions, from the entire herd to smaller groups, vertical to horizontal to panoramic. After the herd had passed by, the dark clouds on the horizon earlier opened up into a thunderstorm. We packed up quickly and headed back to the car, drenched but elated to have witnessed and photographed this wonderful scene.
Photography is a wonderful creative medium that is available to anyone. My advice for other aspiring photographers is to photograph what you love and connect with others who share your same passion. Try to connect with photographers that inspire you and take advantage of opportunities to learn from them. Lastly have a website so people can see your work – there are so many different options out there, that there is really no excuse not to have one.