Essays and Inspiration Category Archive

How Instagram Reels are Hurting Photographers

Instagram has been the world's biggest photo sharing platform for years, for better or for worse. Most professional photographers have an Instagram page if for no other reason than to connect to clients and share their work. And despite some issues over the years, broadly speaking, I believe it served...

Potoos: The Forest Ghosts of Latin America

Few bird groups are as mysterious and under-studied as the Potoos of Latin America. These champions of camouflage can be almost impossible to see unless they’re in motion. Perhaps this is why they’ve found their way into the legends and stories of indigenous people.

Easter in Ecuadorian Quito

The celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is very different in various parts of the world. In the Philippines, some religious people reenact the crucifixion, nails and all. On the Greek island of Corfu, they throw large clay pots and jugs of water out the windows. In this photo...

Crisis in Condor Country

The individual condors in Northern Arizona/Southern Utah are not given names - they get numbers. This is supposed to help the biologists not get too attached to individual birds, lest one of their favorites dies. It doesn’t work. I’m a photographer, not a biologist, but condors are my favorite subject....

Photographing Toucans with 400mm Lenses

If you show anyone pictures of birds from South America, there are two types that they are sure to know: toucans and parrots! Toucans are the subject of today’s article – I’ve photographed them for years during my travels, with a variety of camera equipment. Yet almost always with a 400mm lens.

A Rare Encounter with the Cotton-Top Tamarin

The north of Colombia was once covered by a continuous tropical rainforest. However, due to human activity, its area has shrunk to less than 5% of its original size. Countless species of animals and plants have lost their habitat. Some disappeared forever before we could even record them. Others, like...

Nicholas Hess: What I’ve Been up to in 2023

We're only two months into 2023, and I've already had many "firsts" in my photography life. For the first time, I traveled to the Amazon for the unique wildlife opportunities, used the OM-1 (the best Micro Four Thirds camera today), took my Panasonic G9 underwater at my favorite spring, and...

A Rare Encounter with the Crested Eagle

Most who visit the lowland tropical forest for the first time will be surprised to find that, despite popular documentaries, it appears rather empty. You can walk for hours in the green gloom and not find a single big animal. It makes it all the more rewarding when an encounter finally occurs.