Essays and Inspiration Category Archive - Page 4

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.

The Sword-Billed Hummingbird: A Knight of the Andes

To date, we know about 377 different species of hummingbirds. The vast majority are found in various habitats in Central and South America. Distinguishing between species takes some practice, as the differences are often subtle. However, the species I'm going to introduce to you today is an exception. You only...

Some Notes on AI, ChatGPT, and the Photography World

One of my favorite expressions is a “sea change” moment. Even Merriam-Webster’s entry for sea change is highly evocative: “Archaic. A change brought about by the sea.” You can imagine a time in the past when the ocean represented the ultimate unknown. To watch the sea, of all things, change, would be grand and terrifying.