Podcast: Conservation Photography with Art Wolfe and OPTIC 2017 Preview


Conservation photography can take many forms, and we will offer our definition, but more importantly, we will speak with noted outdoor photographer Art Wolfe about his definition of the term. After “Al’s Gearhead Pick of the Week,” we are joined by Mr. Wolfe for a segment in which we discuss how he produces beautiful images in the service of a greater cause. Wolfe is currently working on a project on African elephants and the critical need to safeguard their existence. From this topic, the conversation easily flows to the funding of expeditions through workshops and book deals to the work of other photographers promoting awareness on a global scale and photographers tackling local issues of concern to them.

Above Photograph © Art Wolfe

After a break, we are joined by David Brommer, director of OPTIC 2017-Outdoor, Photo/Video, Travel Imaging Conference, who will give us a preview of this year’s event, held June 4-7, in New York City. The theme of this year’s conference is conservation and the environment, so it is fitting that we pair him with Art Wolfe; however, the photographers who present at OPTIC represent a wide range of styles and concerns, and the topics discussed range from the aesthetic to the technical to the practical. Brommer provides us with a sense of the breadth of this photographic talent, as well as the manufacturers who will attend and festoon their booths with gear for everyone to try.

Guests: Art Wolfe and David Brommer

African Elephants, Savuti Marsh, Chobe National Park, Botswana: I was in a small boat as these elephants crossed the channel and hauled themselves out dark and slick with water. What I really like about this image is the implied
African Elephants, Okavango Delta, Botswana: I set up by a shallow pond and was able to position the camera in a way to capture the width of the landscape
Humpback Whale, Vava'u, Tonga: Tonga is one of the very few places you can actually snorkel within close proximity to whales. We had just five days on the water and four of them were just too windy and the whales were very shy. In a more outgoing moment, a whale swam by and eyeballed me. It was extraordinary.
Puma, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile.
African Elephant, Okavango Delta, Botswana: An African elephant's tusks are used for defense, digging for roots, stripping bark, and fighting during mating season.
Art Wolfe



Host: Allan Weitz
Senior Creative Producer: John Harris
Producer: Jason Tables
Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves


Hi, This was a great podcast. Always a huge fan of Art Wolfe. A great promotion of the OPTIC 2017. I am from Vancouver but have to do an assignment in Toronto. After listening to your OPTIC 2017 promo, I even managed to schedule my assignment so I am able to take a flight to NY and attend the conference. However I have been terribly disapointed that there is but one month left for the conference and there are no details available on it. Called B&H & most people working there (Except in event space) were not even aware of OPTIC2017. All event space said was enter your email at the web site & info will be sent. Sure enoiugh not a peep from B&H on this event. Reached out to some people who active members of ASMP & they too were not aware of OPTIC2017.
Makes me wonder if it is really worth it. And even if it is I have no information about schedule, venue speakers etc. How does one make flight & room reservations???
Your reply would really be appreciated as I have had no answers from elsewhere & the www.optic2017.com has no info except the date



Manpreet: Thanks for the comment about the podcast and OPTIC - it truly is a wonderful, free event.  As you well know, nailing down working photographers to a certain date and time can be tricky when they are on or may be called on assignment, so the "official" launch of the OPTIC website with a schedule of events will be May 4, at the link you mentioned above.  I don't have the full list of speakers in front of me, but Art Wofe will be there and Brooks Jensen is a personal highlight. We do not offer any conference related discounts on hotels but there are many affordable hotels within a few blocks, the TRYP and DoubleTree come to mind, but the event itself is held at the Wyndham New Yorker hotel if you prefer to be as close as possible. I understand your frustration and am not sure with whom you spoke, as B&H is a large organization, but in defense of my colleagues who organize this event, last week was the NAB conference in Las Vegas and most of these folks were in attendance and quite busy. I just spoke with the director of OPTIC who said to feel free to contact him directly with any questions([email protected]) and if you do make in to the conference, be sure to stop by the podcast table to say hi. Best.