Jake Wyman, Photographer

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Recent Aerial Work

Over the years, I've done quite a bit of aerial photography work from helicopters. And not only have I flown in many locations in the U.S., but I've been fortunate to have shot from helicopters in New Zealand (Doubtful Sound), and French Polynesia (Nuku Hiva in The Marquesa's), as well.
In early December, I had the opportunity to fly with AirOcean Aviation in Yalesville, CT. A friend invited me along for a half-day flight over Connecticut and Western Massachusetts, checking for Pileated Woodpecker damage to the wooden transmission towers. The wooden structures are then replaced with metal towers when they are deemed to be compromised by the damage that these large birds have done. In the coming weeks, I'll be photographing this dangerous work from the ground.

Below are two bird's-eye views of the work involved in replacing the transmission towers:
© Jake Wyman

© Jake Wyman
While we were flying to and from the heliport to the transmission lines, I was able to get a few images for myself and for my portfolio.

The following images of a single tobacco barn in Somers, CT., and a remote farm in Northfield, MA., can be found in the "Solitude" gallery on my website.

© Jake wyman

Flying directly over an international airport in a helicopter might not seem like the safest place to fly, but I'm told that, in fact, it is one of the safest places to fly. The image below was made as we were flying over Bradley International Airport, on our way back to the heliport.

© Jake Wyman
 Thanks for looking, and feel free to share!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

How To Gift Wrap a Baby Elephant

Baby elephants and baby rhino's need our help!

I love elephants so much that one year I gave each of my nieces and my nephew, a "baby elephant" for Christmas!
You'll have to read the rest of my post to find out how it's done, but know that it is truly a unique gift that helps a great cause, and it's heartwarming.

But first.........
"If neither time or money were not an obstacle, then what would you do with your life?"

For a long time, this has been one of my favorite questions to ask people that I meet-young & old, and the usual response is a variation of "I don't know."

My answer has always been the same: To continue working as a photographer and travel, but focus exclusively on photographing wildlife & nature. My primary objective would be to create a book on my favorite animal in the world-the elephant! To experience an elephant or elephants in their natural habitat is one of the most awe-inspiring and humbling experiences I've ever had. They are magnificent! To see them performing in a circus is pitiful and disgusting.

Maybe someday, I'll get my priorities in order and go and do it. For now, I live vicariously through the work of the photographer Nick Brandt and the "Big Life Foundation", an organization founded in October 2010 by Nick and the conservationist Richard Bonham. 
Their mission, from the website:

"Big Life Foundation seeks to conserve and sustain the wildlife and the wild lands of the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem of East Africa through innovative conservation strategies that address the greatest threats while - at the same time - satisfying the economic interests of the resident Maasai people in ways that improve the quality of life for the entire community."

Recently, I received a heart-wrenching newsletter/email from the foundation, regarding the famous elephant family below.
 © Nick Brandt

On October 27 2012, Nick Brandt took this photo of Qumquat, one of Amboseli’s most famous matriarchs, and her family.
24 hours later, they were gunned down by poachers.

You can read the short  and somewhat hopeful story here, and I hope that you will take the time to read it.

And now, about those baby elephants for the Holidays.....

The story is "hopeful", because the older of the two baby elephants was eventually found alive, and rescued by the David Sheldrick Trust. The Sheldrick Trust is another conservation organization that I have followed for years, and it is through them that I was able to gift the orphaned baby elephants. Like the one in the picture above. Through their "Orphan's Project", you can choose the orphaned baby elephant, or rhino, that you would like to foster. Once you make the donation, you will receive (digitally) "a fostering certificate with a profile and photograph of your adopted orphan together with a description of the Orphans’ Project", along with items related to the Sheldrick Trust and it's work with baby elephants and rhino's. And, the money goes to a great cause.

More information about the fostering program can be found by following this link: Sheldrick Fostering

Thank you for caring.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy, on the CT Shoreline

Unless you've been hanging out in the middle of the Kalhari, with a tribe of Bushmen, then you know that Hurricane Sandy just smacked the eastern seaboard hard. Really hard. First, Id like to say that my thoughts and prayers go out to my friends in New Jersey & New York who have felt the impact from this incredible "storm".
Here on the Connecticut shoreline, we have had to deal with extremely high winds and huge tidal surges. Our home in Guilford is doing fine-no damage or flooding of the basement, so I was able to go out a couple of times during and after the storm, to try and make some images.
Here are a few.....

Route 1 in Madison, 10/29/2012, 1:47pm
Route 95, between Madison & Guilford. 10/29/2012, 3:34 pm

Damage to the Guilford Green, 10/30/2012, 10:06 am
Damage to the Guilford Green, 10/30/2012, 10:12 am
Guilford Harbor, 10/30/2012, 10:26 am

High Tide at Madison, 10/30/2012, 11:45 am

High Tide at Madison, 10/30/2012, 11:45 am

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Solar Panels: Good Friends & Good Timing

Sometimes it's all about connections and timing.
Lately I've been seeking out solar panels & wind turbines to photograph and add to the "Alternative Energy" portfolio on my website.  
In these three instances, I was fortunate to have connections to projects that I either didn't know about, or needed help in getting access and permission. 

In the first instance, my cousin Jeff turned me onto row of solar panels that track the sun, near his home in southern Vermont.

Southern Vermont
Some weeks ago I was told about a huge field of solar panels in Western Massachusetts. After a bit of research, I found out that my cousin Tim is an electrician there, and Doug, an old friend from high school, is in charge of the facility. With these connections I was given permission to go into the area on a weekend, as long as I was accompanied by Tim.

With a solar array as large as this one I really needed a perspective above the panels, but no ladder would be allowed inside-for obvious reasons. The next day I was talking to a good friend of mine about my luck in gaining access to the array of solar panels, and lamenting about my inability to get up above the panels. (In fact, the first friend from high school was in the same class as this friend. They both went to high school with one of my younger sisters.) I mentioned that I'd like to get a higher perspective to show the impressive number of panels;  he then asked if a bucket truck would be high enough, to photograph the panels from outside the fence. Yes-As long as I could get permission. Permission was granted, and use of the bucket truck was confirmed, and since the weather was going to be perfect on the upcoming Sunday afternoon, we made plans to meet and photograph the panels with the truck.
(Unfortunately my cousin Tim couldn't help out because of a family emergency, so it was arranged that another electrician would "stand in" as an escort and more importantly from my perspective, for scale.)

Western Massachusetts
 In the last instance I had heard about a large array on top of a former landfill in my hometown of Greenfield, Mass. With the help of my cousin Larry, I was able to gain access; and with assistance of my good friend Steve, and his ladder, I made a few images of this large field of solar panels.

Western Massachusetts
Thanks to Jeff, Larry, Steve, Mark, Doug, Tim and Tim, I ended up with new images for the portfolio.

More solar and wind-related images can be seen on my website, www.jakewyman.com.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wings on a lake in northern Maine

It's amazing how relaxing and productive it is for me to spend a week on a remote lake in northern Maine. It's also a place where I can pretend to be a wildlife photographer-something that I wish I had done long ago. 
I love to visit Spencer Pond Camps, a place that I've stayed often over the past ten years, and not surprisingly, it happens to be one of my favorite places in the world! Situated on Spencer Pond, which is about 34 miles north of Greenville Maine, on logging roads, the camps are rustic and cozy. The area is full of wildlife, including moose, bear, pine marten's, fisher and deer; and many varieties of birds, including bald eagles, osprey, merlins, owls and others. This year, the loons were especially plentiful and thankfully, very "outspoken"!
While I was able to spend time relaxing and reading, I was usually photographing in the early mornings and into the evenings. I'll share more images in my next post, but for now.....
Each morning before sunrise, I'd climb into one of the kayaks with my camera, binoculars and a bottle of water and head across the pond (only in Maine would it be called a "pond"), to see what I could "see. One morning, as I was paddling back to camp, I happened to have the camera in my lap with the "right" lens, (70-200) and settings, (autofocus and a fairly fast shutter speed), when I noticed a solitary loon flying towards me, coming fairly close off my starboard side. It was a beautiful thing to have seen, and I was lucky to get a few nice images as she flew by.

Here's one of my favorite images from that sequence:

"Flying Loon"

Another evening, as we were watching the early evening sky from our private dock, I had an idea for an image. Needing a willing model, I approached the mother of a young girl whose family was staying in another nearby cabin, and asked if her daughter would be my model.
She was happy to help.
Thank you Veronica!!

"Soaring Veronica"

It's been said that as a parent, you should give your child "wings and a nest". Speaking from the perspective of a son who loved to endlessly wander and explore, I would agree, and I am grateful to my parents for having this philosophy while I was growing up.

Thanks for visiting my blog!