Mara Impressions I

In Creativity and Inspiration, Images, The Craft, Thoughts & Theory, Travel, Wallpapers by David20 Comments

Mara Impressions I, Kenya, 2012.
Click it to see it larger as the smaller image really does it no justice.

I made this in the Maasai Mara, still under the spell of my friend Wendy’s expressionist / abstract work. What struck me most about her work is the effect of motion and light to create new lines, almost brush strokes, through the use of longer exposures and intentional movement. Below you can see a close-up of those brush-like lines, points of light shining through leaves in the trees becoming parabolic arcs, and harder lines, like the trunk of the acacias, gaining a softer ghosting. I’ve long wanted to gain, in my photographs, the feeling and mood present in the paintings of Canadian expressionists that worked as the so-called Group of Seven. These latest efforts, including my Gobi Impressions series from Mongolia are the result of that ongoing desire and experimentation.

Mara Impressions I, Detail
Nikon D3s, 16mm, 1/5s @ f/22.

Want to look at this even bigger? Feel free to download the desktop wallpaper HERE. Want to see this tree in person? Join us on the Maasai Mara this January. Details HERE.



  1. gina

    I love this!!! Been working on more impressionism in my painting and photography … this is just great. My husband just returned in July from a 30 day trip in Africa Kenya, Burundi and Swaziland,

  2. Tryggvi Már

    Hi David

    Thank you for sharing your photos with us. These are kind of magical.

    I have been reading some of your written work, both on this site and in some of your e-books and just wanted to thank you for a great inspiration the work has given me.


  3. Alan Wicks

    Because of your previous references to the Group of Seven in eastern Canada I bought a few small volumes that discussed their work and contained photographs of their works. I too found their work fascinating and beautiful. From there I looked at the traditional European expressionists. So much in so little. Thanks for the pointers to so many interesting people and ideas.

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  5. Anna

    David, very striking image! I like the evocative quality of this piece. Also, a nice balance is captured between realism and impressionism.

    You may enjoy these painters:
    Isaac Levitan (Russian)
    John Twachtman, Thomas Wilmer Dewing (Amer. Impressionists)
    Murphy, Crane, Harrison, Inness (Amer. Tonalists)

  6. Jeff Fielding


    I just love, love, love the second one. As in, I love it. I have to admit, not all of these work for me, but that second one is awesome.

  7. Author

    Anna – Thank you! Art history is one area I strive to dig into but sometimes feel completely lost. The discovery, through your recommendation, of Tonalism, is exactly the starting place I was looking for as it’s the precursor to Impressionism. Thanks!

  8. Author

    Thanks Jeff. That second one is a close-up detail of the first, to show detail you just can’t see on the laptop but that really makes the photograph when you see it on a larger print. Can we call you Cpt. Fielding yet?

  9. Jeff Fielding

    It’s official, I am now Captain Fielding :). It’s awesome and I’m enjoying the new role and it’s challenges. We’ll hopefully be able to celebrate together soon.

    I really do love that photo. Striking, really. Hope all is well!

  10. Marke Blue

    I always enjoy your posts, whether they be intentionally inspirational or about giddy fun (also inspirational in their own right!). But I do have to stop and take the time to tell you how very sweet this photo is – I absolutely love it. The motion effect, of course, but it’s the whole package of color and space and the open invitation to breathe in deep and feel the mood. Wonderful!
    Thank you for encouraging the closer look and providing the crop. It’s so easy to have the quick glance and keep moving on to the next thing.
    – Marke

  11. Adair Dammann

    I absolutely love this. the color is wonderful, the richness of the colors kind of contrasts with the dreaminess of the line. This really works. thanks.

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  13. Raffaella

    I absolutely adore this technique – I started playing with it in the last year or so and love experimenting with all the possibilities. Your work in this vein is excellent!

  14. Mary

    How can I find out more about this technique? Where can I see more of Wendy’s work? Great image! Tks

  15. eremophila

    Thank you for this! I began experimenting with this technique several months ago, and look forward to doing more – especially after being inspired by this amazing image! :-)

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  17. Ralf

    Thats really lovely pictures! I like them very much. Some days ago I try to use this (??) technique for own pictures in a wood, a little bit later I see your image and I know I have al lot of work to do (but thats ok, I’m not a professional) ;). Thank you for sharing your work and I hope I didn’t make to much mistakes by typing english.

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