Aug 9th


Mara Impressions I

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.


Comments (20)
  1. gina

    August 9, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    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. August 9, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    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. August 9, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    The brush strokes in the detail look like falling water, very beautiful. Excellent.

  4. Alan Wicks

    August 9, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    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.

  5. August 9, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    […] See the article here: Mara Impressions I […]

  6. August 10, 2012 at 7:34 am

    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)

  7. August 10, 2012 at 9:56 am


    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.

  8. David

    August 10, 2012 at 10:11 am

    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!

  9. David

    August 10, 2012 at 10:17 am

    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?

  10. Jeff Fielding

    August 10, 2012 at 11:52 am

    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!

  11. August 11, 2012 at 8:08 am

    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

  12. Adair Dammann

    August 14, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    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.

  13. August 15, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    […] sound counter-intuitive, but a look at the work of photographers like Chris Friel, Doug Chinnery or David duChemin shows that it’s a valid technique for creating expressive […]

  14. August 16, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Beautiful images, David. I’m partial to the first one — it is clean and moody. Love it — thank you for sharing!

  15. August 18, 2012 at 10:11 am

    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!

  16. August 19, 2012 at 12:09 am

    Truly beautiful photos.Just download Awesome wallpaper. Thanks a lot :)

  17. Mary

    August 19, 2012 at 8:01 am

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

  18. August 28, 2012 at 4:56 am

    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! :-)

  19. September 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    […] (also nicht unbedingt im Wald) ausbauen. Zufällig habe ich nun eben solches auf einer WEB-Seite von David duChemin gesehen (man kann sich dort das Bild auch als Wallpaper herunterladen). Diese […]

  20. September 6, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    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.