North Carolina Photographer Wins NANPA Nature Photography Day Bioblitz Prize

Photo of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird in flight © Sam Ray
Ruby-throated Hummingbird © Sam Ray

By Frank Gallagher, NANPA Blog Coordinator

Back in June, many photographers joined in the NANPA Nature Photography Day Bioblitz, an eleven-day citizen-science project. A bioblitz is an event created to find and identify as many species as possible in a given area over a limited period of time. All observations are uploaded to an iNaturalist project. During the NANPA event, participants made close to 10,000 observations of over 3,000 species, 97 of which were threatened species. All this data is now available to scientists and researchers. To add a little excitement, several of NANPA’s generous sponsors contributed to prize packages. North Carolina-based nature photographer Sam Ray won the drawing for a Tamron 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD lens.

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Being Different, Being Powerful, Being you

Photo of a horse galloping across a hill covered with small bushes and brush. This wild palomino stallion running free in Sand Wash Basin, Colorado was one of the last horses I photographed before the roundup. © Dawn Wilson
This wild palomino stallion running free in Sand Wash Basin, Colorado was one of the last horses I photographed before the roundup. © Dawn Wilson

By Dawn Wilson, NANPA President

First, my apologies for this late blog post this month. It seems every year I get to the end of summer and freak out about all the things I didn’t finish on my to-do list or wish list before the leaves start turning gold and orange. This year was no different.

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Fresh Approaches to Photographing Familiar Places

Photo of a range of mountains with the top lit by the orange light of sunrise. The foreground and base of the mountains are in shadow, except for some trees with yellow leaves. The first rays of sunrise strike the sandstone face of enormous West Temple in Zion Canyon. Rather than darkening the upper portion of the frame with a gradiated N.D. filter, I chose to invert the filter, darkening the foreground still further and then apply a local adjustment to lighten the trees. To my surprise, it worked. © Jerry Ginsberg
The first rays of sunrise strike the sandstone face of enormous West Temple in Zion Canyon. Rather than darkening the upper portion of the frame with a gradiated N.D. filter, I chose to invert the filter, darkening the foreground still further and then apply a local adjustment to lighten the trees. To my surprise, it worked. © Jerry Ginsberg

By Jerry Ginsberg

Yosemite, Yellowstone, Arches, Monument Valley. The names alone bring glorious and exciting images to mind. They’ve been published and printed for many decades. The classic shots of Half Dome, Old Faithful, Delicate Arch, and the Mittens; we’ve seen them all. Yet we continue to make pilgrimages to these scenic meccas of America in the hope of capturing the quintessential photograph of some already over exposed mountain or canyon that will distinguish our work from the pack; some fresh perspective that will set our images apart from the cliché.

Is this still possible? With all of the iconic photographs of our premier wilderness areas that have been made and circulated since the days of William Henry Jackson and Ansel Adams pioneered the craft, can we, with our hi-tech zillion megapixel cameras and the compressed schedules of our fast-lane lifestyles, persist in the creation of original interpretations of these well-known places? Clearly, the answer is still “Yes!”

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Meet the Judges, Showcase 2022

An exceptional group of judges is getting set to evaluate the photos entered in NANPA’s 2022 Showcase nature photography competition. Being chosen for recognition by this panel will be a real mark of distinction, not to mention the prizes and other benefits of entering this competition. Remember, all entries are due no later than 11 p.m. EDT on Monday, September 20, 2021. So, don’t delay! Get your images ready now! Find the rules and full details on NANPA’s Showcase pages.

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Planning a Fall Foliage Trip?

Fall Foliage Prediction Map, set for the week of  September 20th. The map shows a color-coded display of where peak color will be in the US that week.
Fall Foliage Prediction Map, set for the week of September 20th. The map shows a color-coded display of where peak color will be in the US that week.

By Frank Gallagher, NANPA Blog Coordinator

Each year, I look forward to colorful fall foliage. Autumn is one of my favorite times of year for landscape and nature photography. Temperatures are pleasant, mosquitos and gnats are mostly gone, and trees are a riot of color. If, that is, I time it right. That’s why, for the past few years, I’ve used the Fall Foliage Prediction Map, an interactive map showing the predicted progress of fall color across the United States. I’ve written about it before but, until now, had never looked behind the scenes to see how the map and the predictions are created. Come with me behind the curtain and meet David Angotti, the map’s creator.

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Night Blooms:A Unique Way to Combine Our Natural and Man-Made Worlds

Close up photo of cherry blossoms with blurred city lights in the background. "Cherry blossoms amid city lights and sunset skies." © F. M. Kearney
Cherry blossoms amid city lights and sunset skies. © F. M. Kearney

By F. M. Kearney

I often write about the challenges of finding nature subjects in an urban environment. Of course, even the largest concrete jungles aren’t all concrete. There’s always a local park or a botanical garden somewhere nearby. Places like these are perfect locations to capture unique compositions of natural and man-made subjects.

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Labor Day Copyright Updates

copyright symbol
Copyright. Image by Pete Linforth, Pixabay license.

By Frank Gallagher, NANPA Blog Coordinator

Since this article comes out on Labor Day, it’s probably fitting that it addresses copyright issues. How cases like these are resolved determines, at least to some extent, how much of the fruit of your labors you can retain. Here are three copyright examples to keep your eye on.

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Those Beautiful Eyes: How a Photographer Uses Sharp Eyes to Convey Emotions

Photo of a sparrow perched on a tre limb looking at the viewer. The Eyes Have It, 500 mm, 1/800 second, f/6.3, ISO 800 © Sastry Karra
The Eyes Have It, 500 mm, 1/800 second, f/6.3, ISO 800 © Sastry Karra

By Sastry Karra

It is often said that the eyes are a window to the soul. The face of any living creature is usually the first thing that catches our attention, and the eyes are where we instinctively and immediately go. The eye figures prominently when it comes to conceptions of beauty. Sight (looking at others) is also a form of communication, an instinct that we inherit at birth, similar to art and music. Sometimes, poets emphasize that eyes speak what lips can’t. So, the eyes of a subject can mean many things and it makes perfect sense that one of the first rules of wildlife photography is to make sure the eyes are sharp.

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Share the Shore with Beach-nesting Birds and their Young

A least tern feeds a fish to his young while the mate watches and broods another chick under her wing. 1200mm, 1/1000, f/8, 1/3 EV, ISO 250 © Mary Lundeberg
A least tern feeds a fish to his young while the mate watches and broods another chick under her wing. 1200mm, 1/1000, f/8, 1/3 EV, ISO 250 © Mary Lundeberg

By Mary Lundeberg

When I received a 2020 Philip Hyde Conservation Grant from the NANPA Foundation, I was both excited about using images to conserve threatened seabirds and shorebirds, and scared. How could I stay safe working with schools, and policymakers during a pandemic? Would libraries, nature festivals, and exhibits remain closed?  What I wanted to do was to use images to create awareness of beach-nesting birds, and encourage people to conserve them, and protect their habitat. I’d also hoped to raise awareness of problems shorebirds face, such as human disturbance, habitat loss, predation, climate change, red tide, and plastic pollution. Through my work as a bird steward and photographer, I recognized that some of the threats beach-nesting birds face are caused by people who unknowingly disturb them, so I envisioned educating teachers, students, beachgoers, and policymakers about these threatened species. I hoped that through environmental education, we might be able to raise a generation of people who care about the wildlife around them and respect them. My plan involved youth helping to solve the human disturbance problem through art and messages to the community.

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Showcase 2021 Winner: Jeremy Burnham

Photo of a white pelican floating on water with an empty can of Miller High Life beer in its beak. Pelican Not "Living the High Life,"  Baton Rouge, Louisiana 2021 Showcase, Judges’ Choice, Conservation © Jeremey Burnham
Pelican Not “Living the High Life,” Baton Rouge, Louisiana 2021 Showcase, Judges’ Choice, Conservation © Jeremy Burnham

Editor’s note: Profiles of Showcase Top 24 photographers, along with their how-I-got-the-shot stories, are typically published on this blog between January and June of each year. But 2021 continues to be anything but typical, and Jeremy Burnham’s 2021 Showcase Judges’ Choice winning image was unexpectedly delayed. We’re thrilled to share his story with you today and will seize the occasion to remind readers that a profile like this on NANPA’s blog is one of the publicity benefits offered to Showcase Top 24 winners. It’s one of many reasons you might want to enter the 2022 Showcase competition. Entries are accepted through 11 p.m. on September 20, 2021. Learn all about it on the Showcase page.

Artist’s statement

This photo is special to me because it evokes emotion. My goal as a photographer is to capture pictures in such a way that the viewer will feel the same thing I feel at the time of the photo. There are some pictures that I think are great as a photographer, but they don’t resonate with others. I could tell immediately after sharing this picture that it evoked the kind of emotion in others that would help facilitate positive change. It has been used by conservationists throughout Louisiana to help clean up our stormwater collection system and bring attention to our litter and pollution problems.

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