Beyond the Perfect Portrait

Story and Photography by D. Robert Franz

Alaskan brown bear © D. Robert Franz

Alaskan brown bear © D. Robert Franz

 

 

Text and Images by D. Robert Franz

For many aspiring wildlife photographers capturing beautiful portraits of their favorite birds or animals in the wild is often their primary goal. This is certainly an understandable and a worthwhile endeavor. When I began photographing wildlife over thirty years ago, I was inspired by the striking wildlife photos of Leonard Lee Rue III and Erwin Bauer. I carefully studied how they used the light, controlled backgrounds, and placed their subjects in the frame to create pleasing wildlife portraits. I pursued the perfect wildlife portrait relentlessly and over time accumulated a large collection of. As time passed I became less and less satisfied with my wildlife photography. I desired more evocative images with impact. I felt as though I really needed to elevate my images to a higher level. I will discuss some of the methods I’ve used to achieve that goal and continue in my evolution as a wildlife photographer. Continue reading

Grant Supports Environmental Projects with Impact

Grant Supports Environmental Projects with Impact

Philip Hyde Environmental Grant applications accepted through October 30, 2015

Hellbenders © David Herasimtschuk, 2014 grant recipient.

Hellbenders © David Herasimtschuk, 2014 grant recipient.

What difference do your photographs make?

Applications are now available for NANPA’s Philip Hyde Environmental grant, a $2,500 award given annually to an individual NANPA member actively pursuing completion of a peer-reviewed environmental project featuring natural photography as a medium of communication, nature appreciation and environmental protection. Application deadline is October 30, 2015 at midnight PDT.

Past recipients include Paul Colangelo (2010), whose efforts to bring the remote and largely unseen Sacred Headwaters of British Columbia to the attention of lawmakers and citizens outside of the Tahltan First Nation played a key role in vacating Shell Oil Company from a million acres slated for methane development; Amy Gulick (2008), whose award-winning book Salmon in the Trees, traveling exhibits, lectures and YouTube videos tell a hopeful story of Alaska’s Tongass rain forest, a rare ecosystem where salmon grow trees and support an abundance of bears and bald eagles; and C.C. Lockwood (2008), whose photographs showcase disappearing swamplands that threatened the culture and economy of Louisiana, as featured in the PBS documentary Atchafalaya Houseboat.

As applicants for the Philip Hyde Environmental Grant, these photographers successfully demonstrated the ways in which their still photographs would make a difference to specific decision-makers wrestling with a timely issue. Additionally, at the time of application, these projects were already well underway, with established collaborations, realistic schedules and practical budgets. These factors made for compelling applications that fared well in scoring.

For complete guidelines, link to the online application and additional tips for applicants, please visit http://nanpafoundation.org/philip-hyde-environmental-grant/.

Continue reading

NANPA Foundation Photo Tour: Photograph “the quiet side” of Ireland in 2016 with Ron Rosenstock

Magical light, accessible shoreline and community await prospective tour leaders.

Ireland-Sunset2-700x465

You’re invited on a 10-day tour of Western Ireland with veteran tour leader Ron Rosenstock, September 23 through October 3, 2016. The magical light, sacred sights and after-dinner conversation with fellow artists not only beckon you to expand your portfolio but also your career—perhaps becoming a photo tour leader yourself.

Rosenstock, retired photography instructor from Clark University in Massachusetts, has led more than 200 tours to worldwide destinations since 1967. He was first drawn to Western Ireland because of the light and extensive miles of accessible shoreline. “Being in the northern hemisphere, there are magical cloud formations daily, if not hourly,” he explains. “The light is silvery sifting through layers of cloud and sky.” Continue reading

Nikon AF-S 600mm f/4E FL ED VR Lens Field Review

Story and Photography by Aaron Baggenstos

I was recently given the opportunity to field test the new Nikon AF-S 600mm f/4E FL ED VR Lens in Alaska, one of my favorite places for wildlife photography and a place where I lead several photography tours each year.

I am extremely impressed with this lens. I’ve demonstrated a few of my favorite new features in the video review below including images, video, and time-lapse. Thank you for watching and I hope you enjoy this review.


About Aaron Baggenstos:

Website: www.AaronsTours.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AaronsPhotoTours
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/NaturePhotoTutorials

Aaron Baggenstos is an Award-winning professional wildlife photographer from Seattle, Washington. Aaron specializes in leading photography tours and workshops in Alaska, Yellowstone, and the Pacific Northwest including Canada.

His photographs have been recognized by National Geographic, Nature’s Best, and the Audubon Society. Most recently, thirteen of his images were chosen for the final round in the prestigious 2015 BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Aaron’s new limited edition coffee table book Pacific Northwest Wildlife is available at retailers ranging from Barnes & Noble to Costco and on Amazon.com. His two previous books Wildlife of Juanita Bay and Wildlife of Lake Washington were instant regional bestsellers and all display Aaron’s awe-inspiring wildlife images.

In the Fall of 2011 Aaron co-hosted two episodes of the hit PBS television Series “Wild Photo Adventures” with Doug Gardner which aired internationally on PBS.

Along with guiding tours and instructing photography workshops over 100 days a year, Aaron also enjoys public speaking and presenting slideshows. To date he has spoken at multiple Audubon chapters and birding groups, National Wildlife Refuges, book stores, and other local interest groups.

Through his work Aaron hopes to inspire others to photograph, enjoy, and take action to protect, local and worldwide ecosystems.

 

 

Help the NANPA Foundation Help You – Without an Extra Penny from Your Pocket

Help the NANPA Foundation Help You – Without an Extra Penny from Your Pocket

Don’t know what the NANPA Foundation is – LEARN MORE ON THEIR NEW WEBSITE!

Do you buy from Amazon? If you do – regardless of how often – your purchases can help the NANPA Foundation if you take just 4 easy steps.

First, you may be asking “What is the NANPA Foundation?” The NANPA Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to:

  • Develop, support and implement nature photography projects jointly with NANPA and other organizations
  • Initiate, partner, operate and raise/promote funding for respective projects
  • Advance the awareness of and appreciation for nature through photography

The Foundation provides the funding for several of NANPA’s programs including the high school program, the college student program and the Philip Hyde Grant. We also have our own programs that we manage and fund including the Janie Moore Greene grant for college scholarship and building photo blinds at refuges, wildlife reserves, state/city parks, or other natural areas.

Contributions to the Foundation are tax deductible – so we are a fundraising arm of NANPA, but a completely separate organization.

 

Back to Amazon & How You Can Help

Now, how can you help the NANPA Foundation while you’re shopping at Amazon?

Amazon is willing to give the NANPA Foundation a percentage of eligible sales made through the AmazonSmile site.

The products are the same as what is on the Amazon site.

The pricing is the same as what is on the Amazon site.

Your same account, cart and other information from the Amazon site is also on the AmazonSmile page – it converts for you!

The AmazonSmile program is just an easier way for Amazon to give back to eligible nonprofits – like NANPA Foundation.

 

How to Participate

  1. Go to https://smile.amazon.com/ch/84-1387612 and login as you would your Amazon account (or create a new account if you do not currently have an Amazon account)
  2. Under “Your Account,” select “Change Your Charity” and search for NANPA.
  3. Click the Select button next to the “NANPA Infinity Foundation” name.
  4. Start shopping!

 

That’s it! NANPA Foundation will be remembered as your charity of choice and a percentage of any eligible purchases you make will be credited to NANPA Foundation anytime you shop on Amazon and go to the AmazonSmile site first – bookmark it!

The NANPA Foundation does not see who makes purchases that support the Foundation and we don’t see what is purchased. We simply get a quarterly payment which is the sum of contributions from eligible purchases made by those who have designated NANPA Foundation as their charity to support.

Thanks for your support of the NANPA Foundation! Learn more at www.nanpafoundation.org.

 

 

Photography Helps Puma Conservation by Jeff Parker

© Jeff Parker

© Jeff Parker

Images and Article by Jeff Parker

A large male puma makes his way down the hill to the kill we’ve spent the last hour watching. For the next 45 minutes, we have the privilege of observing the interactions between this adult male, a female, and two 1-year-old siblings as the pumas work at consuming a guanaco killed the day before.

The biologist with us at the photo shoot—a big cat specialist—had never seen such behavior before. Most research has been conducted on pumas in North America, where adult males such as this one—likely the mate of the female and the father of the two cubs—don’t hang out with, and especially don’t dine with, others. This behavior in South America may be because the ecological fitness of the habitat minimizes the sort of competitive forces we see in more northern areas. Continue reading

7 Tips for Air Travel with Gear by Jeff Parker

© Jeff Parker

© Jeff Parker

Image and text by Jeff Parker

1) Disguise your gear. 

You don’t want your bag to scream “Expensive photography equipment inside!” so make sure it looks like any other bag—or, make it look worse (perhaps you can even have a bit of fun making it look “extra” undesirable).  Cover up or remove any easily recognizable logos like “Canon” or “Nikon.”  A bit of black electrical tape works well.  Continue reading

Cranes of the World by Mike Endres

Greater Sandhill landing to roost at Bosque del Apache NWR, NM. This image took over 160 tries to get using manual focus & exposure and a Nikon D3 shooting 11 fps once the birds became visible in moon. Image © Mike Endres

Greater Sandhill landing to roost at Bosque del Apache NWR, NM. This image took over 160 tries to get using manual focus & exposure and a Nikon D3 shooting 11 fps once the birds became visible in moon. Image © Mike Endres

Images and Story by Mike Endres

Aldo Leopold once said, “When we hear his call we hear no mere bird. We hear the trumpet in the orchestra of evolution.”

Cranes are among the most graceful and symbolic birds known to man. That they’ve been around for some 10 million years is a testament to their hardiness in the face of numerous geological events that have challenged or even lead to the demise of other, perhaps lesser, genera. Found on every continent in the world, with the exception of Antarctica and South America, the 15 species are frequently incorporated into local culture and mythology as they help humans better understand their connectedness to the natural world around them. Continue reading

NANPA Summit Plants Seeds for Future Growth by Kelley Durham

 

Keynote Speaker Nevada Wier is introduced by Master of Ceremonies Roy Toft. © Mark Larson

Keynote Speaker Nevada Wier is introduced by Master of Ceremonies Roy Toft. © Mark Larson

NANPA Summit Plants Seeds for Future Growth

Article by Kelley Durham/Images by Mark Larson and Karine Aigner

As I prepared to attend the NANPA Summit this past week in San Diego, I learned from long-time members that Summit is a seminal experience for nature photographers. They told me about the insightful sessions and the worthwhile networking. They told me about the extraordinary professionals I would meet. They told me I would leave filled with inspiration.

From these tips, I developed a set of expectations that I carried with me up to the time I signed in at the conference center. As the event proceeded, expectations rolled into experiences, and I began to develop a set of questions that I carried with me throughout the conference.

Am I good enough to be a serious photographer (or put another way, will I embarrass myself)?

I came away with two answers: 1). I’m really fairly good, and 2). I have SO much to learn.

In a spectacular keynote address, world-renowned photographer, Dewitt Jones, so eloquently shared the advice of his first boss at National Geographic—don’t work to prove yourself; work to improve yourself. Your daily goals should not be about comparing yourself to others. Instead, always strive to make the work you do today better than the work you did yesterday. Continue reading

NANPA College Scholarship Program

© Mark Larson

© Mark Larson

NANPA College Scholarship Program

Text By Don Carter and Photos by Mark Larson

You may not know that NANPA has a college scholarship program where we pay expenses for 12 college students to come to the Summit where they network, learn, have their portfolios reviewed, and create a conservation project for a client. The NANPA college committee finds a client who would like the students’ help in creating a multimedia presentation about some type of conservation effort. This year, the students will be working with the San Diego Fish and Wildlife Services, documenting their restoration work along the San Diego Bay. The students will take images, shoot video and conduct interviews in the process of creating the multimedia presentation that will be used by FWS to introduce their conservation efforts to the local community. The presentation will also be shown prior to the keynote address on Saturday evening of the summit.

The students arrive on Monday, prior to the summit to start their planning and create their shooting schedule. They will work with the San Diego FWS personnel to document the ongoing projects. Canon supports the NANPA scholars by providing the equipment for the students to use during the week; they will be providing the new 7D Mk IIs and 1Dx cameras and lenses from 800 mm to 17 mm tilt shift.

This year’s group has seven graduate students and five undergraduates; six biology majors, most of the others are science majors (ecology, wildlife management, etc.), and one photography major. Ten come from all over the US and two students will be coming from Canada.

If you are attending the NANPA Summit in February, please say hello and introduce yourself to the scholars!

To learn more about the program, please visit: http://www.nanpa.org/students/app_process_co.php

If you’d like to support this program, please consider donating to the NANPA Foundation, a 501(c)-3 non-profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible.

 

© Mark Larson

© Mark Larson

© Mark Larson

© Mark Larson

© Mark Larson

© Mark Larson