Learning While Stuck at Home

Image of a bird in flight from Scott Dere’s December 2019 NANPA webinar on Photographing Birds of Prey. Watch a recording in the webinar archive in the Members’ Area of NANPA’s website.
Image from Scott Dere’s December 2019 NANPA webinar on Photographing Birds of Prey. Watch a recording in the webinar archive in the Members’ Area of NANPA’s website.

Nature photographers are used to being outside—hiking, leading tours, teaching classes, seeking new vistas.  Now that the restrictions related to the novel corona virus have most of us stuck at home and confined to the neighborhood, what can we do to scratch our nature photography itch?  One enjoyable and productive way to spend your time is in learning new skills or refining your existing prowess through NANPA webinars, sponsored by Tamron.

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White Sands National Park

Glowing gypsum dunes in White Sands National Park, New Mexico.
Glowing gypsum dunes in White Sands National Park, New Mexico.

Story & photos by Jerry Ginsberg

As I am writing, the country and, indeed, most of the world is shutting down due to the spread of the novel corona virus. There is certainly a lot of information about it in the media so you don’t need me to add to it, especially since, when choosing a career long ago, medicine was not even close to the top of my list.  So even though I write regularly about photographing our national parks and other great travel destinations, it is apparent that park visitation and travel in general will be way down for a while to come.

I hope that you will enjoy my description of our sixty-second and newest national park, White Sands, which appears below and will file it away for a calmer and more normal time. For those of us with the travel bug, now is a good time to do some deep and thorough planning for our next trips.

Until then, stay healthy, safe and keep honing your skills in the digital darkroom.

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Showcase 2020 Winner Profile – Dawn Wilson

2020 Showcase, First Runner-up: Scapes. "Aerial View of Cook Inlet, Alaska" © Dawn Wilson.
2020 Showcase, First Runner-up: Scapes. “Aerial of Cook Inlet, Alaska” © Dawn Wilson.

How I Got the Shot

I always remind my group to keep their cameras out during our flight to or from Lake Clark National Park — you never know what you might see. On my last trip, as I sat in the back of the plane, I noticed the windows were especially clean. I pulled out my camera and started looking for interesting patterns in the deltas where braided rivers ran down from glaciers into Cook Inlet in southwest Alaska. I loved the browns and blues in this scene high above a river’s outflow.

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Weekly Wow! Week of March 30, 2020

Showcase 2020 Top 100 winner: "Western Grebe Female Offers Her Chick a Feather to Eat” © Diane McAllister.
Showcase 2020 Top 100 winner: “Western Grebe Female Offers Her Chick a Feather to Eat” © Diane McAllister.

All of this week’s Weekly Wow! images can be seen in the slideshow on the NANPA homepage at nanpa.org.

The following Showcase images have been selected to appear on the NANPA home page for the week beginning Monday, March 30, 2020.  To view all of the top 250 photographs from NANPA’s 2020 Showcase competition, see the photo gallery on the NANPA website. The 2020 edition of Expressions contains all of the top 250 photos from the Showcase competition as well as interesting and insightful articles. Order your copy here!

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Close to Home

Great Blue Heron in Flight

Story and photos by Tom Haxby, NANPA Board President

It is an understatement to say that these are unprecedented times, but we nature photographers are a hardy bunch. We’re accustomed to physical and intellectual challenges in our pursuits of excellent visual stories. And this isn’t the first time we’ve weathered the need to re-imagine how we do business.

In short, you’ve got this, and NANPA is still here to help.

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24 Inspirational Nature Photos for These Trying Times

Showcase 2020 Best in Show, Birds: “Sandhill Cranes at Sunset in Central New Mexico” © Keith Bauer.
Showcase 2020 Best in Show, Birds: “Sandhill Cranes at Sunset in Central New Mexico” © Keith Bauer.

Stuck at home with schools, parks and restaurants closed?  Tired of practicing “social distancing” during the COVID-19 outbreak?  Give yourself a break from the chaos and anxiety and spend a few minutes with spectacular images that were judged the top 24 photos in North American Nature Photography Association’s (NANPA) Nature Photography Showcase.

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Showcase 2020 Winner Profile – Melissa Rowell

2020 Showcase, First Runner-up: Birds. "Dance of the Great Blue Herons, Delray Beach, Florida" © Melissa Rowell.
2020 Showcase, First Runner-up: Birds. “Dance of the Great Blue Herons, Delray Beach, Florida” © Melissa Rowell.

How I Got the Shot

I arrived at Wakodahatchee Wetlands later than I had planned and knew I wouldn’t have long because of an impending storm. I grabbed my short, light Nikon 200-500mm lens, and walked slowly around the boardwalk hoping to find a quiet area where I could spend some time. Suddenly I spotted two Great Blue Herons interacting atop a tree. The male was attempting to entice a female with his elaborate stretch display, and she was playing hard to get. Fascinated I stopped to watch them just as serious bill duels erupted between the pair. Thunder began rumbling in the distance, and their long, flowing plumes were accentuated as the wind picked up. I was thrilled to witness this dramatic behavior which continued for a few brief moments signaling what I hoped would be the beginning of a strong bond leading to a successful breeding season.

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Weekly Wow! Week of March 23, 2020

Showcase 2020 Top 100 winner: "Flamboyant, Kirkjufell Mountain, Iceland” © Vandana Bajikar.
Showcase 2020 Top 100 winner: “Flamboyant, Kirkjufell Mountain, Iceland” © Vandana Bajikar.

All of this week’s Weekly Wow! images can be seen in the slideshow on the NANPA homepage at nanpa.org.

The following Showcase images have been selected to appear on the NANPA home page for the week beginning Monday, March 23, 2020.  To view all of the top 250 photographs from NANPA’s 2020 Showcase competition, see the photo gallery on the NANPA website. The 2020 edition of Expressions contains all of the top 250 photos from the Showcase competition as well as interesting and insightful articles. Order your copy here!

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Finding Yourself Needing to Connect Virtually?

Image of computer opened to webinar.
Webinars, videoconferences and other technologies help photographers connect with clients and fans.

by Teresa Ransdell, NANPA Membership Director

Countless professional photographers are suddenly having to cancel trips, postpone workshops and reschedule face-to-face classes and presentations.  How do you manage these unexpected challenges and find new ways to generate income or keep in touch with clients? Many are turning to virtual solutions.  But, if you’re unfamiliar with the online choices, where do you start?

I connect virtually with people a lot. For nearly ten years I’ve worked remotely on a daily basis— for multiple nonprofit associations, their members, volunteers, and boards of directors. That means I’m not treading new ground in learning how to work from home or connect virtually with clients, as many people are today.

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Picture(s)-In-Picture: Creating Multiple Images From a Single Viewpoint

Overall, wide-angle view of The Lake in Central Park at 24mm.
Overall, wide-angle view of The Lake at 24mm.

Story and photos by F.M. Kearney

It’s easy to get caught up in the big picture. Some photographers tend to focus solely on the main scene. They shoot one or two photos, then quickly move on to the next “great thing.” This can be very tempting – especially when you’re shooting in a new area and you have a limited amount of time. But, most likely, you will end up with a bunch of generic-looking images of many different places, but fail to capture the true essence of any single place.

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