Story and photographs by Mercedes Benavides
Peru is one of the top 20 mega-diverse countries in the world. Its capital city of Lima contributes to this through its beautiful landscapes, flora and fauna. To the west is the Pacific Ocean. On the east is the foot of the rising Andes Mountain Range, and on the north and south is desert. Millions of years ago when the Andes were created gorges formed on the western side of the Andes through which rivers flowed into the Pacific Ocean. Those gorges today are fertile valleys along the coastline of Peru, and it is in one of them, on the alluvial fan of the River Rimac, that the city of Lima is located.
Lima has many natural and man-made nature locations, but here are four of the best. The first is the Zona Reservada Pantanos de Villa, a Ramsar Site, which is designated a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention, an intergovernmental treaty. Ramsar Sites are recognized as being of significant value not only for the country or the countries in which they are located, but for humanity as a whole. The Zona Reservada Pantanos de Villa is a coastal wetland and a location for feeding, nesting, rest and safe harbor for resident and migratory birds. Migrants fly in from Chile and Argentina to the south; from the United States and Canada to the north; and from over the Andes to the east. More than 200 bird species exist at this site, and one of them is the Many-Colored Rush-Tyrant (Tachuris rubrigastra), a favorite with nationals and foreign visitors.
A second location includes the cliffs of the Costa Verde which are a magnificent site that show the face of the desert and overlook the Pacific Ocean. Continue reading
Story and photography by Jim Clark
Author’s Note: Click on files below the images to hear the sound!
Be still and listen, the earth is singing. — Karen Davis, artist inspired by nature
Oh, the sweet symphony of melodies that is nature. Can you hear it when you are photographing those grand landscapes or that flock of sandhill cranes as they take flight above the marsh? Well, it’s all out there just waiting for you. All you have to do is listen.
Wildlife sounds include hoots, screeches, roars, bleats, tweets, barks, pants, purrs, squawks, buzzes, shrieks, hisses, cracks, belches, chirps, peeps, hums, croaks, trills, clucks and more.
But have you listened to the songs of the weather or of the earth? There’s the patter of rain on a leaf, the wind’s gentle whisper through a loblolly pine forest, the crashing of waves on the shoreline or the clapping resonance of an impending thunderstorm. As George Santayana wrote, The earth has music for those who listen. Continue reading
Story and photography by F.M. Kearney
As you are probably aware, this is the final issue of eNEWS. It’s been an honor to write for this publication, and I truly hope that my words and images have inspired you with new techniques and ideas. For a slight change of pace, I’d like to focus more on human interest than technical details in this installment. The following is a small collection of some of my favorite unpublished photos and the stories behind them.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve visited the New York Botanical Garden. But, no matter how often I’ve been there, I never seem to run out of new locations to shoot within its 250 acres. The garden is constantly under renovation, providing endless photo ops.
The azalea garden underwent such a renovation a couple of years ago. I went there on an overcast day to shoot closeups of the azaleas, which were in full bloom at the time. By mid-morning, the weather made an about-face, and the day became completely sunny. The harsh lighting dashed my plans for intimate details. I reluctantly switched gears and decided to concentrate more on the overall area.
I passed by a large, red rhododendron bush several times, because I didn’t think it was worth shooting. It was in the shade, and a few of the leaves were spotted with yellow and black marks. When I finally decided to photograph it, I used an off-camera flash to balance shaded light in the foreground with the brightly-lit background. I removed the dead leaves later in post. I shot many compositions, but I like the one above the most due to the curvature of the footpath on the right and the garden itself. Continue reading
by Wendy Shattil
Do you look at photo books and think “I have pictures as good as these”? You might be right, but how do you get your images from the computer into that book? I’ve been on both sides of this question — as photographer and as photo editor — and I have the answer.
You won’t know if your images are good enough until you try submitting them, and you have to be willing to put in a little time selecting and preparing your images for submission.
I’m currently in a unique position to offer you the opportunity to be included in an upcoming book about the Pacific Flyway. As project manager and photo editor, I am charged with locating and selecting more than 200 images for this photo-driven book, and I’d love to see well-chosen submissions from talented NANPA photographers.
Not only pros get published, but they do have an advantage in knowing how to prepare effective submissions. Pros also recognize their truly competitive images and are willing to put in the effort to get those photos in front of an editor.
Here’s your advantage: I know what I’m looking for and I’m going to tell you how to get my attention with five easy tips. Continue reading
Story and photography by Jerry Ginsberg
Without a doubt, one of the crowning jewels of both the national park system and the entire world is Yosemite. Over the eons, millions (billions?) of tons of metamorphic granite have been shaped and sculpted, largely by glaciers, into countless harmonious and visually riveting forms.
After decades of being photographed by the renowned Ansel Adams and the many who came after him, creating original images here is a real challenge — but it is not impossible. There is an absolutely endless variety of compositions in Yosemite even though so many natural features are pretty much a monochromatic gray. John Muir called the Sierra Nevada — home to Yosemite — “the range of light.”
Then it seemed to me that the Sierra should be called, not the Nevada or Snowy Range, but the Range of Light. And after ten years of wandering and wondering in the heart of it, rejoicing in its glorious floods of light, the white beams of the morning streaming through the passes, the noonday radiance on the crystal rocks, the flush of the alpenglow, and the irised spray of countless waterfalls, it still seems above all others the Range of Light.” — John Muir from The Yosemite (1912)
To enjoy a productive photo trip to Yosemite, we should first get organized by breaking the park into four distinct regions. These include Yosemite Valley, the High Country, the Glacier Point Road and the Mariposa Grove of giant Sequoia trees. There are many other subjects in-between, but these are the primary areas of this thousand square mile wonder. Continue reading
Text and photography by Teri Franzen
Life in the African bush is hard for prey animals and apex predators (those at the top of the food chain) alike. Ungulates (hooved animals) such as zebras, gazelles and wildebeest are constantly wary and keeping watch to ensure they don’t fall victim as food for one of the countless predators that share their territory. Predators fight among themselves over that same territory. Lions will fight to take control of existing prides. They will also fight to drive off other predators, like cheetahs, sharing the same space. Very often these battles have grim results for the victims.
During my recent trip to Ndutu in northern Tanzania (eastern Africa) we saw many cheetah families living in the Makao plains. Among them were two bachelor brothers that we had hoped to encounter during our journeys. With a top speed approaching 70 miles per hour, cheetahs are the fastest land animals in the world. They can maintain this speed for approximately 500 yards. As a singular animal a cheetah is capable of chasing down and capturing smaller prey, a favorite being a Thomson’s gazelle. Adult male cheetahs often form coalitions with siblings. When teamed up they are capable of bringing down much larger prey, like wildebeest. We wanted to see this two-male coalition in action.
On January 31, during our morning game drive we happened upon a lone cheetah that had climbed onto a fallen tree. It started calling and before we identified the gender we suspected a female calling for her young. As we looked more closely we realized it was a male and that it was injured. His mouth was wounded and his elbows rubbed raw. This was one of the brothers, only his sibling was nowhere in sight. Our best guess was that the two cheetahs had been victims of a lion attack during the night. Either the second male had been killed or severely injured, or he escaped and ran in another direction.
The wounded cheetah wandered from tree to tree, sniffing for signs of his brother and then sending a stream of his own urine toward the tree. Like all cats, cheetahs have a keen sense of smell and can identify an individual by its unique scent. During this time he called continuously with a forlorn cry, presumably with the hope of vocally contacting his sibling. Occasionally he would leap onto a fallen tree to search and call from a higher vantage point. Allowing enough distance to avoid interference we followed the lone male for over an hour. During that time his pace was constant, his conviction never faltered. Continue reading