Staying Relevant

Photo of a male moose running. Even though we heard that campsites were hard to come by and the hotels were sold out, we headed to Grand Teton National Park to photograph moose. We drove all night, arrived at the campground at 4:30 a.m. and were rewarded with one of only 14 campsites that opened that morning. The effort paid off with lots of great moose photos, including this one of a running bull in fall colors. © Dawn Wilson
Even though we heard that campsites were hard to come by and the hotels were sold out, we headed to Grand Teton National Park to photograph moose. We drove all night, arrived at the campground at 4:30 a.m. and were rewarded with one of only 14 campsites that opened that morning. The effort paid off with lots of great moose photos, including this one of a running bull in fall colors. © Dawn Wilson

Story and Photos by Dawn Wilson, NANPA President

As most of you—hopefully—did as well, I read the latest NANPA handbooks, Bird Photography and Contest Secrets, this past month.

In Contest Secrets, Karen Schuenemann makes a valid point in her article “Getting from No to Yes.” Ms. Schuenemann said, “If you sit back and don’t put in the effort, you already have a NO. If you don’t try something that you dream about doing, you already have a NO. If you don’t attempt to do anything at all, you already have a NO.”

This is a twist on something I frequently say to people: “If you don’t ask for a yes, you already have a no.”

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Networking, Lessons in Life and Nature Photography on Tap for New Podcast

In a few short weeks, NANPA will officially launch The Nature Photographer Podcast in collaboration with the cast of Wild and Exposed, so we asked one of the co-founders and co-hosts to tell us what he’s gained from hosting and participating in nature photography podcasts, and what he hopes the new NANPA podcast brings its listeners.

Photos and story by Ron Hayes

I’m all about networking in wildlife photography. Networking is critical to being able to find good locations to shoot, but it’s also how you find people you respect to review your work and give you honest input. You might not want to hear the feedback, but it will help you improve your image quality.

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Crowds Force Closures and Restrictions in Parks and Natural Areas

A newspaper story reports the closure of a popular and photogenic waterfall.

By Frank Gallagher, NANPA Blog Coordinator

A day in the great outdoors has become increasingly attractive during the coronavirus pandemic. With many entertainment, sporting, and recreational activities constrained by safety precautions, people are flooding into national and local parks and recreation areas, as well as some previously little-known places. The crowds, congestion and litter have now forced a new set of restrictions. Some parks are limiting the number of visitors and some lesser-known locations are closing. If you’re headed out to a park or natural area, avoid disappointment by checking for the latest information before you head out the door.

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Weekly Wow! Week of September 28, 2020

Showcase 2020 Top 100 Winner: “Long Exposure Composite of Lightning over Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte, Sedona, Village of Oak Creek, Arizona” © Bob Coates
2Showcase 2020 Top 100 Winner: “Long Exposure Composite of Lightning over Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte, Sedona, Village of Oak Creek, Arizona” © Bob Coates

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, September 28, 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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Twenty-Five Questions to Think like a Photo Competition Judge

Photo of an impala drinking. Impala Drinking. This image has a feeling of tranquility. The lighting and soft focus background of the impalas reinforce the feeling of a peaceful scene. The subject pops and helps create story. © Donna Brok
Impala Drinking. This image has a feeling of tranquility. The lighting and soft focus background of the impalas reinforce the feeling of a peaceful scene. The subject pops and helps create story. © Donna Brok

By Donna Brok

Camera clubs offer members some great opportunities to learn and practice their craft, one of which is regular photo competitions. In addition to whatever points members earn toward year-end recognition, seeing other members’ images and getting critiques on your own is one good way to improve your photography. Thinking like a photo contest judge is an even more powerful way to rapidly improve the quality of your entries. In this article, I will explain my thinking as a photo contest judge and the 25 questions I ask about every photo I evaluate.

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Get Outside for National Public Lands Day!

National Public Lands Day 2020 logo © NEEF
National Public Lands Day 2020 © NEEF

By Frank Gallagher, NANPA Blog Coordinator

Saturday, September 26, 2020, is National Public Lands Day. Each year the fourth Saturday of September is so designated in an initiative created and sponsored by the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF). Typically, this is the “largest single-day volunteer event for public lands,” with hikes, workshops, cleanups, demonstrations, and all sorts of opportunities for people to participate. Last year, more than 200,000 volunteers took part. With the Covid-19 virus still a threat, things will be different this year, but there will still be many chances to get involved.

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A Quick Photo Trip to the Badlands

Landscape Image of the Sculpted Contours of the Badlands , South Dakota  © Tom Haxby
Sculpted Contours of the Badlands , South Dakota © Tom Haxby

By Tom Haxby

Recently I found myself wanting to visit and photograph the Badlands. Just visiting South Dakota would be a first for me. It’s one of the few states I have never set foot in. Like many others during this pandemic, I feel more comfortable avoiding crowds, driving, staying in a tent, and doing my own cooking. So, into the truck went the camping gear and camera equipment and off I went on an odyssey to the Badlands of South Dakota!

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Weekly Wow! Week of September 21, 2020

Showcase 2020 Top 100 Winner: “Maasai Herder On Dried-up Lake Bed, East Africa, Kenya's Greater Amboseli Region” © Alison M. Jones
Showcase 2020 Top 100 Winner: “Maasai Herder On Dried-up Lake Bed, East Africa, Kenya’s Greater Amboseli Region” © Alison M. Jones

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, September 21, 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!

The 2021 NANPA Showcase competition closes tonight at 11 p.m. Eastern Time, so enter your best photos today! Maybe you’ll be featured in next year’s Weekly Wows or, better yet, win a prize! Get all the details on the 2021 NANPA Showcase page.

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Mindful Nature Photography

Photo of lichen on rock. Patches of Time, Glacier National Park, Montana, © Frank Gallagher
Patches of Time, Glacier National Park, Montana, © Frank Gallagher

By Frank Gallagher, NANPA Blog Coordinator

In the chaos of a pandemic and divisive political and social climate, I need the calming effect of being out in nature with my camera. Maybe you, too, have had those moments out in the field when all the cares of the world seem to melt away and you become hyper aware of your surroundings. That mental state, of being at one with my surroundings, helps me zero in on what I was finding interesting in a scene and helps crystalize the feelings I want a photo to convey. These moments used to be sporadic and fleeting until I started practicing mindfulness. Becoming a mindful photographer could help you, too.

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