NANPA Weekly Wow: Nov 28 – Dec 4

An endangered Haleakala Silversword under stars., Haleakala National Park - Maui, Hawaii © Scott Reither

An endangered Haleakala Silversword under stars., Haleakala National Park – Maui, Hawaii © Scott Reither

Each week www.nanpa.org highlights 7 images from the top 100 submissions of the 2016 NANPA Showcase competition. This week’s images are by:

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VOLUNTEER: Mark Lukes

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© Linda Helm

NANPA founding president and lifetime member Mark Lukes was also founding chair of the NANPA Foundation and the Center for Fine Art Photography. He is currently president of Art for Conservation and recently completed his tenure as the first board chair of the International League of Conservation Photographers. Mark’s company, Fine Print Imaging, has long been considered the top printer for fine art photographers and artists across North America. He is also a photographer. Be sure to read Mark’s answer to the last question in this interview for insight into NANPA’s beginnings. — The Editors

Do you have a “day” job? What do you do?

I am the founder and president of Fine Print Imaging, a fine art printing studio that has been printing for serious photographers and artists for more than 40 years. Many of our customers are NANPA members. Interesting fact: the company employs 11 professionals who represent over 230 years of work experience at Fine Print Imaging!

How long have you been a NANPA member?

Since it began in 1994. Continue reading

NANPA Weekly Wow: Nov 21-27

Roseate Spoonbill, High Island Audubon Sanctuary © Matthew Hyner

Roseate Spoonbill, High Island Audubon Sanctuary © Matthew Hyner

Each week www.nanpa.org highlights 7 images from the top 100 submissions of the 2016 NANPA Showcase competition. This week’s images are by:

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FIELD TECHNIQUE: The challenges of winter photography

Story and photography by F.M. Kearney

The Lake frozen over and snow-covered from The Hernshed Central Park New York, NY The Lake at the Hernshed Central Park New York, NY (5-image HDR compilation)
Left: The Lake in Central Park, New York City, in winter. Right: The same composition in early fall.
© F.M. Kearney

As beautiful as winter is to photograph, it also can be burdensome for you and your equipment. Certain precautions are required that no other season demands. Creativity takes a backseat when you’re cold and wet and thinking only about going home to enjoy a nice warm bowl of soup.

We’ve all heard that dressing in layers is the best way to go. You have the ability to add or remove articles of clothing as the temperature fluctuates. But what about your lower body? Jeans are probably the worst type of pants to wear, because they can freeze if they get wet and denim is often stiffer than other materials. Wool pants are warm, but I prefer to wear long underwear with nylon ski pants that stay dry even in the wettest conditions.

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NATIONAL PARKS: Las Glaciares National Park

Story and photography by Jerry Ginsberg

Since we’ve already explored a bit of the Chilean side of Patagonia with Torres del Paine in the November 2016 issue of NANPA e-News, let’s now take a look at the Argentine side. This vast, fabulous and still wild region occupies virtually a third of South America.

The Patagonian steppe is largely pristine wilderness filled with serrated peaks, glistening lakes and vast blue-white rivers of ice. Here, the winds blow incessantly and both the climate and life itself can be harsh.

Perito Moreno Glacier 

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NANPA Weekly Wow: Nov 14-20

Fall foliage, NY Botanical Garden © F.M. Kearney

Fall foliage, NY Botanical Garden © F.M. Kearney

Each week www.nanpa.org highlights 7 images from the top 100 submissions of the 2016 NANPA Showcase competition. This week’s images are by:

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NATURE’S VIEW: Moments (Part III)

Chasing the Moment

Story and photography by Jim Clark

Knowing when to anticipate a moment can pay dividends in photographing nature, as shown in my column in Part II in the November issue. This article provides an example that illustrates how knowing when to chase a moment can also pay off.

After the conclusion of my final spring workshop along Virginia’s eastern shore, I spent the afternoon exploring the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. While on the refuge’s Wildlife Drive, I saw several flocks of white and glossy ibis flying into Snow Goose Pool. As soon as one flock landed, another flock winged over the pines and landed in the same wetland.

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White ibis flying into Snow Goose Pool at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia. © Jim Clark

Before long, several hundred wading birds had gathered in the wetland. With so much avian activity, I decided to stay and photograph this amazing natural event. Only a few hours of daylight remained, so I had to be ready to chase the moment. Now wasn’t a time to fiddle with camera controls, as precious moments could be lost.

I quickly positioned myself to allow for the best angle of ambient light on the birds flying into and feeding in the wetland. For me, that was having the low-angled sun directly behind me. The light washed over the birds, showcasing the details and color in their plumage. I used a continuous high rate of 9 to 11 frames per second to capture the action of birds flying and interacting with each other. For exposure I used both manual and aperture priority settings. For manual, I took a spot reading off the ibis and set my exposure accordingly — as long as the birds were in the same light, the exposure would be correct. For aperture priority, I simply adjusted exposure with the camera’s exposure compensation dial. If I needed more speed, I increased the ISO setting. With a quick look at the histogram on my camera’s LCD monitor, I could make adjustments as needed.

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Juvenile white ibis feeding in wetland at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia. © Jim Clark

My lenses of choice were an 600mm with and without a 1.4x extender on a tripod and an 80-400mm telephoto zoom, handheld to capture the flocks as they flew to the wetland. With my 80-400mm telephoto, I could zoom in on individual birds or action and then zoom out quickly to capture a wider view of the flocks of ibis. My 600mm stayed firm on a sturdy tripod with a Wimberley WH-200 gimbal head, which provided quick and easy follow-throughs when photographing the birds in flight.

Except for the occasional sip of a diet cherry cola, my attention stayed focused solely on the drama playing out in front of me. The activity in the wetland became nonstop. Something was happening no matter where I looked — flocks flying in, birds competing for position, birds chasing other birds to get a prized catch, or just birds standing and waiting their turn for an opportunity.

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Two immature white ibis fighting at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia. © Jim Clark

I needed to keep my attention on the action and not worry about my settings. The critical part of knowing when to chase a moment is having the confidence in your understanding of exposure and camera settings so you can concentrate on capturing the shot at the right moment in time. So before you head back into nature, be sure to bring your skills at anticipation and chase with you. You’ll be glad you did.

What Drew Them In?

Are you wondering why the ibis and other wading birds were congregating in such large numbers in these wetlands? Well, water in the freshwater pools is carefully managed by refuge staff to provide optimum feeding habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds and wading birds.

In spring, water levels are reduced to create exposed mudflats that attract migrating shorebirds. The lower water level also creates isolated pools of water that concentrate fish for wading birds to feed upon. This is what I was witnessing — a literal feeding frenzy of herons, egrets and ibis. Later, as summer progresses, the exposed mudflats become thick with native vegetation that migrating waterfowl favor for food. As winter approaches, the water control structures are closed to retain rainwater, which creates higher water levels preferred by waterfowl that winter on the refuge. The more you know…

 


A past NANPA president and former contributing editor for Outdoor Photographer, Jim Clark is currently the nature photography instructor for the Chincoteague Bay Field Station, Wallops Island, Virginia. The author/photographer of six books, Jim is particularly proud of two children’s books he did with his son Carson. Jim was also a major contributor to the book, Coal Country. Jim’s website can be found at www.jimclarkphoto.com, blog at www.jimclarkphoto.wordpress.com, or visit him on Facebook.

Help with $10 and 10 Minutes

By Sean Fitzgerald, NANPA Past President

NANPA High School Scholarship Program at the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee, USA.

NANPA High School Scholarship Program at the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee, USA. © Gabby Salazar

How You Can Help “Crowdfund” Our High School Program with $10 and 10 Minutes

The NANPA Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that helps fund many NANPA projects we all know and love. One of those is our High School Scholarship Program, which has literally changed the lives of its young participants and helped create future generations of conservation photographers (including one of our past NANPA presidents, Gabby Salazar!). Continue reading

NANPA Weekly Wow: Nov 7-13

IDAHO, MAIN SALMON RIVER, Fly fisherman spey casting for steelhead trout in falls golden light, near North Fk., ID

Fly fisherman spey casting for steelhead trout in falls golden light, near North Fk., ID © Steven Bly

Each week www.nanpa.org highlights 7 images from the top 100 submissions of the 2016 NANPA Showcase competition. This week’s images are by:

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