MEMBER PROFILE: Carl Heilman

CHeilman_300dpiCarl Heilman II is an internationally published photographer and author. He has been photographing the Adirondacks since 1975, working to capture the location’s grandeur and his emotional and spiritual connection to it. He started climbing on a pair of handcrafted snowshoes, and he continues to explore and photograph the mountains and lakes of the Adirondack Park. Carl shares his decades of photography experience with others in his photography workshops and tours, coffee table books and how-to photography books. From September 24-27, Carl and Tom Dwyer will be leading a NANPA Regional Event in Adirondack State Park. Go to http://www.nanpa.org/events/regionals/adirondack-new-york-2017/  for more information.

Carl has had nine books published and did the photography for an additional three. His most recent are 101 Top Tips for Digital Landscape Photography (Ilex Press, May 2014), Photographing the Adirondacks (Countryman Press, June 2013), The Landscape Photography Field Guide (Focal Press / Ilex Press, fall 2011) and Advanced Digital Landscape Photography (Ilex Press 2010). He is currently working on a coffee table book for Rizzoli on the Blue Ridge Mountains from Shenandoah National Park to the Smokies, to be published in spring 2018.

Carl’s website: http://www.carlheilman.com.   He is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NaturePhotographyWorkshops and  https://www.facebook.com/groups/phototechniques/. On YouTube, go to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFCsO-k001JS406lQ71xHnQ Continue reading

Getting to know you; A year-long project

Story and photography by Kathy Lichtendahl

I admit it…I am spoiled by where I live. Northwest Wyoming, with its easy access to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, is a nature photographer’s paradise. In the summer months I can be in Lamar Valley within two hours. In early winter, an hour’s drive south puts me in range to capture that magnificent moment when two bighorn rams collide with incredible force and in spring I have the joy of photographing young pronghorn and elk literally in my backyard.

Heart Mountain, October 24, 2016 © Kathy Lichtendahl

Heart Mountain, October 24, 2016
© Kathy Lichtendahl

But even in this amazing environment, there are those months when the photo doldrums set in and I wonder if I will ever get another opportunity to shoot something that makes my heart beat a little bit faster. That is why, every January 1, I try to come up with a personal photo project instead of the typical New Year’s resolution. I started this practice a couple years ago when I felt the need for a challenge to get me through the long cold months that stretched to spring. Continue reading

NANPA Weekly Wow: April 10-16

A bald eagle in small community burning trash pit, Adak, Aleutian Islands, Alaska © Mark Kelley

A bald eagle in small community burning trash pit, Adak, Aleutian Islands, Alaska © Mark Kelley

Each week www.nanpa.org highlights 7 images from the top 100 submissions of the 2017 NANPA Showcase competition. This week’s images are by:

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FIELD TECHNIQUE: Capturing early morning dew . . . all day long

Story and photography by F.M. Kearney

Triumph tulip "Inistress Mystic" Tulipa Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Triumph tulips © F.M. Kearney

If you like shooting flowers, now is the time of year to be out in the field. Whether you live in a rural setting or in the middle of a large metropolitan area, these colorful little jewels of nature should not be too hard to find.

One of the most appealing aspects of flower photography are dew drops. As exposed surface temperatures cool, atmospheric moisture condenses in the form of water droplets. These droplets, commonly referred to as dew, can form on grass, leaves and even inanimate objects like railings and vehicles in the early morning hours. The formation of dew on flowers can turn a generic image into one that is stunning. Continue reading

NATURE’S VIEW: Walking with my telephoto zoom on a backlit type of day

Story and photography by Jim Clark

Like most nature photography instructors, I arrive several days prior to a workshop to scout the area. I check on the condition of the sites where I will be taking my students and search for new ones as well. I take the time to see how the light illuminates a scene at different times of day and determine the best perspective and time for my students to photograph there. These days also afford me time to photograph on my own and to reconnect with and savor nature.

On scouting trips before my workshops along Virginia’s eastern shore, I make time to walk the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge’s wildlife loop drive. The drive is closed to vehicles until after 3 p.m., making it a great opportunity to get my daily steps in while exploring the refuge without worrying about traffic.

The loop is a perfect 3.1 miles in length and winds through major habitat types of the refuge. With a few spur trails leading off from the main loop, there is always a new and different route to explore. Whether I hike the loop in the morning or afternoon, I’m going to find something to photograph — or better yet, experience.

Winged Sumac Leaves Backlit 11162016 Chincoteague NWR VA (c) Jim Clark_6

Backlit winged sumac leaves, Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia. © Jim Clark

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NANPA Weekly Wow: April 3-9

African elephants drinking , Chobe River, Botswana © Carol Grenier

African elephants drinking , Chobe River, Botswana © Carol Grenier

Each week www.nanpa.org highlights 7 images from the top 100 submissions of the 2017 NANPA Showcase competition. This week’s images are by:

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The Black and White Composition

An excerpt from The Photographer’s Black and White Handbook: Making and Processing Stunning Digital Black and White Photos by Harold Davis, published by The Monacelli Press, 2017.

BW cover webPhotography is applied design, and according to classical design theory the principal building blocks of two-dimensional design are:

  • Making the best use of both external and internal boundaries
  • Acknowledging and working with the underlying shape in the image
  • Constructing and depicting exciting and dynamic forms

As opposed to color photography, the boundaries in a photo are not obscured by an attractive color palette that can distract the viewer’s eye. This means that getting your composition right is even more important with black and white photography than with color. Continue reading

Dos and Don’ts for Aviation Photography

by Alton K. Marsh

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The author photographed this aerial landscape near Las Vegas from a reasonably clean airliner window. © Alton Marsh

Taking air-to-ground photos has a place in nature photography as do drones and remotely operated cameras. However, should you want to expand your horizons, this article covers some of the Dos and Don’ts of photographing aircraft, air-to-air in particular, which can be more complicated.

There’s no shortage of aerial artists spotting graphic designs and colors on the ground. Adobe Photoshop guru Julieanne Kost spent several years asking for the window seat on her many travels. The result was her beautiful and well-received 2006 book Window Seat: The Art of Digital Photography and Creative Thinking. There’s a Professional Aerial Photographer’s Association where business and professional photographers turn their attention to the beauty they are seeing each year and compete for prizes.

Other artists found in the back of an aircraft, usually with the door removed or a window taped open, take photos of actual aircraft. Well-known “critter” photographer Moose Peterson has in recent years branched into this field.

I was an aviation writer for 25 years at the AOPA Pilot, the monthly membership magazine of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Part of my job was to assist the photographer on the ground and again in the air by using my piloting skills to fly 35 feet from another plane carrying the photographer, enabling him/her to capture air-to-air photos. Continue reading

FIELD TECHNIQUE: Let the sun shine in

Story and photography by F.M. Kearney

Years ago, I opened a box of Kodacolor II film and removed a thin, folded strip of paper. It contained a set of illustrated instructions for basic photography. One illustration, in particular, still sticks out in my mind. It was a photographer standing with his back to the sun while taking a picture of a model.

Indeed, conventional wisdom tells us to always keep the sun at our backs when taking a picture. This is a pretty good rule to follow for most subjects — especially if you don’t want important details lost in deep shadows. Always following conventional wisdom, however, will usually result in conventional-looking photographs. For a change of pace, why not try shooting directly toward the sun on a bright sunny day.

Including the sun in landscape photos is nothing new. But, aside from a few cameos, the sun rarely makes an appearance in photos of flowers. This could be due to a simple matter of logistics. It’s not that easy to compose the sun in the same shot with a subject that’s low to the ground. It’s much easier if you’re shooting at dawn or dusk when the sun is low on the horizon. Personally, I prefer the morning when the ambient light is rising instead of dropping.

Sun rising behind large-cup daffodils (Narcissus) "Manon Lescaut" Amaryllidaceae New York Botanical Garden Bronx, NY

© F.M. Kearney

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