Your Gift in Action

2017 High School Program Participant Hannah Mirando photographs a damselfly during this week’s program. Photo by Andrew Snyder.

You made it happen! The 2017 NANPA High School Scholarship Program concludes today in the Smoky Mountains thanks to your gift to the NANPA Foundation supporting the program. Ten high school students had an intensive week learning about nature, nature photography and the natural history of the Smoky Mountains at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont in Tremont, Tennessee. The students’ best work from the week will be shown at a reception today. Instructors Kika Tuff, Morgan Heim, Andrew Snyder and Don Carter led discussions and presentations on topics for the student participants on topics including:

  • Wildlife and ethics
  • Lightroom and editing courses
  • Shutterspeed and camera settings
  • Rules of composition
  • Ethics of manipulation
  • Camera trapping
  • Insect trapping
  • Editing a portfolio

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From the new NANPA President – Don Carter

As I start my term as NANPA president, I would like to thank Clay Bolt for his leadership and guidance over this past year. NANPA has become a better organization with Clay at the helm, and I hope to continue the work that he and all past presidents have accomplished.

I had the pleasure of being one of the leaders during the Yellowstone Regional Event this past May. A wonderful group of members attended, and Yellowstone provided many opportunities for us to make great photographs, especially those of both grizzlies and black bears.

Since that event, one thought keeps circulating in my mind about bear “jams” that occur whenever bears are seen (or, for that matter, when any wildlife is spotted). Our NANPA group got caught up in one of those jams. Continue reading

Nature Photography Day Photo Contest Winners

On June 15, the world celebrated Nature Photography Day numerous ways. NANPA encouraged people everywhere to enjoy the day by using a camera to explore the natural world. Thousands of people tagged their nature images #naturephotoday or #naturephotographyday or #naturephotocontest on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Almost 2,000 images were submitted for the Nature Photography Day Photo Contest. We are proud to announce the winners along with a special thanks to the prize donors: Olympus, Cognisys, McKenna, Mindshift Gear, Tamron, Wimberley & Samy’s Camera.

1st Place- Douglas Croft

© Douglas Croft – The last of a coalition of four cheetahs crossing the plain in Kruger National Park with Wild4 Photo Safaris. He fell behind and was racing to catch up.

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NANPA Weekly Wow: June 26 – July 2

“Ram-ping Up” – Dall Sheep/Rams, Denali National Park, Alaska, USA © Dee Ann Pederson

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: Get the white out, creatively

Story and photography by F.M. Kearney

Central Park, New York City, © F.M. Kearney

A featureless white sky is the bane of nature photography. It can take a carefully crafted photograph and reduce it to what looks like a hastily grabbed snapshot destined for the trash heap. Of course, the lighting provided by white skies is highly sought after for capturing rich-toned, evenly lit images. But, aside from a few artistic purposes, white skies themselves are something most photographers try to avoid.

Unfortunately, this is a lot easier said than done. The best way to avoid white skies is to simply exclude them from your shot. If that’s not possible, a graduated neutral density filter might help. But, what if you don’t have a “clean” horizon? Any trees or buildings that jut up into the sky are going to be unnaturally darkened by the filter, thus ruining the effect.

You could try burning the sky in, but that may not work if it’s completely overcast and devoid of any cloud detail. Any attempts to burn in details that don’t actually exist will only result in a series of ugly, dark gray “burn marks.” Continue reading

NATURE’S VIEW: Within striking distance

Story and photography by Jim Clark

For nature photographers, how exhilarating it is to capture that defining moment as a great blue heron strikes the water? Even better is photographing a full sequence of a great egret stalking its prey and then plunging its bill and neck into the water to seize the prize.

Wading birds come in all sorts of sizes and shapes, and each species use specific hunting strategies to gather a bite to eat; ornithologists have even described 35 types of feeding behaviors wading birds use (see a list in a sidebar to this article).

Understanding how each species of wading bird feeds helps the nature photographer to photograph those amazing moments. Combine this knowledge with time in the field, and the photographer will become more and more successful at recording that special “striking” moment.

A great blue heron is about to swallow its prey after tossing and catching it midair. This image was photographed on the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia. ©  Jim Clark

Here are some feeding strategies of a few wading birds I photograph at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia: Continue reading

Capture to print—creating eye-catching black-and-white landscapes

Text and photography by Dana Warnquist

“Is that an Ansel Adams photograph,” she asked. “No,” the gallery owner replied with a chuckle. “It’s a local photographer.” Overhearing this exchange, I could feel my face warm as I flushed with both pride and embarrassment. True story.

Winter wonderland; Firehole Canyon, Yellowstone National Park. ©Copyright Dana Warnquist

Winter wonderland; Firehole Canyon, Yellowstone National Park. © Copyright Dana Warnquist

While my art certainly cannot be compared to that of master photographer Ansel Adams, his photographs and philosophies about protecting our natural environment have inspired and motivated me to capture eye-catching black-and-white images. Not everyone can create iconic landscape images like Adams, but with a few basic steps, from capture to print; stunning black-and-white images can be produced by even the newest DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera owners. Continue reading

NANPA Weekly Wow: June 19-25

River of Silence, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA © Rodney Lough

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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MEMBER PROFILE: Gary Hart

© Don Smith

Gary Hart is a professional nature photographer, writer and educator who has been exploring, photographing and sharing nature’s beauty for nearly 40 years. Gary is a Sony Artisan of Imagery and a frequent contributor to Outdoor Photographer magazine. His book of images, The Undiscovered Country, was featured exclusively at Barnes & Noble stores across the United States. Gary’s blog is followed by thousands of readers, and his always sold-out photo workshops often fill a year in advance. Visit Gary’s website at www.EloquentImages.com; his blog at www.EloquentNature.com; his prints at www.GaryHartPrints.com. Gary’s Yosemite workshops can be found at www.PhotographYosemite.com Continue reading

NATIONAL PARKS: Grand Teton National Park

Story and photography by Jerry Ginsberg

Grand Tetons © Jerry Ginsberg

Jackson Hole, with its sharply serrated Teton Range, is undoubtedly one of the most dramatic and striking scenes in all of North America. It is a great choice for a photo trip in at least three seasons.

Just south of iconic Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Park is too often overshadowed by its more famous neighbor. Rather than making an outing in the Tetons merely an extension of a trip to Yellowstone, we photographers should think of both as being equally worthy of our time. Continue reading