This is my last letter as president. Gordon Illg becomes president on July 1 and I look forward to working with him this coming year. NANPA is an amazing organization and I know under Gordon’s leadership, NANPA will continue to do great things for its members.
I’m visiting family in Wyoming after attending the NANPA Nature Photography Celebration and was able to photograph moose this morning, a mom and two calves. She has taught them well. They stayed close to the tree line in the high willows as she foraged, paying no attention to me. I’m by myself and it’s nice and quiet, what a change after the high energy of the Celebration. I spent ten days in Yellowstone and the Tetons and I have never seen so many bears in these parks. My first day in Yellowstone, I was able to see and photograph 11 bears both black and grizzly. In the Tetons, the famous 399 grizzly and her two cubs were photographed every day. Blondi and her two young ones were also seen daily. Along with the bears, we photographed pronghorn, moose, bison, and even a few beavers.
The Nature Photography Celebration was a first for NANPA. We were in the field in the mornings using borrowed lenses and cameras. I want to thank Canon, Fotopro, Olympus, Panasonic, Sigma, and Tamron for supporting NANPA and making their equipment available for us to use. Hunt’s Photo and Video and Wyoming Camera Outfitters were available with equipment for those who wished to purchase gear they tried in the field. It was a nice collaboration. Thanks are also due to Canon Professional Services for cleaning cameras and lenses for attendees.
I would also like to thank Rick Sammon, Daniel Cox, and Henry Holdsworth for their keynote presentations. Additionally, I would like to thank their sponsors: Canon Explorers of Light, Nature’s Best, Panasonic, and Tamron.
The afternoon presentations were some of the best I’ve ever heard. I’m amazed at the conservation work being done by our members: Jenny Nichols, Jaymi Heimbuch, Clay Bolt, and Morgan Heim. Daniel Cox’s work with Geoff York on Polar Bear research is something all our members should understand and its implications for the future of our planet. Mike Francis’ collection of historical images of Yellowstone was fascinating, as was David Akoubian’s presentation of his backyard wildlife sanctuary. Our members were briefed by Jennifer Leigh Warner on NANPA’s new truth in captioning guidelines which is the work of the Ethics Committee. The always popular Lightning Talks were presented by Bethany Augliere, Ashleigh Scully, and Don Quintana highlighting their work on behalf of nature and science.
The last two sessions on the final day were a juxtaposition of philosophies between Tom Horton and Cheryl Opperman. Tom wants us to avoid iconic locations and search for areas adjacent to these locations to photograph. Cheryl says it’s okay to photograph the iconic locations but challenged us to be more creative with our photography when photographing them.
I hope this type of event becomes a standard affair for NANPA in the future. You, our members, have always expressed an interest in photographing at our events, so I hope we met your expectations. I would like to see a Celebration event alternate with our traditional Summit, but it is up to you to make this happen.
I wish to thank everyone who has been so supportive of me as president. Thank you for a wonderful year.