The world has changed a lot in the twenty-five years since NANPA was formed. Back in 1994, the first commercially-successful web browser, Netscape Navigator, was released. “Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web” was renamed Yahoo. Google was four years away and Facebook wouldn’t launch until 2004. If you had internet access, it was probably dial-up at 56kbps through Compuserv or AOL. Photoshop 3.0 had just come out and introduced layers. Microsoft Windows was new but your Pentium computer probably ran MS-DOS and had 4 MB RAM. Mobile phones didn’t have cameras and certainly weren’t smart.
If you were a photographer, you were probably shooting film or slides. You might have been interested in Apple’s Quick Take 100, the first color digital camera available to consumers at less than $1,000. It got you a 640 x 480 pixel image and was actually designed and manufactured by Kodak. Kodak also offered a more robust Digital Camera System for pros with a modified Nikon F3 camera tethered to a bulky hard drive you carried over your shoulder. It shot 1.3 MP images and cost around $20,000. (Kodak was afraid of competing with its film sales and didn’t fully develop or market a digital camera until much later.)
Just like the world around us, NANPA has grown, changed, adapted and thrived over the past quarter century. Whether moving from a paper newsletter sent through snail mail to electronic communications and social media; promoting the art of nature photography and the rights of nature photographers; or providing valuable educational opportunities and keeping up with the ever-changing issues in nature photography ethics and intellectual property concerns, NANPA looks very different now than in 1994. Yet the mission has remained essentially the same.
We kicked off our 25th birthday celebration at the 2019 Nature Photography Summit in February in Las Vegas. If you missed getting a piece of birthday cake then, not to worry, the party continues. Only now, the gifts go to you!
Help NANPA celebrate our birthday by telling us your favorite NANPA story. Was it something you learned at a NANPA event? A great friend you first met in NANPA? Some fabulous location you visited at a NANPA conference or regional event? What has NANPA meant to you? What will it mean in the future? Share your NANPA story on Facebook Twitter or Instagram with #HappyBirthdayNANPA and you could win a present from us!
If the next twenty-five years of nature photography are anything like the past quarter century, we’re in for an exciting ride. And NANPA will be there with you every step of the way.