NANPA News

Exhibit: The Past, Present, and Future of Nature Photography

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The Past, Present, and Future of Nature Photography: The Future – NANPA High School Scholarship Students’ display

 

Photo and story by Lione Clare

Last October, I had the opportunity to visit the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum (IPHF) in St. Louis, Missouri for its Grand Opening to see my image in, The Past, Present, and Future of Nature Photography exhibit that was on display through January of this year. My photo was one of ten selected from several submissions by recent North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) High School Scholarship Students for the “Future” part of the exhibition.

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Nature’s View – Top Secrets of Bird Photography, Story and photographs by Jim Clark

What the Pros Don’t Want you to Know

With the professional bird photographers hot on my trail, I’m going to reveal, right now, the top secrets of bird photography. I’m ready to sacrifice myself for the betterment of every one of you who want to photograph birds. All are welcome, but if anyone asks, I had nothing to do with this.

Sincerely,

Jim Clark, uh, I mean Ansel Wolfe Lepp.
P.S. You never heard this from me.

Read the rest of this entry »

National Parks: Great Smoky Mountains, Story and photographs by Jerry Ginsberg

 

Rich Mtn Rd. looking down into Cade's Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN.

Rich Mountain Road, looking down into Cade’s Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN.

While summer is still with us, it’s not too early to start thinking about good spots for fall photography, particularly if you happen to live in a northerly latitude. Luckily, one of the best in America is within a day’s drive of more than one-third of the nation’s population: Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Popularly called “The Smokies,” this big park is split equally between Tennessee and North Carolina. Three gateway towns provide access: Cherokee, North Carolina, in the south; the combined area of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, on the northern edge; and the small, quiet village of Townsend, Tennessee, bordering the northwest corner of the Smokies. All offer a wide variety of lodgings and restaurants to suit every budget and taste with Gatlinburg being a bustling tourist mecca. Read the rest of this entry »

Help Make NANPA a Better Organization

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Please fill out the NANPA Annual Survey!

Each year we survey all NANPA members and stakeholders in order to get their feedback and understand how they feel about key issues. The survey results are used by the Board, Staff and Committees to evaluate our progress and set direction for NANPA.

Your feedback is important to us and we’d like your participation in the NANPA Annual Survey Please use the following link to start the survey:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NANPA2014
It’s important to have input from the greater nature photography community, so we do want feedback from both members and non-members. All feedback is confidential and only presented in summary form without specific attribution.

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Executive Director, Susan Day (susanday@nanpa.org) or Membership Coordinator, Teresa Ransdell (transdell@nanpa.org).

The survey will take 10-15 minutes of your time. In advance, thank you for your participation.

Photography from Your Car by JP Bruce

Sandhill crane photographed from my car!

Sandhill crane photographed from my car!

Text and Images by JP Bruce

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. – John Wooden

Having trouble with mobility? Can’t cover the distances you used to? Rough terrain look too imposing to try? Whether this is permanent or temporary I wrote a book to show that you don’t have to give up your photography due to this limitation. I had polio as a two year old and have needed a brace and crutches for mobility since then, so I have learned how to adapt. I want people with and without mobility limitations to see that quality photographs can be made while staying in or near a vehicle.

There are many advantages of photographing from your car. The car can transport you to many places in a short time. Many animals are used to vehicles passing on the road and will ignore them so your car makes a good blind. Your vehicle is a solid base so with the addition of a support such as a beanbag or window mount you eliminate camera movement (remember to turn off the motor!). As a bass fisherman I used my boat as a large tackle box. Now, as a photographer I use my car as a huge camera bag. I have all my equipment available without worrying about weight, so I’m ready for any photographic opportunity.

There are a few problems if you stay in your vehicle. You are limiting the angle you can photograph the subject. The distance to the subject could be problematic even with a really long lens (but this could also be true when walking). The location of a subject you want, such as a waterfall, may not have a road nearby. Of course traffic and traffic laws can make you lose an image. If traffic is heavy you may not be able to pull over and stop safely. Laws should always be considered. I was driving on an interstate and saw a cloud formation with beautiful sunset colors, but I decided a state trooper would not appreciate me saying I had stopped to take a photo.

Flower photographed from my car!

A flower that I photographed from my car!

 

Here are a few tips for making good photographs from your car:

Developing your eye is one of the more critical things for photography from your car. Always be looking for compositions, colors or animals that will make a good photo. You need to be looking ahead as coming to a screeching halt is not good for anything. Safety for yourself and your subject should be your number one concern any time you go out for photography using your car. Make sure that you are out of the traffic flow when pulling off to make an image.

Slow the car gradually when you spot a subject. If your subject is the landscape, a slow approach allows you to pick the angle you desire for the best image. If your subject is an animal, a slow approach is necessary in order not to scare off the critter. If possible have the lens out the window for animals. Even though the car serves as a blind, the pointy thing coming out the window can be disturbing. If the lens is already sticking out the animal may think it’s part of the bigger object. Once you are stopped, turn off the motor to reduce vibration. Then use a support such a beanbag or window mount for your camera and make slow movements. Sometimes I use my left arm to lay the lens on for support. Of course you can hand hold if you are confident in your technique.

Research is key to getting quality images. If you are interested in landscapes, learn what season is the best for the locale. Do you want greens, blooms, fall leaf colors or snow? Determine the best time of day for a specific spot. Is the morning or evening light best for that spot? If you want animal images learn where they are and the best times to see them. You’ll want to get furry animals with good coats and avoid birds during molting season. You may make many visits to sight a specific animal and you may spend quite some time just waiting for the right light and right animal. Wind and light are critical elements for animals. There are several computer programs that can show you the light direction at any spot. You just have to hope for the wind.

Explore parks and lonely back roads. Many state and national parks have roads running through them. When there is no traffic you can take photos anywhere. Most will have pullouts you will need to use when traffic is heavy and roads are narrow. Lonely back roads usually have little traffic and wide enough shoulders to pull over and photograph that beautiful bird or unique landscape.

If you are mobility limited, I encourage you to try these techniques. You can still enjoy nature and wildlife photography and you can do it comfortably from your car (or very near). If you want to learn more, please check out my book on the topic: “Photography from Your Car: Or Very Near“.

To see more of JP Bruce’s photography, please visit his website or “Like” his Facebook Page for JP Bruce Photography. JP is also a NANPA Meetup Organizer for the NANPA Nature Photography Meetup Group of Arizona

 

Photographed from my car!

Photographed from my car!

Field Technique: Nature . . . in a most unusual place, Story and photo by F.M. Kearney

WF-72Kearney8-14New York is a city known for its attractions: the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, the Bronx Zoo, the Brooklyn Bridge Waterfall. Waterfall? Yes, for a brief period during the summer of 2008, there was a waterfall at the Brooklyn Bridge, thanks to the imagination of artist Olafur Eliasson.

The Brooklyn Bridge Waterfall was part of a public art project consisting of four artificial waterfalls situated along the East River and the New York Harbor. They were created by pumping river water up and over 100-foot-tall scaffoldings. The Brooklyn Bridge Waterfall was placed under the bridge’s tower. Of the four waterfalls, it was the most picturesque.

Like a typical New Yorker, I suppose, I never really paid much attention to public art installations. One in particular, installed a few years earlier in Central Park, left me more puzzled than anything else. It was known as The Gates–a winding, 23-mile-long row of saffron-colored fabric sheets strewn along the park’s pathways. Personally, I didn’t get it and I didn’t see the fascination. However, a waterfall flowing under the Brooklyn Bridge is something else. There aren’t alot of waterfalls to shoot in New York City, so even though it was artificial, I didn’t want to miss it. Read the rest of this entry »

Web of Water: Four NANPA Members Collaborate for Conservation

Web of Water

Web of Water

 

Check out The Web of Water Project – A Collaboration between NANPA Members jon holloway, Ben Geer Keys, Clay Bolt, and Tom Blagden 

The Web of Water project is a unique partnership with Upstate Forever, Fujifilm, Hub City Press renowned writer John Lane, photographers jon holloway, Ben Geer Keys, Clay Bolt, and Tom Blagden and corporate sponsors. The goal of highlighting through fine art photography the beauty, fragility, and critical importance of the Saluda-Reedy watershed and Lake Greenwood was a five year undertaking.

The Web of Water project tells the story of the watershed and those that depend on it for food, water, business, or recreation. A unique combination of beautiful and alarming images raise awareness about the watershed’s importance to the surrounding landscape and communities, current threats to the watershed’s health, and steps that citizens can take to preserve this precious natural resource in their midst.

This project will provide Upstate Forever with new opportunities to educate the community. Photography is one of the most powerful communication tools in assigning a higher sense of value to our environment. Often in the field of research, the visual connection between science and community is the untold story. This project will help bridge the gap and become a catalyst for community responsibility, awareness of cause and effect, and provide the public with unique opportunity to directly make a difference in the future of South Carolina.

www.webofwaterbook.com

 

Here are a few images from the Web of Water Project:

 

Eastern newt, Jones Gap State park, Image by Tom Blagden

Eastern newt, Jones Gap State park, Image by Tom Blagden

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Using the Nikon D4s for Wildlife Photography

As a professional wildlife photographer who spends more than 100 days a year in the field working with clients and leading workshops, I require the highest standards from my camera equipment.  I’ve been shooting with the new Nikon D4s for a few months now and am continually amazed by its remarkable capabilities. I’ve demonstrated my three favorite new features in the video noted below, including Nikon’s new group area auto-focusing mode, video shot in 1080p at 60fps, and time-lapse photography created with the aid of exposure smoothing. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjenK4CeNDk.—Aaron Baggenstos

Photographer Project: Saving Serengeti, Story and photographs by Boyd Norton

NortonSerengeti-1331Serengeti—it’s one of the most famous names in the world, an icon of wild places.

The Serengeti ecosystem, almost 10,000 square miles in area, includes Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and adjacent reserves such as Loliondo, Maswa, Ikorongo, Grumeti and Kenya’s Masai Mara. It is one of the few large, protected ecosystems left on earth. Each year, more than two million animals—wildebeest, zebras and other herbivores—migrate from the eastern plains through central Serengeti and northward to Masai Mara and back, in a search for water and fresh grasses. It is the largest land mammal migration on earth.

NortonSerengeti-1333I’ve been traveling to the Serengeti ecosystem annually for 30 years, leading photo tours, and working on book and magazine assignments. I always assumed that national park and World Heritage Site designations would protect this ecosystem. I was wrong.

In May 2010 I learned from Masai friends that the Tanzanian government planned a major commercial highway that would cut across the northern part of the park like a knife wound. Hundreds of trucks would speed daily from Lake Victoria in the west to the Indian Ocean coast. In addition to cutting off the migration route, the highway would become an avenue for poachers.

Zebras in Ngorongoro Crater, TanzaniaWithin days of my discovery, I contacted a handful of other frequent Serengeti travelers and we started a Facebook page, Stop the Serengeti Highway. Word spread, and today that page has more than 60,000 followers worldwide. In addition, ecotourism consultant Dave Blanton and I started a tax-deductible non-profit called Serengeti Watch to rally support to save Serengeti and to inform select news media around the globe about the threat. Click the link to join and/or make a donation.

In December 2010, Richard Engel of NBC News traveled to Serengeti. He uncovered the culprit funding the highway: China. Engel asserted that China was after coltan, an important mineral in cell phones, and certain rare-earth minerals.

NortonSerengeti-1339The situation has grown more complex because of oil in Uganda and South Sudan. Plans are now being discussed by the Tanzanian government for a “transportation corridor” that might include a railroad as well as a highway. Either would mark the end of the migration and the total unravelling of the Serengeti ecosystem.

Serengeti Watch has proposed an alternate southern route, one that bypasses Serengeti entirely. Parts of this road already exist and are being upgraded for major transport. The Tanzanian government has ignored funding offers for a southern route, and to date the Serengeti Highway remains a threat.

Dawn, wildebeest and acacia tree, Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya.Building local support is vital. Through donations, Serengeti Watch has made educational grants locally to raise awareness about the importance of preserving Serengeti. The overall aim is to fund projects in media and education that encourage young Tanzanians to become involved in conservation. Through photography, journalism, video and social media, Serengeti Watch will give local people the ability to communicate the importance of protecting their reserves and parks.

This may be the best way to protect Serengeti for the future.

Boyd Norton is the author/photographer of 16 books. His most recent, Serengeti: The Eternal Beginning, has received accolades from primatologist and researcher Jane Goodall and Richard Engel of NBC News, among others. For more than 45 years Boyd has used his photography and writing to save and protect wilderness and wildlife worldwide, testifying at numerous congressional hearings. He has served on the Board of Trustees for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. He is a Fellow of NANPA, a former NANPA board member, charter Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, and founder and Fellow of the International League of Conservation Writers. His next photo safari to Serengeti will be in February, 2015. www.boydnorton.com; www.wildernessphotography.com. See a recent legal development: http://newsle.com/article/0/162431923/

In Our Yard by Amy Shutt

Alstroemeria psittacina 'Parrot Lily'

Alstroemeria psittacina ‘Parrot Lily’

Images and Text by Amy Shutt

We live on 7.5 acres of land in a little town in Louisiana. Although I’ve only been here for a few years, my husband, an ornithologist, has been living here for quite some time. It’s 95% woods. He gardens the area around the house exclusively for hummingbirds and the rest is untouched. Yep, we are the eccentric neighbors with the overgrown yard with signs designating the ditch in the front as a ‘Wildflower Area’ so the city won’t cut or spray.

I see swamp rabbits almost daily. We have deer…and deer ticks. I have heard foxes in the darkness just off the driveway in the woods. We have enjoyed listening to coyotes howling in unison. Barred owls belt out their crazy calls nightly. Prothonotary Warblers nest in boxes we make for them around the house and in the woods.  Point is, it’s pretty cool out here and we share this land with a lot of critters and plants.  Read the rest of this entry »

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