NANPA News

FIELD TECHNIQUES: The Complexilty of Simplicity by F.M. Kearney

Story and photograph by F.M. Kearney

F-14_edited-1I’m often amazed at just how much subconscious thought and planning goes into the creation of a “simple” photograph.

A couple of years ago I was in the Thain Family Forest of the New York Botanical Garden. Located in the center of the 250-acre garden, this forest is the last remaining tract of original forest that once covered most of New York City.

I was initially attracted to a rustic log fence at the entrance to one of the forest trails. Seeing it as the perfect foreground element to lead a viewer’s eye into the photo, I positioned my tripod in the center of the trail and leveled it to the height of the fence. This was the best perspective to show the lines converging as they disappeared around the bend in the distance. Read the rest of this entry »

An Editor’s Perspective: Photography by Benjamin Olson

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Images by Benjamin Olson

Story and Gallery Edit by Miriam Stein

 

This winter proved an exciting time for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts as the cold months in 2013-2014 brought a snowy owl irruption to the United States.  The beautiful birds were seen as far south as Florida and Bermuda.  Benjamin Olson spent a few months following a snowy owl that took up residence near his home in Minnesota.  I greatly appreciate the time and dedication Benjamin showed in tracking this owl and making beautiful photographs without the use of bait, an all-too common practice among owl photographers.  I love the natural blue and white backgrounds of Benjamin’s photographs and the artistic composition he employed in making his images. To see more of Benjamin’s work, visit www.benjamin-olson.com. Read the rest of this entry »

NATIONAL PARKS: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park by Jerry Ginsberg

Hale Maumau Crater before dawn, Kiluea Volcano, Hawaii Volcanoes, National park. © Jerry Ginsberg

Hale Maumau Crater before dawn, Kiluea Volcano, Hawaii Volcanoes, National park.
© Jerry Ginsberg

Story and photograph by Jerry Ginsberg ©

Hawaii. Just saying the name conjures up visions of a tropical paradise–palm trees, trade winds, sunsets and hula dancers gyrating to the rhythms of the eight major islands that make up the archipelago. Our fiftieth state boasts two national parks. There’s mighty Haleakala on the island of Maui and, the subject of this article, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island.

Did you know that all of the Hawaiian Islands were formed from volcanoes over millions of years? Molten lava bubbling up through vents of a well-known hot spot on the floor of the Pacific Ocean is responsible for their creation. As the entire archipelago moves northwest in conveyor belt fashion, Hawaii is presently the island directly over the hot spot. Read the rest of this entry »

VOLUNTEERS OF NANPA: Barbara Adams

BarbThree years ago, Barbara Adams retired from a 35-year career in the Canadian government where she was executive director of a Science Outreach Secretariat in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.  Throughout her career, she worked for departments and cabinet members doing communications related to natural resources, such as minerals, energy, fisheries and oceans.  NANPA has benefited from Barbara’s experience through her involvement in committees and Summits. Read the rest of this entry »

The Grass is Always Greener by Steve Gettle

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Opossum photographed in my backyard.

Story and photographs by Steve Gettle

No doubt about it, most outdoor photographers love to travel to new and exciting locations to capture the subjects they love. But, the truth of the matter is that most of us can’t be jetting all over the globe whenever we want. Most outdoor photographers I know are able to take one, two, or maybe three major trips a year. Sadly, I also know many photographers that only use their cameras when they are on one of these major trips.

I would argue that those same photographers are missing one of the greatest locations available to them… their own backyard. Most of us live within a short drive of a local park or a piece of undeveloped land where we could practice our craft. There are many benefits to working an area near your home. One of the greatest benefits is simply being out there working, it is impossible to make great pictures if you are not in the field. Another important benefit of working close to home is the ability to go out on a moment’s notice – when the lighting is really nice, or during unique weather conditions. You can also get to know a smaller piece of land and its inhabitants more intimately. You can make sure you are there when the cardinals nest in that bush, or when that patch of wildflowers are at their peak.

A Cold Winters Morn

Northern cardinal in my backyard.

Consider developing the area to suit your needs. Try getting permission to put up some feeders and birdhouses to attract birds to the area. You can often obtain permission from a developer to rescue wildflowers from an area that is going to be developed into another subdivision or strip mall. Take these rescued flowers and transplant them onto suitable habitat where you will be able to shoot them. Sure, this is a long term prospect, but you will find these small steps payoff over the long haul with huge photographic dividends.

We all need to look at our own backyards with fresh eyes – with the eyes of a traveler. Remember that your backyard is very often someone else’s hot travel destination. Try to look at things with the eyes of a visitor and you will often be surprised by what you see.

To see more of Steve’s work, check out www.stevegettle.com and www.facebook.com/steve.gettle

Cloudless sulphur in my backyard.

Cloudless sulphur in my backyard.

PHOTOGRAPHER PROJECT: Painting with Light by Ralph A. Clevenger

Story and photographs by Ralph A. Clevenger ©

RAC_130227_004Photographically painting with light has been around for about 100 years. It was made popular by distinguished photographers Man Ray and Barbara Morgan in the 1930s and 1940s. Photographer and inventor Aaron Jones was a master of the hosemaster light painting system and brought the technique into the commercial photography world in the 1980s (see http://aaronjonesphoto.com/). Personally, I’ve been fascinated by it ever since seeing O. Winston Link’s steam locomotive images from the 1950s. Read the rest of this entry »

Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards

 

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Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards:

Calling All Nature Photographers: Share your images of nature and wildlife now through May 1, 2014. More than 20,000 photographs from pros, amateur, and student photographers around the world are submitted to this annual competition. Approximately 150 images are published in Nature’s Best Photography magazine and about 60 winning large-format images and photographers’ stories bring the beauty, power, and humor of our natural world from the wild to the walls of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.

Online entry and rules: https://www.naturesbestphotography.com/contest2/entry_1.php?cid=140

Windland Awards Guidelines:
http://www.naturesbestphotography.com/upload/contest_pdf/Awards2014_Guidelines.pdf

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FIELD TECHNIQUES: Cherry Blossom Time by F.M. Kearney

Cherry Blossom Time

Cherry Blossom Time © F.M. Kearney

Story and photograph by F.M. Kearney

I had almost forgotten what it was like to see vibrant colors in my viewfinder. Despite that and a nasty fall on the ice that took me out of commission for several weeks, I still prefer winter over the insufferable dog days of summer. Yet, as this winter–one of the harshest on record–comes to a close, I’m rejoicing along with many others the long-awaited arrival of spring.

One of the first jewels of spring are colorful cherry blossoms. In New York City, the place to go is Cherry Esplanade in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Every April, two rows of Prunus “Kanzan” trees–a gift from the Japanese government after World War I–adorn this area of the garden in a sea of pink. The month-long cherry blossom season known as Hanami ends in a weekend celebration called Sakura Matsuri. Read the rest of this entry »

Where the Magic Begins by Cheryl Arena Molennor

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Text and photography by Cheryl Arena Molennor

Another rainy night rolls into the early morning hours, and I anticipate the end of the storm as the sunlight begins to break through the clouds. It is about 7:30am and the first glimpse of light beams through the thick blanket above. As it reaches ground level, the light reflects off of the colorful flowers in my garden, creating the most beautiful sparkling bed of jewels. Each time this happens, I am inspired to grab my macro lens and my tripod and head outdoors for a photo shoot.

I have always been fascinated by the magical images that can be created with water drops, reflections and refractions, so a few years ago I began experimenting with different ways of capturing this beauty in my garden or even in my home. The images below demonstrate a few of the techniques that I use for this type of macro photography:

The 7up Technique: For this image I filled a very clean glass with 7up (you can also use plain seltzer water). Then I inserted the pink gerbera flower in it while the bubbles were still very fizzy, and used a tool called the McClamp to hold the flower in place. After a few minutes the bubbles start to settle on the flower. I highly recommend using manual focus for this technique and it is also helpful to use a tripod and cable release to prevent any camera shake.  Read the rest of this entry »

NATURE’S VIEW – Isolated Scenics, Story and photograph by Jim Clark

Isolated Scenics

…or, how I learned to stop worrying and love telephoto zooms for landscape photography

Story and photograph by Jim Clark ©

Trees  in meadow @ sunrise - Canaan Valley NWR WV (c) Jim Clark

Trees in meadow @ sunrise – Canaan Valley NWR WV (c) Jim Clark

Ever look at those images you captured with a wide-angle lens and feel like something was missing? The scene was magnificent and you feel stymied as to why the grandeur did not translate in your final image? It might be because you included too much of the scene in the composition. Read the rest of this entry »

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