NATURE’S VIEW: Of Tundra Buggies & Polar Bears

Part IIIPhotographing Polar Bears in the Canadian Arctic

Story and photography by Jim Clark

Polar bear, Churchill Wildlife Management Area, Manitoba. © Jim Clark

Polar bear, Churchill Wildlife Management Area, Manitoba. © Jim Clark

In my previous two columns I shared how I prepared for my excursion into the Canadian Arctic to photograph polar bears. So let’s now experience the Arctic tundra and photographing bears.

Our daily mode of transportation into the Arctic tundra was a tundra buggy, which is a buslike contraption converted into an all-terrain vehicle with extremely large tires, each measuring more than five feet in height. It’s the only mode of transportation capable of negotiating the rugged, snow-covered terrain. The ride is bumpy along the designated trails, and the top speed is probably around three to five miles per hour.

The tundra belongs to the bears and other Arctic wildlife. During my four days there with my wife and son, our feet never touched the ground. Even when we returned to the tundra-buggy lodge—an arrangement of buggies, which includes sleeping quarters, a dining area, a lounge and separate quarters for staff—we remained several feet above the tundra. Read the rest of this entry »

NANPA Announces the 2016 Showcase Winners

The North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Showcase Photo Contest. Approximately 2,600 images were submitted from 275 NANPA members. Categories include: 1) Mammals, 2) Birds, 3) Scapes, 4) Macro, Micro, and all other Wildlife, 5) Altered Reality. This year’s judges were William Neill, Joe and Mary Ann McDonald and John Nuhn. There were three top prizes in each of five categories (Best of Show, 1st Runner-Up and Judge’s Choice).

The top 250 images are featured in the 2016 issue of Expressions, the official journal of NANPA. This journal is available to view at In addition to appearing in Expressions, all 250 images will be on the NANPA website under 2016 Showcase for a year.

Category: Mammals

Best in Show: Cindy Goedell, Bozeman, Montana

First Runner-Up: Andrew Lerman, Pleasantville, NY

Judge’s Choice: Mark Hayward, Spring Creek, NV


Category: Birds

Best in Show: Bill Klipp, Key West, FL

First Runner-Up: Robert Strickland, Beverly Hills, FL

Judge’s Choice: Ken Archer, Lakewood, WA


Category: Scapes

Best in Show: Paul Marcellini, Miami, FL

First Runner-Up: Marco Crupi

Judge’s Choice: James Heupel, Fredericksburg, TX


Category: Macro, Micro & All Other Wildlife

Best in Show: Hector Astorga, Mission, TX

First Runner-Up: Larry Lynch, St. Petersburg, FL

Judge’s Choice: Bob Oswald, Atlanta, NY


Category: Altered Reality

Best in Show: Doug James, Westfield, MA

First Runner-Up: Bonnie Block, Kingston, WA

Judge’s Choice: Alice Cahill, Morro Bay, CA

Fine Art Photography Top 17 by Alain Briot ©

Afternooon in Grand Canyon National Park © Alain Briot

Afternooon in Grand Canyon National Park © Alain Briot


Fine Art Photography Top 17 by Alain Briot

According to Robert Motherwell, “The purpose of the artist is to express reality as felt.”  But what are the most important aspects of Fine Art Photography?  The answer certainly varies from photographer to photographer because each of us places more importance on some aspects than on others.  I’ve compiled my Top 17 Tips based on information that I use for teaching during my workshops and what I personally consider to be the most important aspects of Fine Art Photography.

This list is excerpted from a longer list that I use for teaching during my workshops and seminars. The decision to create a shorter list, with only 16 items instead of 37, stemmed from the desire to focus on the essential aspects of Fine Art Photography regardless of which scenes we photograph, what subject we are study or what next step we are working towards. The resulting list is free from a particular teaching emphasis and represents what I look for in a Fine Art Photograph.  Read the rest of this entry »

Learn the Ins and Outs of Leading a Photo Tour by Ron Rosenstock

Ireland Sunset © Ron Rosenstock

Learn the Ins and Outs of Leading a Photo Tour by Ron Rosenstock

What do you get when you mix the magical light and sacred sounds of Ireland with dinner conversations about being a photo tour leader?

You get the best of both worlds – opportunities to photograph and to build your tour leader skills. Read the rest of this entry »

NATURE’S VIEW: Of Tundra Buggies & Polar Bears

Story and photography by Jim Clark ©

Part II-Techniques for photographing the ice bears of Churchill


Photographing polar bears, I discovered, is not much different from photographing any other wildlife species. You still have to prepare. You still have to understand exposure and how to use different lighting angles. You still must consider the guidelines of composition. You still have to remain patient. And, you still have to know when to act fast to capture that defining moment.

You might have to pinch yourself to realize you are really seeing these majestic creatures in real time. You are photographing the largest land predator in the world located in an isolated arctic environment in the early throes of winter, which can at times be overwhelmingly windy and bitterly cold with lots of snow. So, okay, there are a few differences.

Polar Bear @ Hudson Bay (c) Jim Clark_013Polar bear at Churchill Wildlife Management Area in Manitoba. © Jim Clark

Read the rest of this entry »

Effortless Marketing for Photo Workshops

Design your learning events to attract and wow lifelong clients, by Steve Moeller

If you’re offering, or thinking about offering, photographic learning events, let me help you make them profitable and sustainable. First, how would you answer the following questions?

1) How can I design and deliver insanely great photo learning events that instantly attract great clients as soon as they learn about them?

2) How can I create such an amazing experience that my business grows through word-of-mouth marketing and repeat clients? Read the rest of this entry »

Photographing Wintering Swans

Story and photographs by Bob Feldman

In late October, the last of the cabbage white butterflies flutter through the gardens and are gone. With their departure, the ground soon begins to get frosty, and the time to head for the river to look for swans is near.

The Huron River starts in a Michigan swamp, runs through five counties, and empties into Lake Erie. Its course takes it through Ann Arbor, Michigan, where I live. As the fall lengthens into winter and the leaves fall from the trees, large stretches of the river that have been concealed by foliage become visible from a riverside road.


FELDMAN-swan snow NANPA_30H8871

A mute swan takes off on the snow.


I look for swans along the local stretch of the river and its impoundments. Generally, two species of swans are harbored here: introduced mute swans and native trumpeter swans. The mute swan adult is easily distinguished from the trumpeter by its bright orange bill with a black knob. The trumpeter’s bill is black. Both are big birds, with individuals weighing more than 20 pounds each. Read the rest of this entry »

NATIONAL PARKS: Virgin Islands National Park

Brilliant sunset over the Caribbean at Cinnamon Bay, Vrgin Islands National Park, St. John, U. S. Virgin Islands

Sun sets over Cinnamon Bay


Story and photographs by Jerry Ginsberg

I constantly marvel at the many wonderful features of our far-flung national parks, especially their diversity. Scenic, geographic, topographic and climactic, this never-ending variety means that every one of our parks has its own personality and offers a unique experience.

This is certainly the case with green, hilly and tropical Virgin Islands National Park located entirely on tiny St. John, one of the three main U.S. Virgin Islands. This small archipelago was purchased by President Woodrow Wilson from Denmark in 1917 as a means of preventing Imperial Germany from threatening the Panama Canal or extending its military influence into the Western Hemisphere at the height of World War I. Read the rest of this entry »

FIELD TECHNIQUE: Be Careful What You Wish

Story and photographs by F.M. Kearney

Harriman State Park landscape shot with a fisheye lens.

Harriman State Park landscape shot with a fisheye lens.


A slight departure from my usual fare, this article is less about technique and more about a personal account of my first encounter with “real” wilderness.

Living in New York City, or any large metropolitan area, and choosing to pursue a career in nature photography can sometimes be an uphill battle. Local parks and botanical gardens are fine for floral portraits and intimate landscapes, but if you desire to capture anything resembling true wilderness, a venture beyond the confines of city limits is definitely required.

I’ve always longed to shoot images of unspoiled, snow-covered landscapes. One winter, many years ago, I decided to take a trip to upstate New York after a heavy snowfall. Like most city dwellers, I don’t own a car, so I took an early-morning bus to Harriman State Park. Located just 30 miles north of the city and encompassing more than 46,000 acres, it’s the second largest park in the state. I had been to this park many times in the past, but I always went to the populated Bear Mountain area on the east side. Read the rest of this entry »

NATURES VIEW: Of Tundra Buggies & Polar Bears, Story and photography by Jim Clark ©

My first experience with the apex predator of the far north: Part I—Planning the Trip

Polar bear in the Canadian Arctic, near Churchill, Manitoba. (c) Jim Clark

Polar bear in the Canadian Arctic, near Churchill, Manitoba. (c) Jim Clark


Somewhere I read that once you gaze into the eyes of a polar bear, it will change your life. Just a couple weeks ago, I did indeed gaze into the eyes of the foremost apex predator of the far north. In fact, for a week I looked into the eyes of several polar bears during my first-ever trip to Churchill, Manitoba. The experience is something that neither I nor my wife Jamie and son Carson will ever forget. Read the rest of this entry »

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