Part III: Techniques for capturing a sense of place
Capturing a sense of place happens through the techniques, approaches and vision you use while in the field. It does not happen in front of a computer screen. Hence, Part III explores some field techniques for you to consider.
This image of a small coastal community at Greenbackville, along the eastern shore of Virginia, displays a low-angle anchor/leading line.
Low-level, wide-angle perspective: When photographing at a lower perspective, especially with wide-angle focal lengths, images often become more dramatic and intimate. Consider photographing from a lower perspective than at your standing height. Use a low-angle anchor/leading line in the foreground (as displayed in the photograph above) to lead the viewer into the scene. Read the rest of this entry »
© Robert Strickland
Images and Text by Robert Strickland
I recently observed one of the greatest nature shows I had ever witnessed. I was over at a subdivision near my home, which has good-sized pond. I was there to photograph water birds and other water fowl that frequent the pond. While I was setting up and watching for subjects, I kept hearing an Osprey cry out. I soon discovered him on the top of a tree just across the pond from me.
As I was focusing my eye on him, he swiftly took off and climbed high above the pond. The osprey suddenly went into a hover, staring into the water below. Finding nothing, he started flying around in circles, and then went back into a hover, moving side to side, hovering, and then going around in circles. After a few moments, he did a free fall toward the water. I immediately swung my camera to capture the aggressive splash and watched him fly off with a fish. However, the fish he picked was much too big and he could not immediately get it out of the water. He was stranded with his wings spread, trying to stay afloat with a huge fish in his razor sharp talons. After a few moments of struggling, he was airborne and flew off with his catch. However, he only got to the edge of the pond because the fish was so big.
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Most of us are familiar with Ansel Adams’s iconic black-and-white images of Yosemite National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada Range. Adams considered the park to be “one of the great shrines of the world.” His images almost singlehandedly elevated landscape photography to recognition as a true art form.
Knowing that May and June are the months when Yosemite’s waterfalls are running at their heaviest is hardly news. But how many of us have considered Yosemite to be a prime winter photo destination? At only 4,000 feet of elevation, Yosemite Valley often gets better winter weather than many other spots in the Sierras. February can be magical here. Read the rest of this entry »
An arctic ground squirrel posing in Denali National Park. It is sitting surrounded by tundra vegetation at the height of fall color in late August. Photo by Mitch Baltuch.
Text and Images by Mitch Baltuch
With the advent of digital photography, the proverbial shoebox moved from cardboard to silicon. The computer, or more correctly, the hard drive, became the shoebox. Along with this change came a significantly larger amount of images. The cost of film and processing no longer applied and everyone felt very comfortable in both shooting more images and using the high-frame rate capture setting on their camera. The result: a huge mountain of images. For many, this meant a mountain of chaos if they did not have a workable digital image management strategy.
Interestingly, with the advent of workflow-centric software tools, it is easier than ever to manage the images we capture and provide rapid, efficient search capabilities that allow us to find any image, for any purpose, in a very small amount of time. In addition, while not exactly fun, the job is no longer the mind-numbing, tedious task that it used to be.
To make a molehill out of the mountain that is digital image management, there are two requirements:
- An image management workflow
- A complimentary tool that allows one to efficiently perform that workflow
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The Bristol Bay region of Alaska has five major river systems. It is home to the largest wild sockeye salmon runs in the world and 50 percent of the world’s sockeye salmon supply. A massive proposed copper and gold mine development, the Pebble Mine, lies at the headwaters of two of the five rivers. Three years ago, I set out to document the subsistence way of life that has thrived in Bristol Bay for thousands of years and photograph the economic engines of the region—from commercial sockeye salmon and herring fishing to backcountry recreation, such as camping, fishing and bear viewing.
I embarked on this project for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted to create a strong visual tool to aid in the fight to prevent this mine from being developed. As a former attorney, I had been involved in legal fights against the mine. When I left my law practice, I wanted to use my photography to continue being involved in the fight. With the help of Amy Gulick, author/photographer of Salmon in the Trees, I decided a book was the way to go. Braided River will release my book, Where Water Is Gold: Life and Livelihood in Alaska’s Bristol Bay, in 2016. Read the rest of this entry »
Photo by Mark Kreider
Text and Images by Mark Kreider
I have been a NANPA member for a year and a half. Even in that short time, NANPA and its supportive community have influenced me in many meaningful ways. Life seems to be full of wonderful flukes, and my introduction to NANPA was one such instance. One morning in November of 2012, when I was a high school senior, I received word from a fellow photographer of a great photographic opportunity that existed for high school students. Though just three days away from the deadline of NANPA’s High School Scholarship Program application, I immediately jumped at the opportunity. I quite honestly remember thinking it looked too good to be true – a chance to spend a week in the field and at the NANPA Annual Summit, all the while learning and being inspired. I wondered to myself a little incredulously, How could I not have heard of NANPA before? It looks awesome! Read the rest of this entry »
Conrad Obregon was born in Chicago and raised in New York City. He started taking photographs in 1951 and bought his first Nikon SLR in 1961. “My principal genre is birds,” he says, “and while I have had a few shows and sold some images, I consider myself an amateur.” Conrad photographs in New York City’s Central Park every week of the year, but he’s also traveled as far as Japan and Central America for photography. Read the rest of this entry »
Flint Creek by Pam Barbour
Text and Images by Pam W. Barbour
While looking at a map of Montana, if you draw a diagonal line between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, the center of that line nears a special place called the Pintler Scenic Byway (recently renamed the Pintler Veterans Memorial Scenic Byway). This byway is about 60 miles long and unlike many byways in Montana, it’s completely paved for its entire length. This scenic spur gives you a break from interstate driving but at the same time doesn’t deviate too far so you can get back on track if you’re headed somewhere specific. Also known as MT HWY 1, it was the first state highway to be paved. Going east on I-90 from Missoula, you can start at the north end of the byway in the town of Drummond. Going west on I-90 from Butte, you can start at the south end near the town of Anaconda. We’ll start in Drummond. Read the rest of this entry »
Image by Christina Evans, taken at the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve. To learn more about the preserve, go to: http://www.kissimmeeprairiefriends.org
Our organization is committed to growing its membership and is offering for the first time ever some Black Friday-Cyber Monday specials that you may be interested in (see http://www.nanpa.org/black-friday.php for more details!).
Purchase a Gift NANPA Membership
Give the gift of NANPA by buying a membership gift certificate (just $50) allowing a new member to redeem it for a full year of NANPA membership.
Save $50 on a 3-Day Summit Registration
The 19th Nature Photography Summit is Feb. 19-22 in San Diego and anyone can save $50 on a 3-day Summit registration if you register before the end of the day on December 1. Join us for learning, networking and inspiration.
New Members Join for $50
Do you know fellow nature photographers who would benefit from NANPA membership? If so, tell them about this weekend’s special promotion for new members to join for 1 year for only $50. An increase in NANPA members means more opportunities for learning, networking and inspiration that benefits all of us in nature photography.
More information on each of these promotions can be found at nanpa.org/blackfriday.
Use promo code BLACKFRIDAY to take advantage of any and all of these special discounts. Offers good Friday, November 28 through Monday, December 1 (EST).
Mariposa lily (Calochortus), Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, California. Image © Rob Sheppard.
Images and Text by Rob Sheppard
Rob Sheppard will be leading a Photo Walk in the California Shrublands on Thursday, February 19th from 9:00am – 12:00pm as part of the 2015 NANPA Summit in San Diego. Click here to learn more!
The NANPA Summit in 2015 is in lovely, mild San Diego. The Summit is a time to see old friends, connect with new friends, be enlightened and educated in all sorts of things related to nature photography, and even see new places through the photography of the presenters.
I am going to suggest that you take the opportunity to see and photograph something unique and special about nature while you are in San Diego or at least Southern California, something that you will not find in other parts of the country – the chaparral. This is an ecosystem, a landscape, a place of nature that is as ecologically unique as the redwoods, a place filled with biodiversity, and yet a landscape that is probably one of the least photographed of any important landscape in the country.
When people think of Southern California, so often, they only think of the big cities of Los Angeles and San Diego. Southern California, they believe, is just a place for surfers, celebrities, and a lot of cars! When I moved to the Los Angeles area over 20 years ago, many of my friends and family from Minnesota thought that I was moving to a barren, urban wasteland. Read the rest of this entry »