Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards

 

2014WSR

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

Winners2013_799

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

Image 1 s

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 »

A Sense of Peace

The remarkably peaceful and tranquil images of noted Central New York landscape photographer Tom Dwyer are being showcased for the month of April at Ironstone Gallery in Manlius, New York.

Tom, whose images have been recognized in NANPA’s annual showcase, is well known for his inviting landscapes of Central New York, the finger lakes and the Adirondacks. His work has been published in NANPA’s annual, Expressions, and its quarterly magazine, Currents. It has also appeared in regional publications Adirondack Life, Adirondac and Plank Road magazines.  Photographers from across the country have visited Upstate New York to participate in Tom’s nature photography workshops.

Tom will be on hand to discuss his approach to landscape photography at an opening reception for “A Sense of Peace,” Thursday, March 27, from 3 to 8 p.m., at the Ironstone Gallery, 201 E. Seneca Street, Manlius, New York (315-682-2040). Light refreshments will be served.

NATIONAL PARKS: Kenai Fjords NP by Jerry Ginsberg

Story and photographs by Jerry Ginsberg

Three Hole Point, a unique rock formation in Aialik Bay in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. © Jerry Ginsberg

Three Hole Point, a unique rock formation in Aialik Bay in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. © Jerry Ginsberg

In 1980, seven Alaska parks were created in one fell swoop. Specifically, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (or ANILCA) was passed by Congress on November 12, 1980 and signed into law a couple of weeks later. Among other things, the act provided for more than 43 million acres of new national parklands in Alaska. Kenai Fjords National Park is one of them.

Giving birth to Kenai Fjords came with some really sharp labor pains. The local citizenry was initially opposed to setting aside these lands, but they came to enthusiastically support their expansion as they experienced the injection of tourist dollars into their local economies. Read the rest of this entry »

Nature in New Orleans by Lana Gramlich

Curving oaks in fog

Nature in New Orleans: Fontainebleau State Park

Text and Photographs by Lana Gramlich

New Orleans usually conjures thoughts of Mardi Gras, the French Quarter and jazz. As a local nature photographer, I think more about moss-draped live oaks, alligator-friendly bayous and the uncontrollable explosion of nature that only hot, humid climes can provide. Situated on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain in Mandeville, Louisiana, one of my favorite places to shoot is Fontainebleau State Park.

About a 50 minute drive from downtown New Orleans,Fontainebleau State Park sprawls over 2,800 acres. The park is open daily and you’d be hard pressed to find a better bargain than the $2 day use fee (camping is available at different rates). Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville developed the area as a sugar plantation until 1852, making Fontainebleau a historical site, but it’s also an interesting convergence of various ecosystems that offer a wide range of natural subject matter.  Read the rest of this entry »

NATURE’S VIEW: The Lowdown on the Slowdown by Jim Clark

With neutral density filter (c) Jim Clark

With neutral density filter (c) Jim Clark

Variable Neutral Density Filters Expand Horizons for Landscape Photography

Story and photographs by Jim Clark

For years I was a devoted citizen of the basic rules of landscape photography. Images were sharp and focused throughout, and I photographed only during early morning, late afternoon or during days with overcast skies. I wouldn’t have dared to photograph during the mid-day hours when there were clear skies. I did not step outside this zone of comfort fearing somewhere in some international doctrine of nature photography I would be prosecuted to the fullest extent. Yet, I wanted to add a bit more spark to my images. Read the rest of this entry »

PHOTOGRAPHER PROJECT: For Every Fallen Wolf by Weldon Lee

(Canis lupus) captive animal; Kalispell, Montana (c) Weldon Lee

(Canis lupus) captive animal; Kalispell, Montana (c) Weldon Lee

Story and photograph by Weldon Lee

Prejudice is not limited to religion and racial ethnicity. It also finds targets among our wild brothers and sisters, not the least being the gray wolf. Wolf eradication can be traced back to the Middle Ages in Europe. It’s not surprising that it lifted its ugly head again as Europeans began arriving in the New World.

According to PBS, “By the middle of the twentieth century, government-sponsored extermination had wiped out nearly all gray wolves in the Lower 48 states. Only a small population remained in northeastern Minnesota and Michigan.” This came about as a result of wealthy livestock owners wielding their influence over policymakers in Washington, D.C., and demanding a wider grazing range.

In spite of Congress providing protection for wolves under the Endangered Species Act in 1973, wolves are still being killed.

The endangered species protection for gray wolves was repealed in six states. What followed over the last two years was the killing of more than 2,600 wolves. Now the government wants to delist gray wolves in practically the entire Lower 48. Read the rest of this entry »

Snowy Owls by Bernie Friel

DSLR
Snowy Owls: In Minnesota in Record Numbers

Text and Photographs by Bernie Friel

Not only is Minnesota experiencing record cold this winter, (an average January daytime temperature of 8º F) but to warm the hearts, if not the bodies of nature photographers (and bird watchers alike), there has been a record migration of snowy owls into the state. While in most years a few may be seen in far northern Minnesota, this year they have been found at more than 250 locations throughout the state. They have also been found into Iowa and as far south as Kansas. The presence in such great numbers of this bird of the Arctic tundra is thought to be a consequence of the crash in the lemming population (sometimes called the tundra potato chip) in their home hunting grounds, causing them to seek food further south.  Read the rest of this entry »

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