The Abita Creek Flatwoods Preserve by Lana Gramlich

Foggy autumn morning by Lana Gramlich

Foggy autumn morning by Lana Gramlich


Images and Text by Lana Gramlich

In 2006 I moved to Abita Springs, Louisiana, a quaint, little town on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. A year later I discovered that I lived just over a mile from The Nature Conservancy’s Abita Creek Flatwoods Preserve. Since then I have walked and photographed there dozens of times. Three ecosystems mesh at this 996 acre site– longleaf pine savanna, slash pine/pond cypress woodlands and bayhead swamp. From forests and grassy fields to the Abita Creek that runs through them, this unique convergence offers some wonderfully varied photographic opportunities.

Only about 3% of America’s longleaf pine savanna still exists today. At this preserve, not only do I get to photograph these wonderful woods, but, in an effort to give back, I’ve joined a team of volunteers that meets to plant saplings every January. Light streaming through the pine savanna is always a joy to photograph (particularly on foggy mornings,) but for a few weeks every Fall it takes on a surreal, colorful glow shortly before sunset, an effect I refer to as “fairy light.”  Read the rest of this entry »

FIELD TECHNIQUES – Transitions, Story and photograph by F.M. Kearney

S-235I thought it was a joke or, perhaps, the mother of all typos. The weather forecast called for scattered showers in the morning, with an expected high of 50 degrees and a low of 8. It was not a mistake. It was the actual forecast for January 6, the first Monday of 2014 in New York City. A 42-degree temperature plunge in a single day dropped even further on Tuesday, to 5 degrees. On Wednesday the temperature climbed out of the single digits and was expected to rise to a balmy 25. Read the rest of this entry »

A Photographer’s Pompeii by Chad Anderson

Pine Rocklands

Pine Rocklands by Chad Anderson

Text and Images By Chad Anderson

Vast stretches of azure blue waters thinly vail a dark secret. It’s been happening ever since the melting of the Wisconsin glacier some 12,000 years ago, but now occurs at a hastened pace and with a new cause. Meanwhile, Margaritaville plays, tourists stroll, and wading birds perch on mangrove shores as the slow pace of everyday life in the Florida Keys continues. Scientists, government entities, and even the public are coming to a grim reality. Change is here. It’s not abstract, distant, or easily pushed aside but prevalent, pervasive, and imminent—and the evidence is everywhere. The vast stretches of post card blue waters are a result of recently submerged lands. Even the upland forests here can hardly conceal their ancient marine past. Just millimeters below the leaf litter lies weathered coral reef. One of the oldest permanent tidal monitoring stations in the United States is located in Key West, Florida. Without hyperbole, it states the bare truth. Nearly nine inches of sea level rise has occurred since 1913. That may not sound like much, but for perspective, the average elevation is less than four feet. This effect is amplified by the fact that the slope of the shoreline is near flat, imperceptible to the human eye in most cases. For this reason, a couple inches of rise can translate to hundreds of feet of land lost. In just a few decades the changes to the ecosystems have been staggering, rapidly shifting as the mangroves march inwards. Ancient buttonwoods stand like tombstones of a once proud forest. At times, mangroves, the most halophytic of all flora, can’t keep up the pace. Read the rest of this entry »

NATURE’S VIEW – Capturing a Sense of Place, Story and photographs by Jim Clark

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.

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 »

From Photography to Filmmaking: Starting to Listen

Small American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) laying in vegetation on edge of water.

Small American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) laying in vegetation on edge of water.


This is the third entry in the From Photography to Filmmaking monthly column by Drew Fulton.  To see the previous posts, visit the archives.

Photography is primarily the pursuit of a single sensory experience that of vision. We talk about composition, exposure, and focus. As we start to think more about using the moving image to tell stories, this all encompassing pursuit of vision all of a sudden must also include another sense. We have to start to listen!

During this busy holiday season, I challenge you to take a few minutes to close your eyes and just listen. I think too few of us really listen to the world around us. Take a moment and sit on a bench in the mall while doing your holiday shopping and just listen. What does the laughter of a child or the wail of a tired infant tell you about the scene? What about the distant rumble of a vacuum or the swish of an opening and closing automatic door? What sounds add to the story? What distracts you?

Read the rest of this entry »

Observing an Osprey’s Pursuit by Robert Strickland

© Robert Strickland

© 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.

Read the rest of this entry »

NATIONAL PARKS – Yosemite in Winter, Story and photographs by Jerry Ginsberg

Cathedral Spires

Cathedral Spires

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 »

Making a Molehill out of a Mountain by Mitch Baltuch

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.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

PHOTOGRAPHER PROJECT: Where Water is Gold – Story and photographs by Carl Johnson

0912-BRBY-AK-2333The 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 »

Finding Community in NANPA by Mark Kreider

Photo by Mark Kreider

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 »

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