Nicole Landry and the NANPA College Scholarship Program

There were many bees buzzing around these purple coneflowers on the sunny summer day that I took this photo. After chasing them around for a while, I opted to take a stationary position, frame my shot, and wait for them to come to me. The results were worthwhile and I particularly like how the tight framing brings you into the world of the bee. © Nicole Landry.

There were many bees buzzing around these purple coneflowers on the sunny summer day that I took this photo. After chasing them around for a while, I opted to take a stationary position, frame my shot, and wait for them to come to me. The results were worthwhile and I particularly like how the tight framing brings you into the world of the bee. © Nicole Landry.

One of the highlights of NANPA’s 2019 Nature Photography Summit & Trade Show was seeing the work of NANPA’s College Scholarship Program participants.  Now that the event is over, it’s a good time to learn a little more about them and their experience at Summit.  Today, we meet Nicole Landry.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a fourth-year undergraduate at Ryerson University in Toronto, majoring in media production.  Since getting my first camera at about age nine, I’ve seldom been without one. I spent much of my early years chasing everything from butterflies to squirrels; determined to capture the perfect shot.  In high school my life changed forever when I watched the documentary, Sharkwater. It opened my eyes to the plethora of environmental issues facing our planet and I was terrified – but also inspired. In that moment, I realized that media could be used as a catalyst for positive change and I knew that there was nothing else I wanted to dedicate my life to doing

This past year I directed, shot, and am now in the process of editing my first documentary, Saving Barrie’s Lake, about the loss of wetland ecosystems in southern Ontario.  These experiences shaped me into who I am today – an artist, environmentalist, and self-proclaimed adventurer – and I can genuinely not wait to see what opportunities the future has in store.

Sleeping Giant. This is probably my favorite landscape photograph, taken in the northern wilderness of Thunder Bay, Ontario. I like the sharp distinction between foreground, middle ground, and background as well as the contrast that the complementary orange and blue hues create. © Nicole Landry.

Sleeping Giant. This is probably my favorite landscape photograph, taken in the northern wilderness of Thunder Bay, Ontario. I like the sharp distinction between foreground, middle ground, and background as well as the contrast that the complementary orange and blue hues create. © Nicole Landry.

What was the highlight of the program for you?

The highlight of the program for me was definitely the three days we spent filming at Clark County Wetlands Park. I can’t overstate how incredible it was to have access to a wide selection of Canon gear in such a diverse area with so many photo opportunities. We also were able to work in different sub-groups over the three days, which gave us time to get to know and learn from each other.

What was your biggest takeaway or “ah ha” moment?

I learned so much throughout the duration of the program that it’s very hard to narrow down to one takeaway moment. I owe a lot of what I learned to the college program mentors – from working with them in the field to them generously offering to review my portfolio – and ultimately, they all helped me view my work in a way I hadn’t previously done and sparked many ideas for future projects.

Ferns. This shot has a lot of drama in its simplicity. The framing of the fern leaves create a strong sense of balance and the vibrance of the plant is enhanced against the underexposed background. I also lowered the shadows and lifted the highlights in the shot while editing, enhancing both of these elements. © Nicole Landry.

Ferns. This shot has a lot of drama in its simplicity. The framing of the fern leaves create a strong sense of balance and the vibrance of the plant is enhanced against the underexposed background. I also lowered the shadows and lifted the highlights in the shot while editing, enhancing both of these elements. © Nicole Landry.

Has participating in the program changed you, your photography, or the way you look at the natural world and, if so, how?

As a media student, the program really encouraged me to explore more of the scientific communication side of nature photography. I learned a lot about conservation photography projects like Meet Your Neighbors and it’s really inspired me to continue to familiarize myself with that side of the medium.

What would you say to someone considering applying for the program?

I’d want future potential applicants to know what an invaluable experience the college program is and how welcomed they will feel into a community of likeminded individuals. The week will fly by but will leave you with many new friends, industry connections, and a project you can really feel proud to have worked on.

Learn more about NANPA’s College Scholarship Program and see the video created this year by the students.  The biennial program takes place during NANPA Summits, so there’s plenty of time to build a strong portfolio for the next application period in 2020!  Scholarships are funded by the NANPA Foundation.