Hector D. Astorga is a professional nature photographer based in South Texas. His love of nature and the outdoors began as a child in his native country, Honduras. He is the ranch manager at the Santa Clara Ranch, a photography ranch that hosts nature photographers from all over the globe.. He leads and conducts photography tours & workshops at multiple locations in North America, Central America, Europe and Africa.
Your Name: Hector D. Astorga
Title of Your Winning Image: Silverback Mountain Gorilla at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
About your winning Showcase image:
1) How I Got the Shot
We were on our second trek of a 2018 trip to Bwindi National Park in Uganda. After an hour and a half hike we found the Nkuringo Gorilla family in the cloud forest. The family is made up of about 16 members including two silverback males and one blackback male. We found one of the silverbacks sitting in a forest clearing. He sat and watched us as we approached carefully. I got to about 15-20 feet from him and was able to capture him in low but even light. He gave me some excellent poses and I was able to create some intimate portraits of him.
2) What I Used
I used a Nikon D850 with a Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 lens, shooting at 1/250, f4, iso 3400, handheld, and with no flash.
3) About Me
I am a full time nature photographer based in South Texas. My journey as a nature photographer began in 2007. I photograph and conduct photo tours and workshops in North America, Africa, Central America and Europe. My favorite subjects are wildlife and my favorite destination is the African Continent.
4) My Photographic Journey
My love of nature and the outdoors started as a teenager in my home country of Honduras. Photography is an extension of my love of the outdoors and wildlife. My goal is to continue to photograph as many wild subjects as possible. Based in South Texas my participation in the Valley Land Fund and Wildlife in Focus photography contests were a catalyst to my photographic career. I’ve been the manager of the Santa Clara Ranch, a nature photography ranch, for the last ten years and that has been a huge factor in my growth as a photographer.
5) NANPA and Me
I have been a NANPA member since 2010. I volunteered during the NANPA Convention in McAllen Texas in 2011. I led various field trips during that convention.
This is my fourth year in a row being recognized as a Top 20 Showcase Winner. In the 2016 Showcase my Green Lynx Spider image took Best of Show in the Macro/All other wildlife category. In the 2017 Showcase, I had a first runner-up image in the Macro/All other Wildlife Category with my Leopard Frog and Bee image and a Judges Selection in the Digital Art category with an image taken at Great Sand Dunes National Monument. Last year (2018) one of my northern bobwhite quail images was selected as a Judges’ Choice in the Birds category.
6) Where Can People Learn More About You?
Information about myself and my photography can be found on my website, my Instagram feed or my facebook page:
My NANPA Portfolio is: http://www.nanpa.org/portfolio/hector-astorga-2019/.