Weekly Wow! Week of September 16, 2019

All of this week’s Weekly Wow! images can be seen in the slideshow on the NANPA homepage at nanpa.org.

Showcase 2019 Top 100 winner: "Red Pine Tree Trunks in Snow Storm, Near Reno, Nevada" © Susan Dykstra.

Showcase 2019 Top 100 winner: “Red Pine Tree Trunks in Snow Storm, Near Reno, Nevada” © Susan Dykstra.

The following Showcase images have been selected to appear on the NANPA home page for the week beginning Monday, September 16, 2019.  To view all of the top 250 photographs from NANPA’s 2019 Showcase competition, see the photo gallery on the NANPA website.  Tonight is the deadline for entering your best shots in this year’s Showcase.  What are you waiting for?  Let’s get shooting!  Your best shot might be your next one.

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How to Chase and Shoot the Aurora

Aurora borealis over Turnagain Arm in Chugach National Forest, Alaska, in mid-March.

Aurora borealis over Turnagain Arm in Chugach National Forest, Alaska, in mid-March.

From the Editor:  Award-winning landscape and nature photographer Carl Johnson has been living in Alaska for almost 20 years and is an expert on shooting auroras.  On Friday, August 17th, at 2 PM EDT, he will present a NANPA Webinar, “Chasing & Photographing the Aurora Borealis. This webinar covers the science behind the aurora, the tools available to predict and plan for it (including websites and apps that provide real-time and forecasting information), tips on when and where to photograph it, and what gear and techniques to use. For more information or to sign up, click here.

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Above the Arctic Circle

One of the most stunning sights in Gates of the Arctic, the sharply serrated Arrigetch Peaks shown here in the warmth of late evening light. © Jerry Ginsberg

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Backing Up

View from atop Hunt’s Mesa in Monument Valley Tribal Park of the Navajo Nation, AZ. © Jerry Ginsberg

Story and photographs by Jerry Ginsberg

 

To apply some advice that I received several years ago, one hard drive will annoy ya….two are a paranoia. The hard truth is that only three things in life are certain: death, taxes and hard drive failures. They all have finite life spans. No matter how sophisticated your drives may be, given enough use over enough time, they will fail.  Not if, but when.

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Humpback Whales in Southeast Alaska

Story and photography by Neil McDermott

Humpback Whale. © Neil McDermott

     The only place on earth you can observe Humpback whales working as a team bubble net feeding, is here in the pristine, nutrient rich waters of Southeast Alaska. This most impressive act of cooperative feeding was on display from early October to Mid-November in the Eastern Channel and up towards Silver Bay in front of the aptly named whale Park here in Sitka, Alaska.

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Glacier Bay National Park

Story and photography by Jerry Ginsberg

 

Mammoth Johns Hopkins Glacier, calling card of Glacier Bay National Park,
meets the bay’s waters in tranquil Hopkins Inlet. © Jerry Ginsberg

 

For a place that is not reachable by any road, Glacier Bay National Park, tucked away in the southeastern corner of Alaska, can boast a great deal of popularity. This 5,000 square mile park, as large as any in the contiguous 48 states, gets its name from the long and narrow bay and the rivers of snow and ice that creep along its edges at a glacially slow pace. (Was that a pun? Ouch!)

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Lake Clark National Park

Story and Photography by Jerry Ginsberg

 

Glacial rivers of ice move slowly between the protruding summits of the Chigmit Mountains. © Jerry Ginsberg

 

Alaska is often called “the last frontier” for good reason. The overwhelming majority of our 49th state is still pristine and wild. When traipsing around this wonderful wilderness, I am constantly reminded of the American pioneers of yesteryear such as John Colter and Jedediah Smith, so open is this vast state.  It is truly in a class all by itself. Perhaps the prime feature shared by all eight national parks of Alaska (only California has more) is this singularly pristine wildness. These wonderful parks are vast tracts of pure, untamed and untrammeled Nature. Towering volcanoes, sparkling glaciers, crystalline lakes and mega fauna in the wild seem to be everywhere.

A century and a half after being acquired by Secretary of State William Seward from Russia’s Czar Alexander II, “Alyeska” remains remote, sparsely populated and largely roadless. Throughout this immense state, if you want to get around beyond the point where the few roads end, you will likely be using a raft or canoe to navigate the many river drainages or the ever-popular and ubiquitous bush planes for just about everything else.

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Winner’s Profile- Mark Kelley

 

 

In springtime, before the salmon start running up the creeks, many bald eagles hang out on the icebergs in Tracy Arm looking for food. © Mark Kelley

 

How many of your images will win? The 2018 NANPA Showcase competition is accepting entries until October 1, 2017 at 11:00 p.m. EDT. The annual competition is a wonderful opportunity for you to submit your best photography and have it evaluated by three notable professional nature photographers- George Lepp, Roy Toft and Darrel Gulin .  You may even have your image published in our annual Expressions publication which features the top 250 images from those entered.  For more details about the 2018 NANPA Showcase competition, check out the website.

Over 3,300 images were submitted last year. One of the key NANPA Showcase 2017 winners is Mark Kelley, a photographer based in Juneau, Alaska.  Mark had nine images featured in the 2017 Expressions, including Best in Show for “Eagle Hell,” Judge’s Choice for “Hiker Inside Glacier Ice Cave,” and First Runner-Up for “Drizzly Bear.”  All of these images were made in Alaska and reflect the photographer’s passion for this beautiful state.

“Eagle Hell” Best of Show winner in the birds category for the 2017 NANPA Showcase Competition. A smudged up bald eagle use a discarded stool as a perch in the Adak dump where it scavenges on caribou hides and carcasses left by hunters. (See hide in lower left corner) © Mark Kelley

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Conservation: Alaskan Beauty

Story and Photography by Tyler Hartje

 

Winding rivers serve as the lifeblood of this dynamic ecosystem, carrying fresh water and nutrients to the tundra.  © Tyler Hartje

I couldn’t help but stare out the window during the short 45 minute flight from Anchorage to Iliamna — my home base for the next week as I sought to photograph the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) and maybe catch a glimpse of the elusive coastal wolf (Canis lupus). Coming from Seattle, Washington, I am no stranger to vast mountain ranges, winding rivers, and large bodies of water, but the Alaskan scenery left me awestruck. I couldn’t believe that I was going to spend the next week in this incredible place. Continue reading