Connecting with Nature on California Coast with Jacqueline Deely

Join award-winning wildlife photographer and naturalist Jacqueline Deely for an inspirational weekend of photography amid a spectacular setting along California’s rugged central coast. Camp Ocean Pines in Cambria is a rustic camp sitting on thirteen acres of Monterey Pine forest that nearly meets the ocean shore. Wildlife abounds, with seals and otters swimming by, and deer roaming through the property.

Throughout the weekend, explore how we can connect with nature, learn about our environment and make a difference through our experiences and the images we capture. Field activities visit nearby locations with specific goals in mind. We will take advantage of optimal light in the early morning and evening and when wildlife tends to be most active. Classroom sessions include illustrated presentations and discussions evolve around our own unique moments and encounters in the wild. Sharing our work allows us to delve deeper into the thought process behind our photographs and the stories they tell.

Although not required, staying on-site at Camp Ocean Pines is highly recommended to enhance the overall experience. Accommodations are shared in comfortable straw bale cabins, engineered for passive solar efficiency, and constructed from timbers and siding milled from wind-felled trees on the property. It will be a wonderful way to stay connected with nature and fellow participants throughout the entire weekend.

All meals are included except dinner on Saturday night, which will be free for participants to visit and dine in the quaint town of Cambria. Alcohol is not available at the camp, but you are welcome to bring your own.

Transportation to the various field locations will be in our own vehicles with the plan to carpool.

This workshop is tremendous value and open to anyone with a love of nature and photography. All levels are welcome: however, students must have a basic understanding of how to operate their own equipment.


$402 with meals and lodging / $350 with meals and no lodging

Conservation Photojournalism at Big Sur with Jaymi Heimbuch and Sebastian Kennerknecht

This 7-day workshop teaches you the skills necessary to pull off a project and get your work in front of publishers. An ideal workshop for anyone passionate about conservation issues, storytelling, and making a difference with your photography!

The focus for this workshop is sea otters! Beyond being an unbelievably cute subject subject to photograph, sea otters are also a keystone species in coastal ecology.

During this week-long workshop, you’ll meet with people who are involved in various ways with the story of sea otters. You’ll create a story angle, develop a shot list, build your skills in photographing wildlife, landscapes and portraits of human subjects to tell your story, refine your images into a polished portfolio, and learn how to create a well-crafted pitch for an editor.

In addition to working with our nonprofit partners, you’ll also spend a full day on the water photographing sea otters. No one wants to miss that!

Your instructors are professional photographers with over 25 years of combined experience in wildlife photography, photojournalism and working in the editorial and publishing fields. They will walk you through the steps of a conservation photojournalism project from concept to completion.

You’ll learn skills in working with a nonprofit partner, storyboarding, shooting, processing and editing your story, and developing a pitch for publication. You’ll also receive a printed portfolio of your top images from the week to take home.

The workshop is limited to just 6 participants, so you’ll have plenty of opportunity for one-on-one time with instructors.

From the President: Tom Haxby

Tom Haxby at Olson Falls near Munising, MI.

Tom Haxby at Olson Falls near Munising, MI.

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Tom Haxby, and for the next year I will be the President of the Board of Directors of NANPA. I’ve been a member of NANPA for over 10 years and have been on the Board of Directors for the last two. I have always enjoyed photography, but several years ago, after a career of almost 30 years as a natural resource manager, it was time to leave behind the 10 x 10 cubicle, endless meetings, toxic office politics and administrative tedium. So, I dove into nature photography full time and have not regretted for one minute the photographic adventures and time spent behind my camera.  Along the way, there have been a few photos that have made the Showcase top 250 and a few other award winners as well as six weeks as an Artist-in-Residence in 2016 in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There have been so many trips to the Smokies, that some thought that I am local to there. Not yet! I currently reside in the Traverse City area of Northern Michigan.

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The Many Flavors of Conservation Photography

The Rock Creek Conservancy is partnering with the National Park Service and working with the local community to strategically restore five sites ("mini-oases") within Rock Creek Park.

The Rock Creek Conservancy is partnering with the National Park Service and working with the local community to strategically restore five sites (“mini-oases”) within Rock Creek Park.

Story & photo by Frank Gallagher

When we think of conservation photography, we often have in mind images of the grand and majestic:  elephants, whales and tigers; the Grand Canyon, glaciers and coral reefs.  You don’t have to be a well-known photographer like Joel Sartore or Florian Schulz, or work with National Geographic or the Sierra Club to have an impact.  Those are all important, to be sure, but not everything has to be charismatic megafauna, epic landscapes, famous names or mass media.  There are also many opportunities for conservation photography in the small, in the local and in the mundane.  Sometimes, opportunity is knocking in places you’ve come to take for granted.

I was thinking about that recently, during a project for Nature Photography Day.

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From the President: Gordon Illg

In the wildflower bloom at Peridot Mesa in Arizona © Cathy Illg.

In the wildflower bloom at Peridot Mesa in Arizona © Cathy Illg.

This is my last blog as NANPA president, the end of a year of maundering over the past, present and future of nature photography. It turns out my fear that the organization would suffer under my leadership, or lack thereof, was unfounded, just as many of my fears are. Not only is NANPA doing well, but its membership has reached a new high point. It’s tempting for me to take credit for our success, but the truth is I’m riding on the coattails of an incredible herd/school/pride/pod of talented and hard-working staff and volunteers. Without them I would have been president of nothing, and I’m extremely grateful for my addiction to nature photography if for no other reason than it introduced me to these wonderful people who have guided and supported me.

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Weekly Wow! Week of May 27, 2019

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

Showcase 2019 Top 100 winner: "Looking for Something," Tre Cime di Laveredo, Italy © Peter Nestler.

Showcase 2019 Top 100 winner: “Looking for Something,” Tre Cime di Laveredo, Italy © Peter Nestler.

The following Showcase images have been selected to appear on the NANPA home page for the week beginning Monday, May 27, 2019.  To view all of the top 250 photographs from NANPA’s 2019 Showcase competition, see the photo gallery on the NANPA website.  Nature Photography Day is coming up on June 15 so let’s get shooting!  And, the period for entering your best shots in this year’s Showcase starts in August.  What are you waiting for?  Your best shot might be your next one.

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Riley Swartzendruber and the NANPA College Scholarship Program

Rax Bolay means "Green Viper" in the indigenous language Q'eqchi. The common name for the snake is Yellow-Blotched Palm Pit Viper. It is a highly endemic species to the area. © Riley Swartzendruber.

Rax Bolay means “Green Viper” in the indigenous language Q’eqchi. The common name for the snake is Yellow-Blotched Palm Pit Viper. It is a highly endemic species to the area. © Riley Swartzendruber.

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 experiences at Summit.  Today, we meet Riley Swartzendruber.

Riley was an undergraduate student majoring in digital media and photography at Eastern Mennonite University when he applied for the 2019 NANPA College Scholarship Program.  “I had an interest in creating videos all through elementary, middle, and high school and knew quickly that I wanted to pursue a career that involved using a camera,” he says.  But the first time he picked up a DSLR camera wasn’t until college, during which he went to Guatemala and Colombia.  “This challenged me in what I could do with my photography.  I found an immense amount of enjoyment experimenting and finding creative ways of telling the story I wanted to tell.”

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NANPA’s 2019 Member Survey: Give Us a Piece of Your Mind

Pfeiffer Beach Keyhole Arch, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, California © Cathy DesRochers.

Pfeiffer Beach Keyhole Arch, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, California © Cathy DesRochers.

There is no shortage of people willing to tell you what you should be doing.  One of the great joys of nature photography is being out in the field, away from all those people who are trying to run our lives.  So, how great is it when someone actually asks you what they should be doing?

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The Godmother of Nature Photography Day

Shirley Nuhn, the Godmother of Nature Photography Day.

Shirley Nuhn, the Godmother of Nature Photography Day.

On June 15th, photographers the world over will mark Nature Photography Day with photo walks, camera club outings, photography exhibitions, competitions and a host of other activities. This will bring attention to the enjoyment of nature photography and its role in conservation and protecting our natural world.

But how did that occasion start?  Whose idea was it?  And what’s this about a godmother?

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NANPA’s Birthday: 25 Years of Leadership in Nature Photography

NANPA's year-long 25th birthday celebrations kicked off at the Nature Photography Summit.

NANPA’s year-long 25th birthday celebrations kicked off at the Nature Photography Summit.

The world has changed a lot in the twenty-five years since NANPA was formed.  Back in 1994, the first commercially-successful web browser, Netscape Navigator, was released.  “Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web” was renamed Yahoo.  Google was four years away and Facebook wouldn’t launch until 2004.  If you had internet access, it was probably dial-up at 56kbps through Compuserv or AOL. Photoshop 3.0 had just come out and introduced layers.  Microsoft Windows was new but your Pentium computer probably ran MS-DOS and had 4 MB RAM. Mobile phones didn’t have cameras and certainly weren’t smart.

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