From the Executive Director – Susan Day

2019 NANPA Summit. Susan Day, Richard Day, and Bethany Brucker at the Registration Desk. Photo © Janice Braud

2019 NANPA Summit. Susan Day, Richard Day, and Bethany Brucker at the Registration Desk. Photo © Janice Braud

The birding community lost a treasure on March 25 with the passing of Bill Thompson III.  Bill was Co-Publisher and Editor of Bird Watcher’s Digest magazine for years where many NANPA members licensed their photos.  Not only was Bill instrumental in helping photographers and writers, he also worked tirelessly devoting his life to creating awareness of and conservation of birding worldwide.  I was privileged to know Bill as a friend for nearly 30 years.  He was a NANPA member in the early days and attended summits to find photographers and writers for the magazine.  At the 1995 NANPA Forum in Ft Myers, Florida; Bill, Richard Day, and I were hanging out together and planned to eat together at the closing banquet.  The Forum organizers were not prepared for the number of people that showed up for that historic meeting, and there weren’t enough tables or food that night.  We waited a long time while the hotel set up more tables; and we finally ended up crammed in front of the room at an angle partially behind the stage –which didn’t really matter, because by that time everyone in our new group of friends had made the most of the situation and were having a great old time.  While we waited for our food, which ran into the evening festivities on the stage after everyone else had finished eating, Bill entertained us by balancing a spoon on his nose and asking how many others could do it.  I know I have a photo somewhere (probably on a 35mm slide buried in a box) of our entire table playing “Spoon Bill” with Bill Thompson.  That’s the kind of guy he was, and those are the kinds of stories and memories that are born at NANPA meetings.

As we celebrate NANPA’s 25th Birthday #happybirthdayNANPA this year, our hope is that everyone associated with NANPA has fond memories and stories.  We started off with a big birthday cake at the Las Vegas Summit; and this month, in keeping with the “25th” theme, we selected the 25th new member to join NANPA in 2019—Alyssa Kline.  Alyssa’s gift for NANPA’s birthday is a print copy of 2019 Expressions, which features photos of this year’s Showcase winners. Welcome to the NANPA family, Alyssa!

It’s hard to believe, but NANPA’s 26th election of our board of directors is taking place now.  You have until April 20 to vote to fill vacancies of Sean Fitzgerald and Ted Moreno, whose terms end on June 30.  Five candidates are on the ballot:  Ted Moreno (who is eligible for a second term), John Reed, Alice Robertson, Trent Sizemore, and Dawn Wilson.  Login https://www.nanpa.org/members/members.php to the members’ area of the website, read their bios and nominations questionnaires, and cast your vote.

We’re proud to announce the completion of NANPA’s Conservation Handbook this month.  This is first in a series that will be ongoing, and we are grateful to the Conservation Committee for developing, producing, and introducing this series.  Check it out here.  https://www.nanpa.org/members/members.php

On June 15, NANPA will observe its 14th Nature Photography Day.  We’ll be holding a photo contest with some nice prizes, but Nature Photography Day is not just about contests.  It’s about getting as many people outside as possible to enjoy nature through photography.  We’ll be sending media releases and doing a big social media push to let everyone know.  In past years, National Parks, nature centers, camera clubs, and civic groups have organized events around Nature Photography Day.  Many of these festivals and celebrations use local speakers and instructors to teach attendees how to photograph nature.  You can help spread the word in your area too (and maybe pick up a teaching gig!) so watch your emails for more information in the coming weeks.

As we enter a new season, I hope you’ll have many opportunities to explore and experience the rebirth of life after a long winter.  As nature photographers, seeing and documenting the natural world is part of who we are.  Cherish those special moments and the people you meet along the way.

Cheers!

Susan Day
Executive Director

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the Executive Director – Susan Day

President Gordon Illg cuts into NANPA's 25th birthday cake at the close of the Summit. Photo by Frank Gallagher.

President Gordon Illg cuts into NANPA’s 25th birthday cake at the close of the Summit. Photo by Frank Gallagher.

NANPA’s 21st Summit and Trade Show ended today, and as I sit in my hotel room, I’m tired, but still feel the high of another great event.   Long days of pre-summit board meetings, short nights with little sleep, early morning coffee to prop my eyes open, seeing old friends, making new ones, and dealing with inevitable glitches that pop up, no matter how much we plan for the unexpected.  After two long years of preparation, it’s hard to believe that the whirlwind is gone.  Kaput.  Just like that. A few short days ago, we were checking people in at the registration desk, hugging friends we hadn’t seen in a few years, and picking up where we left off on conversations from our last meetings.   We were watching presentations by some of the world’s greatest photographers—Joel Sartore, James Balog, Sue Flood, Florian Schulz, John Shaw, and George Lepp.  OMG!  Where else but NANPA can you see all those people in the same room?  I hadn’t seen John Shaw since the mid-90s and he saw me first in a hall and reached out to me.  I have to admit to being a little starstruck that he would even know who I am, much less be so gracious and friendly to me, like an old friend!

Continue reading

From the Executive Director – Susan Day

Lifelong friendships have been made at NANPA Summits! Executive Director, Susan Day and 2019 Summit Program Chair, Kathy Adams Clark at a reception in Albuquerque at the 2009 Summit. Photo by Richard Day.

Lifelong friendships have been made at NANPA Summits! Executive Director, Susan Day and 2019 Summit Program Chair, Kathy Adams Clark at a reception in Albuquerque at the 2009 Summit. Photo by Richard Day.

NANPA Summits are much more than listening to speakers, viewing world-class, jaw-droppingly-awesome photography, and drooling over your next equipment purchase or photo workshop destination.  Lifelong friendships and connections have been made from talking to others during lunch, in the halls, or even waiting in restroom lines (I speak first-hand on the last one!)

The countdown to the 2019 Nature Photography Summit and Trade Show in Las Vegas, February 21-23 is on at NANPA HQ!   Online registrations for the full summit, one-day passes, Super Sessions, Portfolio Reviews and other tickets close February 4; but no worries if you miss that deadline, because you can still register onsite in Las Vegas.

NANPA turns 25 this year and plans are underway for birthday specials all year long!

Continue reading

From the President

Don Carter, NANPA President

As I make my way from my winter location in Tucson to the NANPA Celebration in Jackson Hole, WY, I’m photographing some of the iconic locations in California: Sequoia, Yosemite, the Redwood National and State Parks. Then I’m going to venture up the Oregon coast. I find myself spending more time in these iconic locations. They are beautiful and wonderful places to photograph.

The Internet is full of photographers saying, “don’t go there,” “too many people,” “I need solitude to make beautiful images.” Even on NANPA’s Facebook page, I see comments that say, “find a different location to photograph.” Don’t listen to them (unless you have 1,000 images from places such as Yosemite Valley)!

As I stood at Tunnel View in Yosemite looking over the valley, thinking, you’re crazy if you don’t come here at least once in your life, I noticed there were only four tripods, but 150 selfie sticks. Everyone was polite, and I ended up taking a lot of cell phone pictures for couples. Yes, our national parks are crowded, and park service staff are doing their best.

So why photograph here in the footsteps of Ansel or other great photographers such as William Neill? Will I sell any of the images I take? Probably not, but I don’t care, nor should you. I will try to find other less iconic locations and shoot more intimate landscapes, but the waterfalls are roaring, and I can’t resist. Yosemite flooded two weeks ago, the meadows are littered with logs and branches, the wildflowers are gone, and so are some of the roads; yet, I will stay and photograph this amazing place.

What I will do with my Yosemite images is use them for greeting cards, coasters, and slates. It’s amazing how many non-photographers like these things and they sell well. During my local craft fair, I sell all the cards I bring. You don’t need to be a “pro” to do these sorts of things. It’s fun and you meet some great people, and it can help a little bit with your photo budget.

As I said earlier, I will eventually get to Jackson for the NANPA Celebration. While I’m there, I plan to look for bears, moose, and owls to photograph each morning. I hope there is snow (I’ve been in Tucson all winter). Last spring, at the NANPA regional event in Yellowstone, I was able to photograph seven bears the first day, but the second and third day, not a bear was in sight. What I’m also looking forward to is seeing old friends and meeting new ones. Every time I attend a NANPA event, the friends I make are always the best part of the event. So, if you see me in Jackson, come say hi and I just might take you to the spot where I know a big bull moose hangs out.