“Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate,
And though we pass them by today,
Tomorrow we may come this way
And take the hidden paths that run
Towards the Moon or to the Sun.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien The Fellowship of the Ring
When we think of outstanding sites for nature photography, most of us tend to think of places like Tanzania, the Pantanal, Costa Rica…you know, places that cost a fortune to visit. And these locations do indeed have wonderful photo opportunities, but some of the best images are captured by people who never wander far from home. Yes, there are wild things right in our neighborhoods, hiding secrets that are just begging to be photographed. Keep in mind my livelihood is dependent upon photographers traveling to distant destinations, but I feel it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that there is beauty everywhere. Even without money to travel, there are photographable worlds available to you.
Still debating whether you should come to NANPA’s Nature Photography Summit and Trade Show, February 21-23 in Las Vegas? Here are five compelling reasons to pull out your credit card and start making reservations. And, hey, there’s still time to get pre-conference pricing . . . but only ‘till midnight, Sunday, January 20th.
2019 NANPA Lifetime Achievement Award winner John Shaw
Professional nature photographer John Shaw was the recipient of NANPA’s first Outstanding Photographer Award in 1997. This year, he’s being honored with NANPA’s Lifetime Achievement Award and will also become a NANPA Fellow. Registered for the 2019 NANPA Nature Photography Summit? You can see John Shaw interviewed by Kathy Adams Smith on Saturday, February 23, at 10:30 AM.
He’s written seven books and ten ebooks and his work has been featured in numerous books and magazines. He’s photographed on every continent and has been recognized by Nikon as a Legend Behind the Lens, as an Icon of Imaging by Microsoft and, since 2001, has been part of Epson’s Stylus Pro fine art print makers group. Last month we had the opportunity to ask him a few questions.
It’s holiday time! That special season when we wish for Christmas miracles, Hanukah miracles, Saturnalia miracles…basically we’re looking for miracles. Grant us another year of health, livelihood, friends, family, and as nature photographers, the continued existence of the things we like to take pictures of. Grant us another year of not just rattlesnakes on dirt roads, but an abundance of wildlife of all kinds, as well as scenic vistas with a capital S and a capital V. We’re talking landscapes like those that greeted the first humans. That’s all we want.
Sebastian Kennerknecht photographing on coast, Skomer Island National Nature Reserve, Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire, Wales, United Kingdom
Conservation photographer and iLCP Associate Fellow Sebastian Kennerknecht will receive NANPA’s 2019 Emerging Photographer Award at the 2019 Nature Photography Summit and Trade Show, February 21-23 in Las Vegas, NV. This award (formerly the NANPA Vision Award) is “given to an emerging photographer in “recognition of excellence and serves to encourage continuation of vision and inspiration to others in nature photography, conservation, and education.”
Among the criteria for this award are “a commitment to achieving a positive impact upon nature photography, and the conservation and protection of the natural world; plus the education of the general public about conservation and nature issues.” The awards committee noted that Kennerknecht is “emerging as an important wildlife photographer, especially in the area of wild cats, and species that have not been widely documented. His focus on ethical field practices and species conservation is a model that many other photographers should follow. His frequent and smart use of social media to share his imagery and message are constantly growing in popularity, ensuring that he is truly advocating for the power and need of high quality nature photography.”
Kennerknecht’s work in photographing and documenting wild cats, both well- and little-known species, and his work with scientists, conservationists and social media to educate the public, make him an ideal recipient for this award. We were fortunate to ask Sebastian a few questions in between his travels.
It all started back in October 1993, when ornithologist, artist and nature photographer, Roger Tory Peterson invited a group of nature photographers to the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, New York. This was the first time that an organized group of nature photographers had assembled in one place, and more than 100 photographers showed up for panel discussions, networking, and presentations. This meeting was so well received that everyone wanted to do it again—and thanks to a ton of work and great organization—by April 1994, NANPA had a founding board, president, bylaws and mission, with plans underway for their first annual conference, which took place in Florida in January 1995. NANPA’s first awards were also bestowed at the 1995 conference when Roger Tory Peterson received NANPA’s first Lifetime Achievement in Nature Photography Award, and Outdoor Photographer Magazine was honored with our first Community Recognition Award.
Shooting Elephant Rock under a full moon. Photograph by Cathy Illg.
It’s that time of year again, the season we set aside for giving thanks. And even in these days of environmental degradation NANPA members have much to be grateful for. For the time being at least, we still have an incredible wealth of both locations and species just begging to be captured with a camera. How long we’ll have them is anyone’s guess, but for today let us be thankful we still have subjects to point a lens at.
Traditionally, October is a relatively slow time in the NANPA office because so many photographers are out searching for fall color and wildlife. It’s also when people take vacations or squeeze in another workshop while the weather is cool, but not yet bitterly cold and blustery. For whatever reasons, this October was different – and busy – with member activity, phone calls, and questions.
In this month’s column, I’ll give a brief status report on what’s happening with NANPA’s events and programs.
2019 Showcase Competition
The 2019 Showcase Competition closed on October 17, and judging started soon thereafter. We received more than 3,600 entries from nearly 400 photographers, which is our highest participation since 2009. Judging has been completed, and winners have been notified and are now sending us their hi-res photos that will be published in Expressions 2019. Production of Expressions 2019 is underway, and barring any unforeseen delays, will be available in February. Members who submitted images in the competition can view the results by logging into the members area of the website. The Top 250 Winning Images will be displayed on the NANPA website beginning in January. Thank you to all who entered the competition; to judges Melissa Groo, George Lepp, and Joe and Mary Ann McDonald; Showcase Coordinator, Wendy Shattil; Showcase Web Developer, John Lock; and Project Manager, Teresa Ransdell.
We do have a few spots left for advertising in Expressions 2019. If you’d like to place an ad, contact Gina Head for rates and availability. Or download ad info here.
2019 Nature Photography Summit & Trade Show
Registrations opened in early October for the 2019 Nature Photography Summit & Trade Show which will be held February 21-23, 2019 in Las Vegas. As usual, members wanting to ensure spots with their top choices of portfolio reviewers and to make sure they get in for Super Sessions and pre/post photo outings, registered early. Take a look at the speaker lineup and schedule for this Summit, check out the reviewer openings (A bargain at only $60 for 20 minutes one-on-one time with a pro!), and consider adding a Super Session (only $75 for a 3-hour class on a variety of great topics). We’ve heard of some great airfare sales to Vegas, and you can’t beat the room rate at the Westgate! NANPA will be emailing a series of Summit Snapshots to you in the coming weeks with announcements of any changes or additions to the program. Be sure to bookmark the Summit website and check back periodically because we’ll be making updates as they come up.
A few exhibitor booth spaces, advertising, and sponsorships are still available. More info.
NANPA Regional Events are almost full for 2018 and 2019. As of November 1, there are two spots left for the Bosque del Apache event with Cathy Illg in December and one spot left on the Florida Birding Workshop with Maresa Pryor Luzier in January. We still have spaces left for the fall 2019 Fall in Upper Peninsula of Michigan with Richard Day and Hank Erdmann. The Yellowstone Snowcoach Tour and the Arches Astrophotography Workshop are both sold out.
We took a short break from webinars this fall while photographers were traveling, but have a great lineup ready for the next few months. Topics include power marketing, video nature photography, timesaving tips with Adobe ACR or Lightroom, macro on a budget, and more.
Remember that all NANPA members can view past webinars in the members area of the website—including the latest in our Town Hall Series on Ethical Field Approaches for Nature Photography.
Those are the highlights from October, and we’ll continue to share new information on events, programs, and projects when it’s available.
NANPA’s Board terms end on June 30, and new directors take office on July 1, which is also the date that presidents change. I had the privilege of working with Don Carter for a year as president, and on July 1, Don passed the gavel to Gordon Illg. To say that Gordon jumped in with both feet would be putting it mildly.