It is always amazing to look back through my collection of
older NANPA Expressions magazines (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2018 and 2019) featuring the top 250 photos from the Showcase competition for that year. I may be missing a few years in my collection, but I am sure the photos in those years are incredible too. NANPA has a lot of really, really talented photographers and I am always in awe of the award-winning nature images our members capture. Occasionally, I have been fortunate to have an image place in the top 250 and I always enjoy seeing my photograph along with all of the other spectacular photos.
The end of a year signals a time for reflection of the past months as well as anticipation of what’s ahead. As I review 2018 for NANPA, I’m amazed at the variety and number of events and services offered for a relatively small organization. Everything we do is coordinated by a handful of part-time contractors and around 100 volunteers.
There was a time when every photo my wife, Cathy, and I took had a purpose. We had a market in mind every time we pushed the shutter button, and we pursued subjects not because we were wildly crazy about them, but because of how likely they were to sell. Elk were a natural, exciting target, and they were only 90 minutes from home, but even back then the market was saturated with elk photos, so we rarely pointed a lens at them. We went years without taking a landscape image, no matter how beautiful the scene was unless it had a person in it because people shots sold better than straight scenics did. Each trip was analyzed. Did the resulting photos pay for not only gas, mileage, and lodging, but also for our time and effort? Consequently, we were able to do most of our photography within two hours of home. It’s a lot easier for the photos to pay for a short trip.