Volunteer Profile: John E. Marriott

Photographer John E. Marriott in the rainforest.

Photographer John E. Marriott in the rainforest.

Volunteers are the life blood of membership organizations.  At NANPA and the NANPA Foundation, volunteers serve on committees, help plan conferences, present webinars, judge competitions and evaluate grant applications.  Volunteers serve on the Board of Directors and play other key roles in keeping NANPA vibrant, relevant and growing.

This is the second of an occasional series of volunteer profiles, saluting those whose hard work, ideas, passion and commitment benefit NANPA and its members.

NANPA recently had the opportunity to ask NANPA volunteer John E. Marriott a few questions about his volunteer experiences.

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From the Executive Director – Susan Day

Susan Day. Photo by David Small

Photo by David Small

2018 NANPA Snapshot

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.

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2019 NANPA Emerging Photographer Award: Sebastian Kennerknecht

Sebastian Kennerknecht photographing on coast, Skomer Island National Nature Reserve, Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire, Wales, United Kingdom

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.

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Jackson Hole Launches Tag Responsibly Campaign

In a November 2018 post, we asked if photographers should stop sharing location information. Popular spots are being overrun with Instagrammers, seeking to duplicate iconic images. The landscape is being damaged, vegetation trampled, trash and human waste left behind and people are risking life and limb for the next epic selfie.

It’s been a topic of conversation across the nature photography community. Now, the Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board has entered the debate with a campaign they’re calling “Tag Responsibly. Keep Jackson Hole Wild.”

Along with a video (above), the Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board released posters and shareable social media graphics aimed at getting photographers of all levels to refrain from posting specific location information with their photos. This story even made the New York Times.

Anyone who’s been to Jackson Hole and tried to photograph Schwabacher Landing, Moulton Barn, or Oxbow Bend can attest to the fact that these locations are getting too much traffic. It’s easy to find the popular photo spots: there are long stretches of hard-packed bare earth, tamped down by thousands of feet and tripods. On any given sunrise, a photographer might have to deal with several photo tours and random cell-phone-toting tourists walking into their shots, parking in fields and leaving litter behind.

The new campaign urges people to “Post the photo. Trash the tag.” It’s not like Moulton Barn is hard to find, and there’s a big sign for Schwabacher Landing right on the highway but, when the very businesses that depend on tourism start getting behind a movement like this, they have the potential to change the conversation. As one of the Travel and Tourism Board posters asks, “How many likes is a patch of dead wildflowers worth?”

Should Photographers Intervene in Nature?

Screen shot of The Times (UK) article about a film crew intervening in nature.

Screen shot of The Times (UK) article about a film crew intervening in nature.

If you saw an animal in the wild that appeared to be in distress, would you try to help? Would you report it to the authorities? Would you leave it alone, since it’s just nature being nature? As nature photographers, we are interested in conservation and generally love the animals we photograph. Is it our responsibility to let nature take its course, even if an animal dies? Is it our responsibility to save the animal? Or, does it depend on the specific situation?

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Should Photographers Share Location Information?

A sunflower field in Canada was trampled by hordes of people seeking a viral selfie.

A sunflower field in Canada was trampled by hordes of people seeking a viral selfie. © Frank Gallagher

Art Wolfe is reputed to have said you can celebrate something to death.  In a similar vein, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and Senator Lamar Alexander penned a May 2018 editorial for CNN in which they bluntly stated that “our parks are being loved to death” through a combination of record-breaking crowds and severe maintenance backlogs. All over the world, precious, unique natural areas are under stress from human visitors.  In some places, it’s simply a case of too many people coming to too small a space.  In others, it’s not just the crowds, it’s also bad behavior.

In order to protect beautiful but fragile areas, many photographers have stopped sharing location information.  No GPS data.  No clues about where the spot is or how to get there.  Why?  Because, once a really cool photo location is out there on Instagram, Facebook or other platforms, the crowds inevitably follow.

Is withholding locations arrogance? Selfishness? Respect for nature?  You be the judge.
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Don’t Miss NANPA’s Town Hall Meeting: Creating an Ethical Field Approach

Photo of photographers and a moose.

Learn about ethical nature photography practices in this month’s Town Hall Meeting.

There’s still time to register for NANPA’s next online Town Hall on Wednesday, October 24th, at 5 PM EDT.  Jennifer Leigh Warner, NANPA’s Ethics Committee chair, will help you learn how you can have a more ethical approach to photographing wildlife and how to better label your images so you can maintain public trust in the credibility of your images. Join us for this webinar where we will discuss some basic tips to approaching wildlife and how to properly label your images. We will also discuss what the NANPA Ethics Committee has been up to this year.

NANPA Town Hall Meeting: Creating an Ethical Field Approach
Presented by Jennifer Leigh Warner
October 24, 2018, 5pm EDT
Target Audience: Everyone

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Volunteer Profile: Daniel Dietrich

NANPA volunteer and ethics committee member Daniel Dietrich.

NANPA volunteer and ethics committee member Daniel Dietrich (and some precious cargo).

Volunteers are the life blood of membership organizations.  At NANPA and the NANPA Foundation, volunteers serve on committees, help plan conferences, present webinars, judge competitions and evaluate grant applications.  Volunteers serve on the Board of Directors and play other key roles in keeping NANPA vibrant, relevant and growing.

This is the third of an occasional series of volunteer profiles, saluting those whose hard work, ideas, passion and commitment benefit NANPA and its members.

NANPA recently had the opportunity to ask NANPA ethics committee member Daniel Dietrich a few questions about his volunteer experiences.

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Volunteer Profile: Jennifer Leigh Warner

Jennifer Leigh Warner

Jennifer Leigh Warner

Volunteers are the life blood of membership organizations.  At NANPA and the NANPA Foundation, volunteers serve on committees, help plan conferences, present webinars, judge competitions and evaluate grant applications.  Volunteers serve on the Board of Directors and play other key roles in keeping NANPA vibrant, relevant and growing.

This is the first of an occasional series of volunteer profiles, saluting those whose hard work, ideas, passion and commitment benefit NANPA and its members.

NANPA recently had the opportunity to ask Jennifer Leigh Warner a few questions about her volunteer experiences.

Continue reading

Death of Moose Prompts Calls for Safe Wildlife Photography

News report of drowned moose.

New England Cable News report on a moose that drowned because it was frightened by excited tourists. (Screenshot)

Earlier in September, a moose drowned in Lake Champlain, Vermont, because of tourists.  Not directly: people didn’t go up and kill it.  Rather, it died as a result of what people did, or didn’t do.  After swimming from the New York shore to Grand Isle, in the middle of the lake, the moose came ashore.  Unfortunately, it came onto the island near a road and tourists, excited at the sight of a moose so close, got out of their cars and started snapping photos with their phones.  Sadly, the commotion frightened the moose back in to the lake.  Tired from its swim over from New York, the moose didn’t have enough energy left to cope with wind and waves and drowned shortly thereafter.

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