From the President: Tom Haxby

Bears, Salamanders and Snakes – Oh My!

NANPA High School Scholarship Program participants at Spruce Flats Falls. Photo by Tom Haxby.
NANPA High School Scholarship Program participants at Spruce Flats Falls. Photo by Tom Haxby.

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”  I thought about that proverb a lot during the NANPA High School Scholarship Program in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where I was one of the instructors. A month ago, ten high school students from around the country spent a week learning about photography, conservation, ethics, biodiversity and a whole lot more through this annual program, made possible by your donations to the NANPA Foundation.

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Geena Hill and the NANPA College Scholarship Program

Many northerners like to migrate to Florida in the winter to escape the cold, but few realize that they should stick around until late spring. May/June in central Florida is one of the most beautiful times to visit Florida, mostly because of the wildflowers that bloom en masse along the roadsides. There is an incredibly high diversity of wildflowers that can be seen, but some areas are completely dominated by a native wildflower, Coreopsis, which is also Florida’s state wildflower. © Geena Hill.

Many northerners like to migrate to Florida in the winter to escape the cold, but few realize that they should stick around until late spring. May/June in central Florida is one of the most beautiful times to visit Florida, mostly because of the wildflowers that bloom en masse along the roadsides. There is an incredibly high diversity of wildflowers that can be seen, but some areas are completely dominated by a native wildflower, Coreopsis, which is also Florida’s state wildflower. © Geena Hill.

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 Geena Hill, who recently graduated with her master’s degree from the University of Florida, with a focus in wildlife ecology and conservation.

“My interest in nature, biology, and photography predates my time as a biology student and photographer” says Geena. “As a child exploring in the woods with my sisters in northwest Pennsylvania, I always found myself taking pictures of various animals we found with a disposable camera. I wasn’t sure of the reason why I needed to take a photo of everything, but I felt the persistent urge to document our discoveries. Eventually, I was able to take a photography class in high school and finally fulfilled my aspiration of taking photos by learning the technicalities of film photography. While I did not study photography for my undergraduate degree, the constant impulse to always have my camera in my bag persists to this day.

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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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Nicole Landry and the NANPA College Scholarship Program

There were many bees buzzing around these purple coneflowers on the sunny summer day that I took this photo. After chasing them around for a while, I opted to take a stationary position, frame my shot, and wait for them to come to me. The results were worthwhile and I particularly like how the tight framing brings you into the world of the bee. © Nicole Landry.

There were many bees buzzing around these purple coneflowers on the sunny summer day that I took this photo. After chasing them around for a while, I opted to take a stationary position, frame my shot, and wait for them to come to me. The results were worthwhile and I particularly like how the tight framing brings you into the world of the bee. © Nicole Landry.

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 experience at Summit.  Today, we meet Nicole Landry.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a fourth-year undergraduate at Ryerson University in Toronto, majoring in media production.  Since getting my first camera at about age nine, I’ve seldom been without one. I spent much of my early years chasing everything from butterflies to squirrels; determined to capture the perfect shot.  In high school my life changed forever when I watched the documentary, Sharkwater. It opened my eyes to the plethora of environmental issues facing our planet and I was terrified – but also inspired. In that moment, I realized that media could be used as a catalyst for positive change and I knew that there was nothing else I wanted to dedicate my life to doing

This past year I directed, shot, and am now in the process of editing my first documentary, Saving Barrie’s Lake, about the loss of wetland ecosystems in southern Ontario.  These experiences shaped me into who I am today – an artist, environmentalist, and self-proclaimed adventurer – and I can genuinely not wait to see what opportunities the future has in store.

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Ashton Hooker and the NANPA College Scholarship Program

Balcony House, Mesa Verde National Park © Ashton Hooker

Balcony House, Mesa Verde National Park © Ashton Hooker

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 experience at Summit.  Today, we meet Ashton Hooker.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am attending the University of Wyoming as a graduate student, majoring in communication/environment and natural resource and working on my thesis, a quantitative study about Instagram’s influence on intent to travel to Yellowstone National Park. I’m extremely interested in the human dimensions of environment and natural resource issues, such as values regarding wildlife and public lands.

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Summit Challenge Grant for NANPA Foundation

Mary Jane Gibson, Vice President of the NANPA Foundation Board of Trustees announces the results of a challenge grant at the 2019 Nature Photography Summit.

Mary Jane Gibson, Vice President of the NANPA Foundation Board of Trustees announces the results of a challenge grant at the 2019 Nature Photography Summit.

During NANPA’s recent Nature Photography Summit and Trade Show in Las Vegas, one bunch of photographers always seemed to be especially hard at work, energized and excited. These young people were participants in the NANPA Foundation’s Summit College Scholarship Program and their week in Las Vegas was packed with learning, growing, creating, networking and having fun.

Their assignment: develop a story-telling project which would be shown during the Summit.

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Last Minute Gift Guides for Photographers

What's on your holiday gift list?

What’s on your holiday gift list?

Is there a photographer on your gift list this holiday season?  Perhaps people are still asking you what you want?

Holiday gift guides for photographers are a dime a dozen, and most highlight the same things, whether sublime or ridiculous.  How many times do you need to see a travel mug that looks like your 70-200 lens?  Cutesy t-shirts with bad puns about photography?  Have you seen enough instant cameras, clip-on smart phone lenses and mini portable printers to last you a lifetime?

If you’re looking for your standard photography stuff, you can check out the guides from your favorite camera store.  But there are many more options.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a few NANPA-related gifts, so we’ll start with those.  Then I’ll follow with a few weird items that might make you laugh, but are things you can probably live without.  Finally, I’ll conclude with a few items that you just might want to buy.

Nature Photography Summit: Great opportunities for photographers you won't find anywhere else.

Nature Photography Summit: Great opportunities for photographers you won’t find anywhere else.

NANPA: the sublime

How about a year of NANPA membership?  A great way to introduce a photographer friend to the benefits of our association.  Or, perhaps some nice person could extend your membership for another year!  There are a lot of great member benefits that make joining well worth your while.

A generous friend or relative could spot you a registration to the 2019 Nature Photography Summit, February 21-23, in Las Vegas, NV.  Great speakers, timely workshops, options for Super Sessions and location shoots as well as opportunities to make connections with fellow nature photographers, photo editors, vendors and potential clients.

NANPA Regional Events are led by NANPA members with special knowledge of and expertise in the area.

NANPA Regional Events are led by NANPA members with special knowledge of and expertise in the area.

Have a bighearted benefactor? Maybe they could send you off to photograph birds in Florida, fall foliage on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula or starry night skies in Arches National Park at one of NANPA’s Regional Events.

If you haven’t hit your charitable contributions goal for the year, consider donating to the NANPA Foundation.  Your money goes towards high school and college scholarships and grants that “allow photographers at all levels of experience to explore special nature-related photographic projects in their communities.”

The Photorito, a lens wrap that looks like a burrito.

The Photorito, a lens wrap that looks like a burrito.

The Ridiculous

Among the weird items for photographers, PHOTOLEMUR’s gift guide has a couple of my favorites: The Photorito Lens Wrap and the Go Pro Fetch.  The former is a padded lens wrap that looks like a tortilla and makes your wrapped lens look like a burrito.  And who doesn’t need that? The latter is a dog harness for a Go Pro, allowing your pooch to record a dog’s eye view of the world.  Just in case you were curious how Fido experiences life.

Salt and pepper shakers in the form of 35 mm film canisters might be cute but does anyone really need a set that includes toilet paper, paper towel and tissue dispensers mimicking film canisters?  Or a toilet paper dispenser shaped like a Polaroid instant film camera?  Someone must, because you can buy each of them.

Another item of questionable utility is the Moman Cell Phone Clip, a bottle cap tripod for a smart phone.  While one might appreciate the ability to use an everyday object to stabilize your iPhone or Android, the opportunity to not only knock them over but also get them wet does not appeal to an occasional klutz me.

Paper towel dispensers, a GoPro harness for Fido, and a water bottle tripod head

Paper towel dispensers, a GoPro harness for Fido, and a water bottle tripod head are among the holiday gifts available this year.

The useful

I’ll leave you with one cool, yet more sensible, gift idea.  Take a look at LenzBuddy lens caps (shown at the top of this article), which are customizable front and rear caps for a variety of lenses.  If you’ve ever opened you bag and couldn’t distinguish between one lens and another, these might be just the ticket.  You can even customize with your business name and logo!  Better than a lens burrito!

PhotoPills and Photographer’s Ephemeris are photography planning tools that I simply must have on my phone.  They’re $10 or less (there’s even a free desktop version of Ephemeris) so, if you haven’t tried them, you’re missing out.

Whatever you give or receive this holiday season, we hope the past year has been full of great nature photography and that the year ahead will be even better.  Next year, I’m hoping for a camera bag shaped like a taco.

 

What Winning NANPA Foundation’s Philip Hyde Grant Means

 

Cullinan Ranch levee breach - The 1500 acre Cullinan Ranch was purchased by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as part of San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge in 1991. It was diked off from tidal action and drained in the 1800’s to grow oat hay. It is now being restored for endangered species and other wildlife.

Cullinan Ranch levee breach – The 1500 acre Cullinan Ranch was purchased by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as part of San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge in 1991. It was diked off from tidal action and drained in the 1800’s to grow oat hay. It is now being restored for endangered species and other wildlife.

Story and photographs by Beth Huning, 2011 Philip Hyde Grant Recipient

As photographers, many of us are good at telling our conservation stories through imagery.  We use our photos to support projects that protect or restore the earth, its ecosystems, and inhabitants. Philip Hyde was a pioneer in using photographs for conservation and I have long admired his achievements. A native Californian, he was passionate about protecting the American West, and his photographs were influential in many conservation campaigns.

From the Editor: Applications for the 2018 Philip Hyde Grant and the 2018 Janie Moore Greene Grant are encouraged and will be accepted through midnight, October 31st. Details are at the end of the article.

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From the Executive Director – Susan Day

Susan Day at NANPA board meeting, Jacksonsville, FL.

Susan Day at NANPA board meeting, Jacksonsville, FL. Photo by David Small.

Meetings, Meetings, and More Meetings…

Meetings are a necessary evil.  Few people will confess to liking them, but for groups like NANPA with members who, at any given time, are scattered throughout the world; meetings are a means of keeping us connected to one another.  To keep in touch, NANPA’s board, committee members, contractors, membership, and the nature photography community rely on virtual, teleconference, social media, and in-person meetings to function and flourish.

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Grants and Awards Recognize the Work of Nature Photographers

Photo by Morgan Heim 2017 Philip Hyde Grant winner

“Candlight Grow”
All that glitters is not gold. Each light represents marijuana plants that once grew within this stretch of the High Sierra National Forest in California. A single grow can range from a thousand to tens of thousands of plants. © Morgan Heim 2017 Philip Hyde Grant winner.

If a nature photographer clicks her shutter in the wilderness, and no one else is around to hear it, can it still make an impact? It sure can! The work of professional and aspiring nature photographers can save ecosystems, species and beautiful landmarks. NANPA understands the important work you’re doing.

And better than the sound of one hand clapping, NANPA and the NANPA Foundation have many ways to recognize and support the work, career or budding potential of nature photographers. All during the year, there are opportunities to apply or nominate someone for an award, a grant or other recognition.

Several are running now or about to start. Let’s take a look. One could be tailor made for you!

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