Finding Community in NANPA

Sunset over water. Photo by Mark Kreider.
Photo by Mark Kreider.

Story and photos by Mark Kreider

I have been a NANPA member for a year and a half. Even in that short time, NANPA and its supportive community have influenced me in many meaningful ways. Life seems to be full of wonderful flukes, and my introduction to NANPA was one such instance. One morning in November of 2012, when I was a high school senior, I received word from a fellow photographer of a great photographic opportunity that existed for high school students. Though just three days away from the deadline of NANPA’s High School Scholarship Program application, I immediately jumped at the opportunity. I quite honestly remember thinking it looked too good to be true – a chance to spend a week in the field and at the NANPA Annual Summit, all the while learning and being inspired. I wondered to myself a little incredulously, How could I not have heard of NANPA before? It looks awesome!

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Wanted: Future Nature Photographers

Students at work during Photo from 2019 High School Scholarship Program at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. © Tom Haxby.
Photo from 2019 High School Scholarship Program at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. © Tom Haxby.

By NANPA President Tom Haxby

Do you know a high school student who will be between the age of 14-19 and a rising sophomore, junior or senior during the dates of July 6-11, 2020, who might be interested in exploring nature through nature photography while having fun too? Perhaps this might be one of your children, grandchildren or even a non-relative.

Please consider encouraging eligible students to apply to the NANPA High School Photography Scholarship Program in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP). Applications are available at http://nanpafoundation.org/high-school-scholarships/ and must be submitted online by January 31, 2020.

If you know an educator who might interact with interested students, please inform them of this program. You can download a flyer to share.

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Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays sign
Photo by Sarah Pflug from Burst.

Just as there are many types of nature photographer and many ways to frame a shot, NANPA’s members come from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, with differing perspectives and beliefs.  From all of us at NANPA, best wishes to all of you on whichever holidays or traditions you find meaningful and celebrate.

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How NANPA’s High School Scholarship Program Impacted Me

Story and Photography by Jorel Cuomo

When I attended NANPA’s High School Scholarship Program (NHSSP) in 2004 in Portland, my eyes opened to exploring wildlife photography as a medium. I greatly benefited from the one-on-one instruction and support of fellow photographers, both peers and mentors. Before attending this program, I never knew all this support existed; I felt that I was exploring nature and my camera by myself. Being a scholarship winner gave me the opportunity to harness my potential. Being surrounding by world-class photographers that shared their knowledge and experience opened my eyes to the possibilities that awaited me in our magnificent world.

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A Nature Photographer’s Thanksgiving, Part 2

Volunteers in a Rock Creek Conservancy work crew remove invasive plants, giving native species room to grow and sustain insect and animal life.
Volunteers in a Rock Creek Conservancy work crew remove invasive plants, giving native species room to grow and sustain insect and animal life.

Story and photo by Frank Gallagher

Along with the bounty on the table tomorrow, most of us will be grateful for things like our family, health, home and hearth.  We might also be thankful for the wonderful photographic opportunities that abound in this old world, even with all its problems (see A Nature Photographer’s Thanksgiving, Part 1).  I am embarrassed to admit that sometimes missing from my list of things to be thankful for are the volunteers that make possible so many of the experiences I enjoy.

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Hunt’s: A Full-Service Camera Store

Interior of Hunt's Camera Store.
From the Editor: Membership organizations like NANPA can keep the costs of membership and conference registration low and to develop new resources thanks to the support of companies like Hunt’s Photo and Video. If you’ve been to one of NANPA’s Nature Photography Summits or Celebrations, you probably have met Gary Farber of Hunt’s Photo and Video.  Hunt’s and Gary have been long-time NANPA sponsors, including at this year’s Nature Photography Summit in Las Vegas.

Hunt’s has been a partner with NANPA since 1999. When Gary Farber first joined, he was only 22 years old. During his years as an active NANPA member, he has gotten to know and befriend many other members and built many long-lasting relationships. He’s been involved with both the high school and college program and continues to stay in touch with many of the people who participated in each.

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From the President: Tom Haxby

Tom Haxby at Olson Falls near Munising, MI.

Tom Haxby at Olson Falls near Munising, MI.

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Tom Haxby, and for the next year I will be the President of the Board of Directors of NANPA. I’ve been a member of NANPA for over 10 years and have been on the Board of Directors for the last two. I have always enjoyed photography, but several years ago, after a career of almost 30 years as a natural resource manager, it was time to leave behind the 10 x 10 cubicle, endless meetings, toxic office politics and administrative tedium. So, I dove into nature photography full time and have not regretted for one minute the photographic adventures and time spent behind my camera.  Along the way, there have been a few photos that have made the Showcase top 250 and a few other award winners as well as six weeks as an Artist-in-Residence in 2016 in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There have been so many trips to the Smokies, that some thought that I am local to there. Not yet! I currently reside in the Traverse City area of Northern Michigan.

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A Turning Point in My Photography: NANPA’s High School Scholarship Program

Owl on alert in the forest.

Owl on alert in the forest.

Story and photos by Ashleigh Scully

I was a participant in the 2017 NANPA High School Scholarship Program and spent a week in the Great Smoky Mountains working with some incredible mentors, broadening my interests in photography and learning from some very talented kids my age as well.

This program was a turning point for me–it showed me just how much I want to inspire the younger generation to learn more about conservation and photography. Working with and learning from 9 other students from across the country was not what I expected it to be. I had assumed we would all stick to the certain aspects of photography we were comfortable with, but instead we all motivated each other to try a little bit of everything.

During that week in the Smokies, I got to experiment with flash and night photography and use some of the cameras, lenses, and flashes that Canon sent to as loaners. I now have knowledge of the settings to use for star and night photography, something that will definitely come in handy for me in the future. We also hiked out to a waterfall and attempted slow motion waterfall photos to capture the blur of the water. Using the loaner flashes, we also found little salamanders and toads and used white backgrounds for the “Meet Your Neighbors” technique that  Andrew Snyder, one of the mentors, taught us. Some of the kids were so in love with this new technique, it was all they did!

Do you know a talented young nature photographer? NANPA’s High School Scholarship Program is seeking 10 high school student photographers to attend a five-day field event where they can learn from the industry’s top shooters. Apply now for this immersive, hands-on education program to be held in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park July 1–6, 2019. Combining classroom and field-based instruction, students will have the chance to improve their nature photography skills, learn about NANPA, meet industry professionals, and gain an appreciation of the Smoky Mountains’ rich natural history. The last day to apply is January 31, 2019, so don’t wait. Apply now!

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2019 NANPA Fellow Award: Lou Nettelhorst

2019 NANPA Fellow Lou Nettelhorst

2019 NANPA Fellow Lou Nettelhorst

Lou Nettelhorst will receive one of NANPA’s 2019 Fellow Awards. This award is presented to members who have made significant contributions to the professional nature photography industry over a period of at least 20 years.

Nettelhorst is a widely-published nature and fine art photographer. The awards committee noted that, “for eight years, he led the NANPA’s high school scholarship committee, in essence establishing the efficient way the committee continues to work today. Lou shares his talent through community college courses, field trips, presentations and nationwide workshops and private instruction.”

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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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