From the Executive Director – Susan Day

Lifelong friendships have been made at NANPA Summits! Executive Director, Susan Day and 2019 Summit Program Chair, Kathy Adams Clark at a reception in Albuquerque at the 2009 Summit. Photo by Richard Day.

Lifelong friendships have been made at NANPA Summits! Executive Director, Susan Day and 2019 Summit Program Chair, Kathy Adams Clark at a reception in Albuquerque at the 2009 Summit. Photo by Richard Day.

NANPA Summits are much more than listening to speakers, viewing world-class, jaw-droppingly-awesome photography, and drooling over your next equipment purchase or photo workshop destination.  Lifelong friendships and connections have been made from talking to others during lunch, in the halls, or even waiting in restroom lines (I speak first-hand on the last one!)

The countdown to the 2019 Nature Photography Summit and Trade Show in Las Vegas, February 21-23 is on at NANPA HQ!   Online registrations for the full summit, one-day passes, Super Sessions, Portfolio Reviews and other tickets close February 4; but no worries if you miss that deadline, because you can still register onsite in Las Vegas.

NANPA turns 25 this year and plans are underway for birthday specials all year long!

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Five Reasons You Should Be at the Nature Photography Summit

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.

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5 Photography Resolutions for the New Year

Danae Wolfe shows how you can do "Macro on a Budget" in an upcoming NANPA webinar.

Danae Wolfe shows how you can do “Macro on a Budget” in an upcoming NANPA webinar.

Have you made your resolutions for 2019?  What will you be doing to grow as a photographer and improve the quality of your work?

We all can find ourselves in a rut.  Maybe you’re shooting the same subjects, in the same way, at the same places.  Maybe your inspiration or creativity feels tapped out.  Maybe you’ve hit a plateau and your photography isn’t improving like it used to.

January is a purely arbitrary time to reassess your photography, but it’s something we should all do every so often.  So, why not a set of New Year’s resolutions?

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From the President: Gordon Illg

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.

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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.

 

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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2019 NANPA Mission Award: Kathy Adams Clark

Kathy Adams Clark, Photographer, by Jeff Rose

Kathy Adams Clark, Photographer, by Jeff Rose

Photographer, naturalist and teacher Kathy Adams Clark will receive NANPA’s Mission Award at the 2019 Nature Photography Summit and Trade Show, February 21-23 in Las Vegas, NV. The NANPA Mission Award (formerly NANPA Recognition Award) goes to someone who epitomizes NANPA’s principles. The selection criteria include promoting nature photography, giving back to the photo community, raising public awareness of “nature’s beauty and wonders,” and both adhering to and promoting NANPAs values and mission statement.

Based in the Houston metropolitan area, Kathy has been a professional nature photographer since 1995. Her photos have appeared in hundreds of paces including magazines, books, calendars and in the weekly “Nature” column in the Houston Chronicle, written by her husband, Gary Clark.

She teaches photography classes, leads workshops, and volunteers as a public speaker, always bringing messages about nature into her presentations. She helped write the NANPA Mission Statement, previously served as NANPA’s president (2007-8), on the board of directors, and on both the awards as well as the summit committees. Recently we had a chance to ask her a few questions

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2019 NANPA Lifetime Achievement Award: George Lepp

George D. Lepp

George D. Lepp

Photographer, educator, writer and mentor George D. Lepp will receive NANPA’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 Nature Photography Summit and Trade Show, February 21-23 in Las Vegas, NV.

To nature photographers and his long-time fans, Lepp needs no introduction.  As the awards committee noted, he is “one of North America’s best-known contemporary outdoor and nature photographers. His passions for natural beauty, technical precision, cutting-edge technology, and environmental responsibility are revealed in his beautiful and compelling photographic images. He is also widely recognized for his unique dedication to sharing his photographic and biological knowledge with other photographers through his seminars and writing. In both realms, George Lepp is a leader in the rapidly advancing field of digital imaging.”

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From the President: Gordon Illg

Shooting Elephant Rock under a full moon.

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.

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The State of Photography as a Career

What is the state of photography today?  The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts have good news and bad news for photographers in general.

The BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook projects that the employment of photographers will decline by six percent over the next ten years.  However, that number masks some major variations in prospects that depend on the type of photography.  Demand for portrait and wedding photographers is projected to remain strong, but staff photographer positions, especially in the publishing world, will continue to decline. The Bureau projects that photographers employed by newspapers will drop by a stunning 34% over a decade.  On the other hand, projections show the ranks of free-lance and self-employed photographers increasing by 12%.

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