NANPA Weekly Wow: April 24-30

© Amy Marques - "Above the Sea Diorama, Misc FL East Coast Beaches"

© Amy Marques – “Above the Sea Diorama, Misc FL East Coast Beaches”

Each week www.nanpa.org highlights 7 images from the top 100 submissions of the 2017 NANPA Showcase competition. This week’s images are by:

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Badlands National Park

Story and Photography by Irene Hinke-Sacilotto

Hikers at Sunset © Irene Hinke-Sacilotto

A Scenic and Wildlife Photography Paradise

Badlands National Park is a terrific destination for landscape and wildlife photographers. It is the location of my June 2017 photo workshop, co-lead by Sandy Zelasko.   The park is a convenient hour drive east from Rapid City on Interstate 90. North of the Pinnacles Entrance lies the town of Wall where you can find accommodations and other amenities. Near Cedar Pass, at the eastern end of the park, there are campgrounds, cabins, and a few other places to overnight. Continue reading

NATURE’S VIEW: Walking with my telephoto zoom on a backlit type of day

Story and photography by Jim Clark

Like most nature photography instructors, I arrive several days prior to a workshop to scout the area. I check on the condition of the sites where I will be taking my students and search for new ones as well. I take the time to see how the light illuminates a scene at different times of day and determine the best perspective and time for my students to photograph there. These days also afford me time to photograph on my own and to reconnect with and savor nature.

On scouting trips before my workshops along Virginia’s eastern shore, I make time to walk the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge’s wildlife loop drive. The drive is closed to vehicles until after 3 p.m., making it a great opportunity to get my daily steps in while exploring the refuge without worrying about traffic.

The loop is a perfect 3.1 miles in length and winds through major habitat types of the refuge. With a few spur trails leading off from the main loop, there is always a new and different route to explore. Whether I hike the loop in the morning or afternoon, I’m going to find something to photograph — or better yet, experience.

Winged Sumac Leaves Backlit 11162016 Chincoteague NWR VA (c) Jim Clark_6

Backlit winged sumac leaves, Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia. © Jim Clark

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The Black and White Composition

An excerpt from The Photographer’s Black and White Handbook: Making and Processing Stunning Digital Black and White Photos by Harold Davis, published by The Monacelli Press, 2017.

BW cover webPhotography is applied design, and according to classical design theory the principal building blocks of two-dimensional design are:

  • Making the best use of both external and internal boundaries
  • Acknowledging and working with the underlying shape in the image
  • Constructing and depicting exciting and dynamic forms

As opposed to color photography, the boundaries in a photo are not obscured by an attractive color palette that can distract the viewer’s eye. This means that getting your composition right is even more important with black and white photography than with color. Continue reading

Dos and Don’ts for Aviation Photography

by Alton K. Marsh

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The author photographed this aerial landscape near Las Vegas from a reasonably clean airliner window. © Alton Marsh

Taking air-to-ground photos has a place in nature photography as do drones and remotely operated cameras. However, should you want to expand your horizons, this article covers some of the Dos and Don’ts of photographing aircraft, air-to-air in particular, which can be more complicated.

There’s no shortage of aerial artists spotting graphic designs and colors on the ground. Adobe Photoshop guru Julieanne Kost spent several years asking for the window seat on her many travels. The result was her beautiful and well-received 2006 book Window Seat: The Art of Digital Photography and Creative Thinking. There’s a Professional Aerial Photographer’s Association where business and professional photographers turn their attention to the beauty they are seeing each year and compete for prizes.

Other artists found in the back of an aircraft, usually with the door removed or a window taped open, take photos of actual aircraft. Well-known “critter” photographer Moose Peterson has in recent years branched into this field.

I was an aviation writer for 25 years at the AOPA Pilot, the monthly membership magazine of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Part of my job was to assist the photographer on the ground and again in the air by using my piloting skills to fly 35 feet from another plane carrying the photographer, enabling him/her to capture air-to-air photos. Continue reading

FIELD TECHNIQUE: Let the sun shine in

Story and photography by F.M. Kearney

Years ago, I opened a box of Kodacolor II film and removed a thin, folded strip of paper. It contained a set of illustrated instructions for basic photography. One illustration, in particular, still sticks out in my mind. It was a photographer standing with his back to the sun while taking a picture of a model.

Indeed, conventional wisdom tells us to always keep the sun at our backs when taking a picture. This is a pretty good rule to follow for most subjects — especially if you don’t want important details lost in deep shadows. Always following conventional wisdom, however, will usually result in conventional-looking photographs. For a change of pace, why not try shooting directly toward the sun on a bright sunny day.

Including the sun in landscape photos is nothing new. But, aside from a few cameos, the sun rarely makes an appearance in photos of flowers. This could be due to a simple matter of logistics. It’s not that easy to compose the sun in the same shot with a subject that’s low to the ground. It’s much easier if you’re shooting at dawn or dusk when the sun is low on the horizon. Personally, I prefer the morning when the ambient light is rising instead of dropping.

Sun rising behind large-cup daffodils (Narcissus) "Manon Lescaut" Amaryllidaceae New York Botanical Garden Bronx, NY

© F.M. Kearney

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NATIONAL PARKS: How do national monuments differ?

Story and photography by Jerry Ginsberg

President Theodore Roosevelt was the original maverick. When he saw a problem, he found a solution, even if he had to bend the rules a bit to create one.

As far back as 1906, this activist president was faced with a need to protect the immense volcanic plug called Devil’s Tower in eastern Wyoming. Characteristically forging his own path, he applied the new Antiquities Act in an unorthodox fashion to create America’s very first national monument. Before he was done, Roosevelt signed 18 national monuments into existence.

Congress had intended the Antiquities Act to protect “objects of historic and scientific interest.” In essence, it was meant to prohibit pot hunters from stripping ancient Native American sites of their treasures. Still, after over a century of precedent, Roosevelt’s creative application of the act has now become settled law, and its continued use is unlikely to be altered going forward.

Certainly not all such monuments come into being in this dramatic fashion. Many wind their way through a bureaucratic process that can take years.

Once a monument is established, it becomes a unit of the National Park Service. Some monuments are administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). No matter how they come into being or who administers them, national monuments do not have national park status, facilities or the number of visitors that frequent national parks.

Of the approximately 130 national monuments presently in existence, 30 have been established in this young century alone. Continue reading

Winter duck fix – reflections on Barnegat Lighthouse, NJ

Story and photography by Martin Sneary

Harlequin Duck, adults calling © Martin Sneary

Barnegat Lighthouse is one of those fabled winter bird photography destinations on the New Jersey shore. A rocky jetty (think wall of large boulders) runs SE into the Atlantic Ocean for just under 1 mile, with a sandy shore to one side, and the Barnegat Inlet/Atlantic Ocean to the other. This location affords close views of various sea duck that overwinter in the area, perhaps most highly sought after being Harlequin, closely followed by the globally threatened Long-tailed Duck, also known as Oldsquaw. Other species frequently seen on the seaward side are Loons, Scoters and Mergansers, while in the tidal pools that form on the inshore side of the jetty you can find the odd shorebird, including Purple Sandpiper, Turnstone and Black-bellied Plover. Continue reading

And the winners are…

A bald eagle in small community burning trash pit, Adak, Aleutian Islands, Alaska--Showcase 2017 Birds Best of Show

A bald eagle in small community burning trash pit, Adak, Aleutian Islands, Alaska–Showcase 2017
Best of Show- Birds © Mark Kelley

NANPA is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 NANPA Showcase Competition. Continue reading

Survey on Next Register of Copyrights

By Jane Halperin and Sean Fitzgerald

Columns and U.S. Flag at U.S. Supreme Court, Washington D.C. USA.

Columns and U.S. Flag, Washington D.C. USA.

As most of you already know, the United States Copyright Office, which is a part of the Library of Congress, is the official U.S. government body that maintains records of copyright registration in the U. S. and, as a service unit of the Library of Congress, provides copyright policy advice to Congress. Continue reading