If you’re not a winter person, it’s probably been a few months since you’ve taken a single photo. But, you’re in luck. Spring is just around the corner, and it won’t be long before blooms of daffodils, tulips and cherry blossoms begin dotting the landscape. But, instead of settling for the same old photos this year, why not try something a little different?
I recently began experimenting with a program called Topaz Impression. I briefly touched on this program in my article, “The Final Frames,” in the last installment of eNEWS last year. Topaz (topazlabs.com) makes over a dozen programs that can really add a unique flair to your images, but when it comes to nature photography, Impression is probably the most useful. Taking its name from the impressionistic-style of painting that emerged in France in the mid-19th century, this program can transform an ordinary-looking photo into a stunning work of art.
As you age, your ability to walk around is limited, so I have started using my vehicle as photography blind. Occasionally I get out of the car, use the tripod, and hike to a hot spot, but generally, I’m shooting photos from the car especially if I’m on a driving trail such as a loop road.
Hello! As 2017 comes to an end, I have been reflecting on all that happened in NANPA over the last 12 months. As I jotted down highlights, it occurred to me that you also might like to see an overview of NANPA’s past year.
2017 Snapshot of NANPA by the Numbers
1 – 2017 Nature Photography Summit in Jacksonville, FL —attended by nearly 650 members, speakers, and vendors.
5 – Regional Events – Adirondacks, NY; Bosque del Apache, NM; Chincoteague, VA: Southern Illinois; and Yellowstone, MT for spring wildlife. Total of 100 attendees and 11 leaders.
“It’s the music that does it for me,” laughs Kika Tuff, a professional photographer and filmmaker who first connected with NANPA during the 2015 college scholars program. “Photos can be an incredibly powerful storytelling tool, but there is something about combining imagery and music that really makes films life-changing.
Before the NANPA college scholars program, Kika had considered photography a hobby, her favorite hobby, and science was going to be her career. After the program, however, everything about her career goals shifted. The college scholars program allowed Kika to meet young people with similar interests, to learn about film and photography as conservation tools, and to engage with photographers dedicating their lives and careers to storytelling. She says the experience totally changed her life.
Situated along the Rio Grande River, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge covers more than 57,000 acres and is a major wintering ground for cranes and waterfowl. Refuge personnel manage the water levels of its wetlands and impoundments to simulate what was once the seasonal flow of water from the Rio Grande before the river was damned and the flow altered. To feed the huge number of birds visiting the refuge each year, nearby fields are planted with corn, winter wheat, millet, and other grains. Loop roads transect the refuge marshes and fields and provide prime sites for wildlife viewing and photography. Species that may be seen include shovelers, buffleheads, pintails, teal and other ducks; bald and golden eagles; kestrels and other hawks; turkey; meadowlarks; quail; roadrunners; coyotes; mule deer; and more. In November, large flocks of snow geese and sandhill cranes will be present. At night to escape predators, the birds flock to the marshes and shallow pools. With dawn, the snow geese and other waterfowl rise in mass from the wetlands and sweep overhead on their way to nearby fields to feed. Each day we will spend the early morning and late afternoon hours at the refuge photographing birds and many other species of wildlife which are present at the sanctuary.
jon holloway is a professional photographer who concentrates on nature and wildlife subjects, along with other types of work. jon has been a photographer for over twenty years, and has been a member of the Art Department faculty at Lander University in Greenwood, South Carolina for the last seven years. jon serves on the NANPA Board of Directors, and has been involved with the organization since its earliest days. He believes in the power of the image to inspire thought and promote awareness of global issues pertaining to us all. His work has been nationally and internationally exhibited, and collected by private and corporate clients, museums, and galleries.
After earning an undergraduate degree in Biology, jon worked on a ranch in Montana, and got to know California photographer William Neill during one of Neill’s workshops. During the summer of 1993, jon biked across America, and that’s when he really fell in love with nature photography. Afterward, he decided to pursue a photography degree at the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) at the main Savannah, Georgia campus. jon points out that this was a great experience, and was “a great time for me to really explore photography.”