Returning to Badlands National Park

Yellow Mounds area in Badlands National Park, SD.

Yellow Mounds area in Badlands National Park, SD.

Story and Photos by Jerry Ginsberg

In my many columns for NANPA, I have never repeated a particular location. Until now. As a result of events described below, it seems fitting to add a new insight on a familiar location.

Being a National Park Artist in Residence

Last year, I had the privilege of being chosen by Badlands National Park in South Dakota as their Artist in Residence for the fall season. Many units of the National Park Service offer these opportunities, which appear on https://www.nps.gov/subjects/arts/air.htm. In addition to National Parks, many other units (National Monuments, Scenic Trails, Historical Parks, Battlefields and more) in the system offer such opportunities. The process is very competitive with many artists across a wide spectrum of disciplines—visual, writing, performance, etc.—submitting applications. And the actual judging criteria remains unknowable.

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Has Instagram Changed Your Photography? Part 2

@nanpapix on Instagram

Are you following @nanpapix on Instagram?

A while back, we asked a cross section of NANPA members whether Instagram and its social media cousins had changed anything about their nature photograph and, if so, how.  Did it change their approach to photography, to sharing images, to marketing their business?  Did it change the type of images they created or the way they processed images?  We’ll continue posting the answers in a series of blogs over the next few weeks.

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A Likeness of Lichen: Photographing and Appreciating Tiny Organisms

The rocks along the Mesa Trail in Boulder, Colorado are covered in the most incredibly colorful and uniquely shaped lichen.

The rocks along the Mesa Trail in Boulder, Colorado are covered in the most incredibly colorful and uniquely shaped lichen. All you have to do is stop and stoop down to them. This shows the bright yellow crustose lichen, Pleopsidium spp. © Haley R. Pope (TerraLens Photography LLC).

Dewdrops quivered under my breath as I knelt down, my face but a couple inches away. Like sapphires, emeralds, and canary diamond they glistened, reflecting the vibrant organisms beneath. Like tiny, round mirrors, or tiny magnifying glasses, each micro detail was brought to prominence. Upon closer inspection, even my face, upside down, reflected back at me in as many copies as there were dewdrops. They jiggled and jostled, yet resisted the force of my breath and persisted in perfect cupola-shapes held together by cohesion.

As mesmerizing as the water drops were, I was here to photograph what lay beneath the transparent molecules. I drew a breath and blew. The water bubbles rolled away and revealed my intended subject. Tortuous as brain tissue, crusty as a scab, yet as significant as any other organism: lichen.

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The Color of Winter: Techniques to Enhance Winter Photos

The Pool frozen over at sunrise Central Park New York, NY

The Pool frozen over at sunrise, Central Park, New York, NY (HDR compilation of 5 images).

Story & photography by F.M. Kearney

That time is quickly approaching. That time of year when many photographers will pack away their gear and patiently wait for the first colorful blooms next spring. Yet, winter isn’t completely devoid of color, as some might assume. In fact, if you carefully plan what you shoot and when you shoot, you may be surprised at the amount of color you can coax out of this often-overlooked season.

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Great Photography Spots in Vermillion Cliffs National Monument

Fantastic lunar landscape of the Wave, in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, located in both Utah and Arizona.

Fantastic lunar landscape of the Wave, in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, located in both Utah and Arizona.

Story & Photography by Jerry Ginsberg

Exploring the Southwest

Although the four states that comprise the great Southwest (New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah) contain a combined total of thirteen national parks, this vast area has so much spectacular natural beauty that all of it could not possibly be contained within these parks.

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Has Instagram Changed Your Photography?

@nanpapix on Instagram

Are you following @nanpapix on Instagram?

We recently asked a cross section of NANPA members whether Instagram and its social media cousins had changed anything about their nature photograph and, if so, how.  Did it change their approach to photography, to sharing images, to marketing their business?  Did it change the type of images they created or the way they processed images?  We’ll be posting the answers in a series of blogs over the next few weeks.

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The Autumn Show: Beyond “Trees & Leaves”

Fall foliage reflecting in lake, Twin Lakes area, New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY. f/9.5 @ 70mm, 5-image HDR compilation.

Fall foliage reflecting in lake, Twin Lakes area, New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY. f/9.5 @ 70mm, 5-image HDR compilation.

Story & Photography by F.M. Kearney

The final curtain is about to rise. A cast of billions is in place. Throughout their entire performance, they’ve all been restricted to the same regulation green outfits. For their finale, they now have a chance to break free – a chance to dazzle onlookers with stunning new yellow, red and orange wardrobes. A few glory-hounds will attempt to upstage the others with magnificent, multi-colored garb. Sit back and relax… The Autumn Show is about to begin.

I’m sure most nature photographers look forward to this show every year. But, it can be a challenge to come up with something different than the usual “trees and leaves” photo. Try looking for compositions beyond the obvious – compositions where the subject isn’t immediately evident.

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Arches National Park

Elegant and graceful, world-famous Delicate Arch dominates the scene in Arches National Park, Utah.

Story & Photography by Jerry Ginsberg

High on the list of the most photogenic landscapes anywhere is the Beehive State, Utah. With five spectacular national parks, each one special in its own right, Utah is simply not to be missed.

While in the past, I have written tips for a photo trip to Moab, Utah, Arches National Park is such a singularly important place for nature photography that adding an article focused specifically about it seems both necessary and worthwhile.

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NANPA Regional Event Preview – Upper Peninsula, Michigan

The shores of Red Jack Lake sare ablaze with autumnal color, Hiawatha National Forest, Alger County, Michigan. © Hank Erdmann

The shores of Red Jack Lake are ablaze with autumnal color, Hiawatha National Forest, Alger County, Michigan. © Hank Erdmann

Photographers choose workshops and photo trips months, sometimes years, in advance.  Whether you already have a fabulous fall photo experience lined up for this autumn or never got around to planning one, it’s not too early to start thinking about fall 2019.  Next October, Hank Erdmann and Richard Day will be leading a NANPA Regional Event in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  In this article, Hank reveals his thoughts about fall photography, why he loves autumn in the upper Midwest, and the photographic opportunities that come with the changing colors of leaves.  He also includes tips that will help you find and take advantage of the fall photo possibilities in your region.  Details about this NANPA Regional Event, including costs, registration and other information are posted on the NANPA website, at http://www.nanpa.org/event/nanpa-regional-workshop-up-mi/ .

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The Wonders of Water Plants

Water lily with Cokin diffractor filter effect.

Water lily with Cokin diffractor filter effect.

 

Story and Photography by F.M. Kearney

One subject I always look forward to photographing during the summer months is the water lily. Native to the temperate and tropical parts of the world, there are over 50 species of these freshwater plants. However, it isn’t always easy to shoot them creatively. Unless you have access to a natural lake or pond (and are willing to get very wet), you will most likely have to shoot from the sidelines of a reflecting pool in a local park or botanical garden. A long lens will allow you to zoom in for a tight close-up, but you certainly won’t have any options to create those dramatic macro or wide-angle perspectives that are commonly used on other types of more accessible flowers.

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