Bosque del Apache NWR with Irene Hinke-Sacilotto

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 December, 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 on the refuge. Includes orientation, instruction in the field, and image review. Limited to 6 participants.

Raptors & Bird in Denver with Cheryl Opperman

Join Denver Audubon, HawkQuest, and award-winning photographer Cheryl Opperman to master bird photography in this unique photo workshop that supports wildlife conservation and education. Photograph 10 different species in a variety of settings and attend photography classes daily. Small class size with individual critique sessions included.

What you will learn:

How to evaluate and modify light for bird photography including the use of flash when appropriate
The best camera settings to stop or intentionally blur action, ensure adequate depth of field, and tips to speed your response time so you are always ready to capture the action.
In depth exposure selection including the exposure triangle, best exposure modes for different lighting situations, and evaluating the histogram.
Customizable settings most useful in bird photography
Choosing effective compositions that direct your viewer through the image and eliminate distractions.
Anticipating bird behavior
Finding and photographing birds in the wild
Digital processing techniques to optimize your images.

Equipment needed (a more detailed list will be provided after sign-up):

Camera body with mostly telephoto lenses (Anything from 200mm to 600mm will work well as the birds are very close)
Tripod with panning head
Laptop computer with image processing software

Galapagos with Kevin Loughlin & Chas Glatzer

Kevin Loughlin has led more than 30 workshops to the Galapagos Islands since 2001. Chas Glatzer is an award winning photographer and a Canon Explorer of Light who’s work has long been admired and his teaching style is well known and praised by all who learn from him.

We will live aboard a spacious, deluxe yacht and travel overnight in order to be at our destination by dawn. This will allow us to be the first people on each island and stay later than any other company each day. We will be able to take our time to enjoy the intimacy of the photographic opportunities with the wildlife and enjoy the various lighting situations as the day progresses.

All of our tours are planned for the best time of year (June through October) for the most wildlife activity. Birds in flight, giant tortoises basking in primordial ooze, incredible volcanic scenery… we will take our time and enjoy it all.

Romania with Art Wolfe

There is nothing like experiencing a place for the first time. I have traveled all over Western Europe, but the closest I have been to the southeastern nations is Greece and Turkey. Now I am traveling to the native land of my good friend and long time assistant, Gavriel Jecan. Other than as the home to vampires, gymnasts and despots, Romania remains unknown to most.

We will travel to Gavriel’s ancient hometown of Brasov, nestled in the Carpathian Alps. We will be traveling just as the untouched forests in the Carpathians are turning golden, which will lend a great backdrop to the very traditional 12th century villages we will be passing through.

We will visit several orthodox monasteries, famous for their medieval murals, and we will engage the diverse peoples, Roma, ethnic Hungarian and German, as well as Romanian, all along the way. With Gavriel as our guide it will be like visiting a good friend, not like traveling with a standard tour guide. It is a trip I am eagerly awaiting.

Galapagos with Kevin Loughlin & Lisa Langell

Kevin Loughlin has led more than 30 workshops to the Galapagos Islands since 2001. Lisa Langell is an award winning photographer known for her unique eye and artistic style.

We will live aboard a spacious, deluxe yacht and travel overnight in order to be at our destination by dawn. This will allow us to be the first people on each island and stay later than any other company each day. We will be able to take our time to enjoy the intimacy of the photographic opportunities with the wildlife and enjoy the various lighting situations as the day progresses.

All of our tours are planned for the best time of year (June through October) for the most wildlife activity. Birds in flight, giant tortoises basking in primordial ooze, incredible volcanic scenery… we will take our time and enjoy it all.

From Lemons to Lemonade in Olympic National Park

Small waterfall in a creek in Olympic National Park.

Small waterfall in a creek in Olympic National Park.

Story & photos by John Pedersen

Sometimes we just have to make lemonade from lemons. We don’t control the weather, the sun or clouds, or even the subjects we like to shoot. There are those occasional days when we show up on location and the variables beyond our control just don’t seem to want to cooperate. So, what do we do? Turn around and go home and wait for better conditions? No! We stay, adjust our expectations and dig into our bag of photographic skills to make the best of the situation, making the best lemonade we can from the lemons that are given to us.

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NANPA’s Birthday: 25 Years of Leadership in Nature Photography

NANPA's year-long 25th birthday celebrations kicked off at the Nature Photography Summit.

NANPA’s year-long 25th birthday celebrations kicked off at the Nature Photography Summit.

The world has changed a lot in the twenty-five years since NANPA was formed.  Back in 1994, the first commercially-successful web browser, Netscape Navigator, was released.  “Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web” was renamed Yahoo.  Google was four years away and Facebook wouldn’t launch until 2004.  If you had internet access, it was probably dial-up at 56kbps through Compuserv or AOL. Photoshop 3.0 had just come out and introduced layers.  Microsoft Windows was new but your Pentium computer probably ran MS-DOS and had 4 MB RAM. Mobile phones didn’t have cameras and certainly weren’t smart.

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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.  Even though it’s early spring now, it’s not too soon to start thinking about fall.  In October, Hank Erdmann and Richard Day will be leading a NANPA Regional Event in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  In this article, first published last September, 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/ . Places are filling up fast, so reserve your spot now!

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After Summit, What’s Next for NANPA Members?

George Lepp reflecting on his career in a keynote at the 2019 Nature Photography Summit.

George Lepp reflecting on his career in a keynote at the 2019 Nature Photography Summit.

Last month’s Nature Photography Summit is over.  Images from the trip have been processed.  Gear and clothes have been cleaned and suitcases put away.  Fortunately, there’s always something exciting we can look forward to.  So, what’s next on NANPA’s hit parade?

Celebration

At the Summit, NANPA announced that the next Nature Photography Celebration will be in Asheville, NC, April 19 – 22, 2020.  The previous Celebration, in Jackson, WY, in 2018, featured location shoots, workshops, informative presentations, gear demonstrations and much more.  Circle the dates on your calendar. More information will be coming.

NANPA celebrates Nature Photography Day on June 15th with a variety of events, from a photo contest to local workshops.  This annual event encourages people to explore with a camera the natural world around them, whether that’s their own backyard, a local stream or a national park.  Nature Photography Day promotes the enjoyment of nature photography and shows a wider public all over the world how images can be used to advance the conservation and protection of plants, wildlife and landscapes close to home and far away.  Stay tuned for more information.

Competition

This year’s Showcase Competition kicks off August 1st.  Exclusively for NANPA members, Showcase is your opportunity to win prizes, get your photos featured on NANPA’s website, blog and printed in Expressions, NANPA’s annual publication.  You can see the top 250 images from last year’s competition, browse back issues of Expressions, or order your copy of this year’s Expressions.  Get inspired and get out there shooting!

Education

Throughout the year, NANPA offers several Regional Events, two- to four-day field tours led by outstanding photographers with intimate knowledge of the area and photographic opportunities.  Attendance is limited.  The June astrophotography in Arches National Park workshop is already sold out but you can still register for October’s workshop in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

NANPA also hosts a webinar series, open to members.  The next webinar, VisionQuest Photography presented by Shane McDermott, will be on March 29th.  Registration is free.  You can also visit the webinar archives and view past recordings that cover a wide array of subjects.  Have a nature photography topic you’re passionate about?  Maybe you should contact us  to present a future webinar!

Advocacy

NANPA’s Ethics Committee recently released guide to Ethical Field Practices.  You can download a pdf of the guidelines or request cards pre-printed with the guidelines.  In addition to helping us ensure we follow the best ethical practices, these documents make great handouts for camera clubs, Meetup groups and at other opportunities to spread the word about ethical nature photography.  NANPA also has statements on Access to Public Lands and Truth in Captioning.

NANPA’s Conservation Committee has been busy, too.  They recently launched the NANPA Citizen Science initiative, a database of science and conservation projects that welcome and can use the help of a nature photographer.  Check it out.  You, too, could be a citizen scientist!  Know of a local citizen science project?  Let us know so we can add it to the database.  Coming soon is a Conservation Handbook.

Social

NANPA sponsors a number of Meetup groups which bring people in the same area together to photograph nature.  Check for one in your area and follow NANPA on the social media platforms of your choice.

NANPA Facebook Page 

NANPA Facebook Group

NANPA on Instagram

NANPA on Twitter

As you can see, there’s always a lot going on at NANPA, and we haven’t even scratched the surface of NANPA’s member benefits.  Are you taking advantage of all NANPA has to offer?  One way to be sure is to check the New Member Resource Center, for an up-to-date listing of all the benefits and opportunities that come with your NANPA membership.

 

The Business of Photography: A Millennial’s Thoughts on Online Video Courses

Filmmaker Peter Hoffman on assignment in California.

A great online course offers something bigger than technical knowledge: it offers time hanging out with YOU. It offers the chance to experience your world, to join you in the field, to see, first-hand, your unique approach to the photography process. Here, filmmaker Peter Hoffman is on assignment in California.

Story and photos by Kika Tuff

The world of online education is a new frontier for nature photographers and one that can be quite lucrative. But making money isn’t as simple as building an amazing course and setting it free on the internet. Plenty of thoughtful, well-designed courses go undiscovered every day.

So, before you invest your time and energy into building a course, I wanted to offer some ideas on how to ensure you don’t get lost in the ocean of internet content.

First: know what you offer.

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