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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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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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.

 

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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Jaguars in the Pantanal with Morgan Heim and Michele Westmoreland

You are floating quietly on a river in the dawn light. A chorus of birds fills the air, and then on silent paw, a jaguar, her pattern of gold and black spots, emerges from the jungle across from your boat. Your instinct says to take as many photos as you can before she disappears. But she doesn’t disappear. She has come to the river to swim, hunt, and give her young some playtime. You don’t have to absorb it all in a second. You can revel at the moments, be present, and come away with photos and a wildlife experience absolutely unforgettable in memory and reality.

I invite you to join me on this Visionary Wild adventure to Brazil’s Pantanal, where we are so assured to see jaguars that we designed the trip specifically around seeing these majestic big cats. You will get to see tons of other wildlife as well. The Pantanal is one of the most diverse, densely populated (in terms of animals), wildlife accessible destinations on the planet. Expect to see animals including hyacinth macaws, toucans and ocelots — occupants of the largest inland wetland in the world.

We’ve designed to trip to be intimate — only six slots per trip. That’s a one to three ration for instructor to attendee. You have two opportunities to get on board. I will be leading one trip with Visionary Wild founder Justin Black in early August, followed immediately by a second trip with the extraordinarily talented Michele Westmorland, another iLCP senior fellow. Both trips promise to be grand adventures! Sign up soon. Slots are filling up fast.

Dates: August 9-18 with Morgan Heim and Justin Black
August 18-27 with Morgan Heim and Michele Westmorland

From the Executive Director- Susan Day

Susan Day- NANPA Executive Director

 

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.

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“Bosque Wildlife” at Bosque del Apache NWR with Sandy Zelasko and 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 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.

From the Executive Director- Susan Day

Susan Day- NANPA Executive Director

 

A few years ago, NANPA adopted the tagline, “Connecting the Nature Photography Community,” and as I drafted this month’s article I thought about the many “connection” opportunities available within NANPA. Here are just a few:

Based on feedback from surveys and comments from you, NANPA developed a new meeting format for off-summit years. You asked for less time in meeting rooms and more time outside to photograph and hang out with fellow photographers. You asked for a less expensive venue in a gorgeous location with economical lodging options. NANPA listened — and registration opened recently for our 2018 Jackson Nature Photography Celebration. Instead of being in a giant hotel/convention center, you’ll pick your own lodging (we negotiated some great rates in several hotels—plus you’ll find plenty of campgrounds nearby.)  We will meet from May 20-22, 2018 at the Center for the Arts in Jackson, Wyoming to learn, share, connect, and celebrate! Each day will follow a different theme—the State and Future of Photography and Yellowstone’s Ecosystem—and we’ll celebrate nature and photography at keynote presentations, educational sessions, Lightning Talks, a Photo Gallery Crawl, and a new vendor format where you can check out and test equipment outside. Our keynote speakers are Rick Sammon, Henry Holdsworth, Dan Cox, and Geoff York who will inspire us to stretch our creativity. Continue reading