From the Archives: Why Do Photographers Enter NANPA’s Showcase Competition?

Male Lion Attack on Giraffe, 2017 Showcase Judge’s Choice, Mammals © Michael Cohen

There are as many reasons to enter NANPA’s Showcase photo competition as there are photographers.  For some, winning Best in Show or Judge’s Choice serves as an endorsement of their skill, and can be added to their bio and marketing materials.  To others, recognition by the judges is a validation of their devotion to nature photography, a payoff for the years of effort they put into improving their skills.  And, for still others, selection of their photo is both a personal triumph as well as a challenge; applause for how far they’ve come and a challenge to continue getting better.

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How NANPA’s High School Scholarship Program Impacted Me: A Turning Point

Owl on alert in the forest.

Owl on alert in the forest.

Story and photos by Ashleigh Scully

I was a participant in the 2017 NANPA High School Scholarship Program and spent a week in the Great Smoky Mountains working with some incredible mentors, broadening my interests in photography and learning from some very talented kids my age as well. This program was a turning point for me–it showed me just how much I want to inspire the younger generation to learn more about conservation and photography. Working with and learning from 9 other students from across the country was not what I expected it to be. I had assumed we would all stick to the certain aspects of photography we were comfortable with, but instead we all motivated each other to try a little bit of everything. During that week in the Smokies, I got to experiment with flash and night photography and use some of the cameras, lenses, and flashes that Canon sent to as loaners. I now have knowledge of the settings to use for star and night photography, something that will definitely come in handy for me in the future. We also hiked out to a waterfall and attempted slow motion waterfall photos to capture the blur of the water. Using the loaner flashes, we also found little salamanders and toads and used white backgrounds for the “Meet Your Neighbors” technique that  Andrew Snyder, one of the mentors, taught us. Some of the kids were so in love with this new technique, it was all they did!

Do you know a talented young nature photographer? NANPA’s High School Scholarship Program is seeking 10 high school student photographers to attend a five-day field event where they can learn from the industry’s top shooters. Apply now for this immersive, hands-on education program to be held in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park July 6–11, 2020. Combining classroom and field-based instruction, students will have the chance to improve their nature photography skills, learn about NANPA, meet industry professionals, and gain an appreciation of the Smoky Mountains’ rich natural history. The NANPA Foundation funds this and other educational programs. January 31, 2020 is the last day to apply, so don’t wait. Apply now! This article was originally published in January, 2019.

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Showcase 2019 Winner Profile – David Armer

Showcase 2019, Best in Show, Birds: Rough-legged Hawk in Flight with Catch © David Armer.

Showcase 2019, Best in Show, Birds: Rough-legged Hawk in Flight with Catch © David R. Armer.

Bio:

I was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. In grade school, I used my Dad’s Kodak Brownie and started shooting anything and everything.  In middle school, my Graphic Arts teacher taught me black and white processing and printing. This was the beginning of my love for photography.

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Showcase 2019 Winner Profile – Betty Sederquist

Showcase 2019, Judges' Choice, Altered Reality: Painterly View of Tom Turkey © Betty Sederquist.

Showcase 2019, Judges’ Choice, Altered Reality: Painterly View of Tom Turkey © Betty Sederquist.

Bio:

Betty Sederquist, a resident of northern California, has been publishing her images in magazines, calendars and textbooks since the 1970s. Her first love is nature photography: wildlife and landscapes. Since 1999, she has led photo workshops and trips near and far. A former resident of Alaska, she has returned to the northland with other photographers almost every year since moving from the state in 1979. Another favorite destination is Africa; she has been to Tanzania four times. Other beloved destinations have included Iceland, Ecuador and Bhutan.

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Showcase 2019 Winner Profile – Jeff Vanuga

Showcase 2019, Judges' Choice, Scapes: White Dome Geyser under the Milky Way, Yellowstone, © Jeff Vanuga.

Showcase 2019, Judges’ Choice, Scapes: White Dome Geyser under the Milky Way, Yellowstone, © Jeff Vanuga.

Bio:

Jeff Vanuga is based in Dubois, Wyoming, and specializes in both advertising and editorial media. His work has been published worldwide in magazines and major advertising campaigns. He has won major international awards and leads tours for the largest photography tour company in the world, Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, and additional tours for National Geographic Expeditions, First Light Workshops, African Wildlife Foundation, Nature’s Best Magazine, Santa Fe Workshops and the Moab Photography Symposium. He is represented by Getty Images and the Nature Picture Library stock agencies.

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Showcase 2019 Winner Profile – Jackie Kramer

Showcase 2019, First Runner-up, Altered Reality: Dead Tide – Stolen Lives © Jackie Kramer.

Showcase 2019, First Runner-up, Altered Reality: Dead Tide – Stolen Lives © Jackie Kramer.

Bio:

Jackie Kramer resides in St. Augustine, FL, after living in Alaska for almost 30 years. She has been photographing the natural world, with an emphasis on flowers, since the age of 16. Jackie has earned awards from The International Garden Photographer of the Year (IGPOTY); from the Jacksonville Professional Photographers Guild (Best in Show in 2017 and 2018 and Competitor of the Year in 2017 and 2018), and by the Professional Photographers of America’s International Photographic Competition (Silver Medal in 2018). Jackie maintains an active Facebook group, Phlorography- Artistic Floral Photography, with over 5,000 passionate floral photographers from around the world. She is committed to enriching others through the support and relationships developed and fostered through this network.

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Showcase 2019 Winner Profile – James Zablotny

Showcase 2019 Top 100 winner: "Goldenrod Soldier Beetles," Owosso, Michigan © James Zablotny.

Showcase 2019 Top 100 winner: “Goldenrod Soldier Beetles,” Owosso, Michigan © James Zablotny.

Bio:

Jim Zablotny is an entomologist living in Fenton, Michigan and provides insect identifications and macro-photography for a government agency.  Jim earned an MSc in Zoology and doctorate in Entomology from Michigan State University.  While pursuing his college degrees, he also produced scientific and anatomical illustrations for several Zoology department faculty members at MSU.  He specializes in macro or close-up photography, but also incorporates the photography of birds and occasional wildlife images in his portfolio.

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Showcase 2019 Winner Profile – William Page Pully

Showcase 2019, First Runner Up, Birds: Eagle Battle, Darlington, Maryland © William Page Pully.

Showcase 2019, First Runner Up, Birds: Eagle Battle, Darlington, Maryland © William Page Pully.

Bio:

William Page Pully is an avid amateur photographer based in Aberdeen, MD and Belmar, NJ. He has been shooting wildlife and nature photography for about 5 years. He mostly shoots in the Mid-Atlantic area but has also traveled to many other states in the US to explore nature and wildlife.  He plans to begin selling his work in 2019 and donating the proceeds to nature-based charities.

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Showcase 2019 Winner Profile – Joshua Asel

Showcase 2019, Judges' Choice , Mammals: A Long-tailed Weasel Killed by a Vehicle, Highway 1, Bodega Bay, California © Joshua Asel.

Showcase 2019, Judges’ Choice , Mammals: A Long-tailed Weasel Killed by a Vehicle, Highway 1, Bodega Bay, California © Joshua Asel.

Bio:

Josh Asel started wildlife and conservation photography in 2012 and has transitioned into an award-winning photographer, Ethics Committee Member at NANPA, large carnivore tracker, author, and instructor. He founded Wild Expectations, is represented by Wildscreen, and has appeared on multiple judging panels. Josh’s publications include Defenders of Wildlife, Improve Photography, National Geographic Education, Alaska Airlines Magazine, and The Press Democrat, among others.

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Showcase 2019 Winner Profile – Jeff Maltzman

Showcase 2019, Best in Show, Scapes: Saguaro Cacti Reflected in a Small Pool, Bear Canyon, Tucson, Arizona, © Jeff Maltzman.

Bio:

Jeff Maltzman is an ophthalmologist and avid landscape/nature photographer based in Tucson, Arizona. While he enjoys world travel in the pursuit of nature’s wonder, he is particularly fond of exploring and photographing his ‘backyard’ of the southwestern US, one of the most beautiful places on Earth. His images have been published in Arizona Highways magazine as well as in their books and calendars.

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