2019 NANPA Mission Award: Kathy Adams Clark

Kathy Adams Clark, Photographer, by Jeff Rose

Kathy Adams Clark, Photographer, by Jeff Rose

Photographer, naturalist and teacher Kathy Adams Clark will receive NANPA’s Mission Award at the 2019 Nature Photography Summit and Trade Show, February 21-23 in Las Vegas, NV. The NANPA Mission Award (formerly NANPA Recognition Award) goes to someone who epitomizes NANPA’s principles. The selection criteria include promoting nature photography, giving back to the photo community, raising public awareness of “nature’s beauty and wonders,” and both adhering to and promoting NANPAs values and mission statement.

Based in the Houston metropolitan area, Kathy has been a professional nature photographer since 1995. Her photos have appeared in hundreds of paces including magazines, books, calendars and in the weekly “Nature” column in the Houston Chronicle, written by her husband, Gary Clark.

She teaches photography classes, leads workshops, and volunteers as a public speaker, always bringing messages about nature into her presentations. She helped write the NANPA Mission Statement, previously served as NANPA’s president (2007-8), on the board of directors, and on both the awards as well as the summit committees. Recently we had a chance to ask her a few questions

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Should Photographers Intervene in Nature?

Screen shot of The Times (UK) article about a film crew intervening in nature.

Screen shot of The Times (UK) article about a film crew intervening in nature.

If you saw an animal in the wild that appeared to be in distress, would you try to help? Would you report it to the authorities? Would you leave it alone, since it’s just nature being nature? As nature photographers, we are interested in conservation and generally love the animals we photograph. Is it our responsibility to let nature take its course, even if an animal dies? Is it our responsibility to save the animal? Or, does it depend on the specific situation?

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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 State of Photography as a Career

What is the state of photography today?  The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts have good news and bad news for photographers in general.

The BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook projects that the employment of photographers will decline by six percent over the next ten years.  However, that number masks some major variations in prospects that depend on the type of photography.  Demand for portrait and wedding photographers is projected to remain strong, but staff photographer positions, especially in the publishing world, will continue to decline. The Bureau projects that photographers employed by newspapers will drop by a stunning 34% over a decade.  On the other hand, projections show the ranks of free-lance and self-employed photographers increasing by 12%.

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From the President: Gordon Illg

The photographer at the end of the rainbow, Bandon Beach, Oregon.

The photographer at the end of the rainbow, Bandon Beach, Oregon.

This photo of a rainbow on the beach at Bandon, Oregon, is pretty much the perfect picture of me. My image is small enough to be totally unrecognizable, and it captures the way I feel about myself—the treasure at the end of the rainbow. Unenlightened photographers tend to see me as a distracting picture element, but that’s another story. One thing is certain. Putting a person at the end of the rainbow makes the image different, and making images look different may be important to you.

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Why Do Photographers Enter NANPA’s Showcase Competition?

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

There are as many reasons to enter Showcase 2019 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 to Chase and Shoot the Aurora

Aurora borealis over Turnagain Arm in Chugach National Forest, Alaska, in mid-March.

Aurora borealis over Turnagain Arm in Chugach National Forest, Alaska, in mid-March.

From the Editor:  Award-winning landscape and nature photographer Carl Johnson has been living in Alaska for almost 20 years and is an expert on shooting auroras.  On Friday, August 17th, at 2 PM EDT, he will present a NANPA Webinar, “Chasing & Photographing the Aurora Borealis. This webinar covers the science behind the aurora, the tools available to predict and plan for it (including websites and apps that provide real-time and forecasting information), tips on when and where to photograph it, and what gear and techniques to use. For more information or to sign up, click here.

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From the Archives — In Our Yard

Editor’s Note:  While spring 2018 is struggling to make its appearance through much of the United States, we can already look in our backyards and see the early signs that it’s on the way.  Our backyards are always one of the best places to look for flowers, birds, and occasionally, something larger.  This post by Amy Shutt appeared in 2014, and what she describes sounds like the ultimate back, front, and side yards for observing wildlife.

Story and Photography by Amy Shutt

Alstroemeria psittacina 'Parrot Lily'

Alstroemeria psittacina ‘Parrot Lily’ © Amy Shutt

 

We live on 7.5 acres of land in a little town in Louisiana. Although I’ve only been here for a few years, my husband, an ornithologist, has been living here for quite some time. It’s 95% woods. He gardens the area around the house exclusively for hummingbirds and the rest is untouched. Yep, we are the eccentric neighbors with the overgrown yard with signs designating the ditch in the front as a ‘Wildflower Area’ so the city won’t cut or spray.

I see swamp rabbits almost daily. We have deer…and deer ticks. I have heard foxes in the darkness just off the driveway in the woods. We have enjoyed listening to coyotes howling in unison. Barred owls belt out their crazy calls nightly. Prothonotary Warblers nest in boxes we make for them around the house and in the woods.  Point is, it’s pretty cool out here and we share this land with a lot of critters and plants.  Continue reading

What is the NANPA Foundation?

Story by Mary Jane Gibson, NANPA Foundation Vice President

February 21, 2015. San Diego, CA. NANPA's 19th Nature Photography Summit. The College Scholarship students, sponsored by the NANPA Foundation, gather on stage after presenting their multimedia production of the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge. The video was photographed and produced during the summit and donated to the refuge for educational purposes. © Mark A. Larson

February 21, 2015. San Diego, CA. NANPA’s 19th Nature Photography Summit. The College Scholarship students, sponsored by the NANPA Foundation, gather on stage after presenting their multimedia production of the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge. The video was photographed and produced during the summit and donated to the refuge for educational purposes. © Mark A. Larson

Whether new to NANPA or an original charter member, you probably have little understanding of the NANPA Foundation – what it does, why it exists, and why it is asking for money. Continue reading

Showcase Images

Showcase5

 

Each week www.nanpa.org highlights 7 images from the top 100 submissions of the NANPA Showcase competition. This week’s images are by: Jeff Vanuga, Tony Frank, Judith Malloch, Todd Reed, Curtis Gibbens, Wendy Kaveney, Grace Scalzo. Continue reading