Travel has returned!

Two brown bear cubs play in a field of grass and flowers just outside the lodge where I stayed in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska. © Dawn WIlson
Two brown bear cubs play just outside the lodge where I stayed in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska. © Dawn Wilson

By Dawn Wilson, NANPA President

It had been a long year without being able to fly to some of my favorite locations.

I’ll be honest; I still traveled. I couldn’t help myself, but I did it via my truck and camped whenever I could to stay as safe as possible.

But not being able to fly places meant I couldn’t get to one of my favorite spots, Alaska.

Yes, Alaska is a big place, as big as the lower 48 if you overlay a proportionate map of Alaska over the contiguous 48 states. There are a lot of spots to visit in Alaska and one of the most special is Lake Clark National Park and Preserve.

Last year marked my first year since 2010 that I had not visited Alaska, so I was extra eager to get back. My workshop group was as well (thank you, guys and gal; you know who you are). We had a fantastic trip, and the bear photography was some of the best I had experienced.

A young brown bear pulls up a fresh clam in the mud flats along Cook Inlet, Alaska. © Dawn Wilson
A young brown bear pulls up a fresh clam in the mud flats along Cook Inlet, Alaska. © Dawn Wilson

I hope all of our members are starting to venture out as safely as possible and enjoying our beautiful natural spaces again

Showcase opens soon!

Do you have your photos ready?

NANPA’s annual Showcase photo competition opens on August 1, 2021. This popular contest for NANPA members offers an opportunity to see how your images stack up against other NANPA members and offers $6000 in prize money. In addition to prizes for the top 24 winners, the top 100 and top 250 winners get recognition as well.

This year there are six categories: altered reality, birds, conservation, macro/micro/all other wildlife, mammals and scapes. With so many category options, there is a spot for a wide range of photographs . And entries in any category can also be captured using non-traditional tools, like drones, cell phones, trail cams, etc. Be sure to mention this source in your caption .

An aerial image of a glacial river entering the water of Cook Inlet near Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska. First runner-up in the NANPA Showcase scapes category, 2019. © Dawn Wilson
An aerial image of a glacial river entering the water of Cook Inlet near Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska. First runner-up in the NANPA Showcase scapes category, 2019. © Dawn Wilson

The Showcase Jury Panel also reflects the tremendous talent within NANPA. This year’s panel includes Darrell Gulin, Morgan Heim, Charles Needle, Clay Bolt, Alison M. Jones and Dave Showalter. This well-rounded panel with diverse backgrounds and more than 150 years of experience is sure to have a great eye for beautiful photographs but a hard time picking the winning images from our talented members.

For more information about entering photo contests, download the free NANPA handbook and read this blog post by Frank Gallagher, NANPA Blog Coordinator, which details the fine print of photo contest rules.

Photo of two sandhill cranes facing each other and standing on a body of water in golden light. Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge offers some of the best bird photography opportunities in the United States. These two sandhill cranes are just a couple of the thousands that spend the winter in this southern New Mexico refuge along with thousands of snow geese and ducks. © Dawn Wilson
Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge offers some of the best bird photography opportunities in the United States. These two sandhill cranes are just a couple of the thousands that spend the winter in this southern New Mexico refuge along with thousands of snow geese and ducks. © Dawn Wilson

Join a Regional Event

Travel is back and so are NANPA’s regional events. And based on how quickly some have sold out, we can tell you are eager to get back out in the field.

There are still a few regional events that have spaces available:

Register today!

And we have more in the works so stay tuned to the regional events page for details.

Interested in a particular place for a regional event or would like to lead your own regional event? Submit it through the NANPA website.

Get involved

Want to get involved? Consider volunteering for a committee. There are numerous options available for a variety of interests. For more info about volunteering, visit http://www.nanpa.org/membership/built-by-volunteers/

Keep letting our membership and marketing teams know about your projects. There may be ways to share the news, like writing a blog or being interviewed on the podcast.

Do you have ideas for events or topics you want to learn more about? Reach out to us through our contact form

And be sure to recommend NANPA to your nature-loving friends and fellow photographers. Word of mouth is the number one way people learn about NANPA. New members can join online at nanpa.org.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt, longest-serving First Lady of the United States of America

Let’s stay positive. We are in this together.