Shooting Through “Distractions”: Using Natural Elements to Frame Your Subjects

Blue spruce pine needles (200mm, f/4, ISO 400, 1/90 sec.)
Blue spruce pine needles (200mm, f/4, ISO 400, 1/90 sec.)

Story & photos by F. M. Kearney

Imagine a child’s frustration in trying to see a passing parade while peering through a forest of gargantuan adult legs. I suppose it’s human nature to always want an unobstructed view of whatever it is we’re trying to see. This is especially true of press photographers, and of course… the paparazzi. How many times have you seen them on the evening news jostling and elbowing each other out the way in order to get the “best” shot? In nature, however, the best shot isn’t always necessarily the cleanest shot. If used correctly, certain “distractions” can provide a creative frame or bokeh around your subjects.

Continue reading

Give Us Your Opinion on Photo Contests

Photo of manta ray and invitation to help NANPA understand what you value in photo contests.
Here’s your chance to help NANPA understand what you value in photo contests.

Entering a photo contest can be a great way to gain recognition, from fellow photographers as well as the general public.  But there are many other reasons to participate.  Entering can juice up your creativity, make you practice new skills, hone in on photographic perfection, and inspire you to go beyond your comfort zone.  What are your reasons? A NANPA survey wants to know.

NANPA wants nature photographers’ opinions about photo contests.  Why do you enter?  What do you expect to get out of participating?  Win or lose, how do you like to see the winning photos?  (I know I love seeing the top photos, online or in print.  They give me so much inspiration and so many ideas for compositions and potential locations for future photo trips.)

hart with 2017 survey results.  Date from previous surveys have helped NANPA refine its own contests.
Date from previous surveys have helped NANPA refine its own contests.

Your answers will shape NANPA’s approach to photo contests.  The survey’s open to anyone but Friday, December 13th, is the last day.  So, take five minutes to answer a few questions and help NANPA understand your thinking about photo contests.

Share your opinion and help shape the future of photo contests. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NANPAContests

Photographing Birds of Prey

Photo of owl in flight, © Scott Dere.
Photo © Scott Dere

Birds of Prey are fascinating animals.  Fierce and determined, swift and dangerous, they make great photographic subjects.  But, and there’s always a “but” in nature photography, they’re devilishly difficult to photograph.  If you’ve found yourself challenged when attempting to capture great images of these magnificent creatures, sign up now for NANPA’s Webinar, “Photographing Birds of Prey,” presented by Scott Dere, which will begin on Wednesday, December 11th at 4pm EST.

Continue reading

Weekly Wow! Week of December 9, 2019

Showcase 2019 Top 100 winner: " Roseate Spoonbill, Alligator Farm, Saint Augustine, Florida " © Dave Hattori.
Showcase 2019 Top 100 winner: ” Roseate Spoonbill, Alligator Farm, Saint Augustine, Florida ” © Dave Hattori.

All of this week’s Weekly Wow! images can be seen in the slideshow on the NANPA homepage at nanpa.org.

The following Showcase images have been selected to appear on the NANPA home page for the week beginning Monday, December 9, 2019.  To view all of the top 250 photographs from NANPA’s 2019 Showcase competition, see the photo gallery on the NANPA website. 

Continue reading

Nickolas Warner Receives 2019 Janie Moore Greene Grant

Photo of volcano erupting.
Photo by Nickolas Warner

Nickolas Warner of Papillion, Nebraska, has been named the 2019 Janie Moore Greene Grant recipient by the NANPA Foundation. He is a freshman beginning his undergraduate studies in photography at Arizona State University.

Continue reading

Take Me Home, Country Roads: Fall Photography in West Virginia

Spectacular autumn color in Babcock State Park near Fayetteville, WV.
Spectacular autumn color in Babcock State Park near Fayetteville, WV.

Story and photos by Jerry Ginsberg

The Mountain State of West Virginia was admitted to Union in 1863 at the height of the Civil War when the Unionists of the northern and western counties of secessionist Virginia themselves chose to secede from that Confederate state. It was a real public relations victory for President Lincoln and the Union. Don’t worry: That’s the end of the history lecture.

Continue reading

Articles Wanted. Help Provided.

Tired of staring at a blank screen?  Let NANPA help you write a great blog article.
Tired of staring at a blank screen? Let NANPA help you write a great blog article.

Have you got a story to tell?  Photography advice to share?  Expertise in or a passion for some aspect of nature photography or the gear and technology we use?  Nature photographers are pretty darn good behind the camera but not everyone is so good in front of a keyboard.  That’s why we’re excited to announce that a professional ghostwriter has volunteered to help NANPA members craft their thoughts into articles for the NANPA Blog.

Continue reading

Weekly Wow! Week of December 2, 2019

Showcase 2019 Top 100 winner: " Undertow, Kona Coast, Hawaii " © Geoffrey Schmid.
Showcase 2019 Top 100 winner: ” Undertow, Kona Coast, Hawaii ” © Geoffrey Schmid.

All of this week’s Weekly Wow! images can be seen in the slideshow on the NANPA homepage at nanpa.org.

The following Showcase images have been selected to appear on the NANPA home page for the week beginning Monday, December 2, 2019.  To view all of the top 250 photographs from NANPA’s 2019 Showcase competition, see the photo gallery on the NANPA website. 

Continue reading

From the President: Come to Asheville in the Springtime

Foothills Sunrise view.
Foothills Sunrise

Story & photos by Tom Haxby

Winter will soon be upon us and while many photographers revel in the unique opportunities for winter photography, I always look forward to spring in the southern Appalachian Mountains with my camera in hand. My annual visits there quite literally put a spring in my step. Birds sing for mates from the newly green trees, waterfalls flow from spring rains, flowers bloom in profusion and it seems that the whole world is new again.

Continue reading

A Nature Photographer’s Thanksgiving, Part 2

Volunteers in a Rock Creek Conservancy work crew remove invasive plants, giving native species room to grow and sustain insect and animal life.
Volunteers in a Rock Creek Conservancy work crew remove invasive plants, giving native species room to grow and sustain insect and animal life.

Story and photo by Frank Gallagher

Along with the bounty on the table tomorrow, most of us will be grateful for things like our family, health, home and hearth.  We might also be thankful for the wonderful photographic opportunities that abound in this old world, even with all its problems (see A Nature Photographer’s Thanksgiving, Part 1).  I am embarrassed to admit that sometimes missing from my list of things to be thankful for are the volunteers that make possible so many of the experiences I enjoy.

Continue reading