Going with the Flow: Experiments Photographing Water in Motion

Photo of water in a stream rushing downstream between two boulders. Water rushing downstream allows a relatively fast 1/0 second shutter speed.  26mm, 1/10 second, f/4.8, ISO 160 © Sastry Karra
Water rushing downstream allows a relatively fast 1/0 second shutter speed. 26mm, 1/10 second, f/4.8, ISO 160 © Sastry Karra

By Sastry Karra

How often have you seen someone approach a waterfall, take their shot, and move on? The waterfall may be lovely, but they’re missing the beauty that surrounds it. Sometimes that may be in the moss-covered rocks on the bank. It might be in the colors of the rocks underneath the water. And it could be in the flow of the water. That’s what attracted me as I explored the area around Campbell Falls.

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Philip Hyde Conservation Grant: Rare Bumble Bees and Vanishing Wetlands

A photo of a bee landing on a light purple flower in a field. Two-form Bumble Bee (Bombus bifarius) on Lupine, Bridger Range, Bozeman, Montana © Clay Bolt
Two-form Bumble Bee (Bombus bifarius) on Lupine, Bridger Range, Bozeman, Montana © Clay Bolt

The Philip Hyde Conservation Grant is a $2,500 grant awarded by the NANPA Foundation to a NANPA member pursuing a peer-reviewed environmental project that aligns with NANPA’s and the NANPA Foundation’s missions. Applications for the 2021 grant are being accepted through 11 p.m. EDT on October 29th, so there’s still time to apply. Past recipients have been engaged in projects covering a wide gamut of locations, ecosystems, plants, and animals. As part of their responsibilities, grant awardees periodically report on their progress. Last month, 2020 grant recipient Mary Lundeberg reported on her work protecting nesting shorebirds on Florida beaches. Today, we hear from more previous awardees on how their projects are progressing.

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Eight Reasons to Go on a NANPA Regional Event

A young black bear eating berries © Dana Foley
A young black bear eating berries © Dana Foley

By Frank Gallagher, NANPA Blog Coordinator

A NANPA Regional Field Event is a three or four-day nature photography workshop, held in a highly photogenic location and led by experienced photographers who are intimately familiar with the area. OK, great. But what sets a Regional Event apart from a sea of other workshops? And what do I need to know to take full advantage of all the opportunities at a Regional Event? We asked the leaders and attendees of the recent Grand Teton Regional Event. They came up with eight reasons to go on a Regional Event and a few tips to prepare.

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Unusual Butterfly Nets Photographer Bioblitz Prize

Photo of a colorful butterfly on a bush. The Dury's Metalmark that won the award. © Cathryn Hoyt
The Dury’s Metalmark (Apodemia Duryi) that won the award. © Cathryn Hoyt

By Frank Gallagher, NANPA Blog Coordinator

Nearly 10,000 observations were made and more than 3,000 species observed during NANPA’s Nature Photography Day Bioblitz. Nearly 100 of those species observed were classified as endangered. A bioblitz is an event created to find and identify as many species as possible in a given area over a limited period of time. All observations are uploaded to an iNaturalist project. Cathryn Hoyt won the Judges’ Choice Award for her photo observation of a Dury’s Metalmark, a species of butterfly found in the US Southwest.  

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Photography 101: Using a Polarizing Filter:

A Simple Tool That Can Produce Amazing Results

Photo of pink water lilies and lily pads with all the glare removed by the polarizer. AFTER: Waterlilies and pads shot with polarizing filter.
AFTER: Waterlilies and pads shot with polarizing filter.

By F.M. Kearney

Back in the days of film, I used to carry a complete assortment of filters in my camera bag. I had warming filters, cooling filters, neutral density filters, graduated neutral density filters, special effect filters and, of course, a polarizing filter. The digital age had made life much easier. Most of these filter effects can now be applied in post with much greater precision and in varying degrees of intensity. Not having to carry so many filters is a definite plus, but there are some filter effects that can’t be created digitally… yet.

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Making a Living as a Nature Photographer 2021 Part II

Photo of Jack Graham teaching other photographers at a location workshop in the desert, with mountains in the background.
Teaching at a location workshop.

By Jack Graham

In part one of this article, I covered some of the training and skills needed to become a professional nature photographer, gave some tips about marketing, and explored the various income streams available. If you haven’t already, it’s worth going back and starting there. Once you’ve absorbed part one, it’s time to dive into part two.

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Making a Living as a Nature Photographer 2021, Part I

Photo of Jack Graham teaching other photographers at a location workshop in the desert, with mountains in the background.
Teaching at a location workshop.

By Jack Graham

A few years back I authored an article about making a living as a nature photographer. It has been widely read, shared, and remains quite popular. Over the intervening 6 years or so, , the photography industry and the way we make our living has changed tremendously. It is time to do an update.

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NANPA Member Benefit: Gear Insurance Designed for Photographers

Photo of a car, with the back door forced open and an empty camera backpack discarded on the ground. No one expects their gear to be stolen or damaged, but it happens. Gear insurance can prevent that from becoming a catastrophe.
No one expects their gear to be stolen or damaged, but it happens. Gear insurance can prevent that from becoming a catastrophe.

By Frank Gallagher, NANPA Blog Coordinator

The other day, my news feed included a story about a photographer who had his gear stolen. It seems like this happens on a fairly regular basis, so I asked Google about stolen photography gear and got more than 857,000 results, ranging from well-known nature photographers to a local wedding photographer in circumstances ranging from a stolen bag at an overseas airport to auto break ins to snatch and runs. Accidental damage to your gear is another expensive and unanticipated problem you’ll hear about if you’re around enough photographers. Hmmm. Time to reexamine my own photography insurance coverage and make sure I am appropriately covered. Good thing one of NANPA’s member benefits is photography insurance underwritten by Chubb and administered by Rand Insurance in the US. (Front Row Insurance Brokers offers gear insurance for NANPA members in Canada). There’s even a discount code for NANPA members!

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7 Things Professional Nature Photographers Want You to Know About Visiting National Parks

Respect the rangers when they are stopping traffic to give wildlife some space, like for this grizzly bear and her cubs crossing in Grand Teton National Park. © Dawn Wilson

Tourists have been flocking to national parks, wildlife refuges, and other nature areas in record numbers since the coronavirus pandemic began—which is both a reason to celebrate and potentially a cause for concern. Whether you’re new to these areas, a frequent visitor, or somewhere in between, don’t pack up the car until you read this.

1. We’re thrilled to see you enjoying nature. 

The increase in park visitors is obvious to us as nature photographers, in part because we’re sometimes in the field from before sunrise to after sunset and see the crowds, and in part because park efforts to manage those crowds—like timed-entry reservations—have changed the way we do our jobs. But we’re excited to see you here and certainly are willing to share our love for these amazing spaces. 

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Nature Photography Day Bioblitz Was Eye Opening

Photo of a song sparrow perched on a cattail. © Gouri Prakash
Song Sparrow © Gouri Prakash

By Frank Gallagher, NANPA Blog Coordinator

On Nature Photography Day, June 15th, hundreds of photographers joined in a bioblitz, an eleven-day, citizen science event to find, identify, and document as many species as possible in a given area. During the NANPA Nature Photography Day Bioblitz, nearly 10,000 observations of over 3,000 species were made and uploaded to the iNaturalist project. And there were prizes. Did I mention prizes? Gouri Prakash, a hobbyist photographer in Pennsylvania was excited to participate in the bioblitz and thrilled to be recognized with a second-place Most Unique Species Observed award, consisting of a Visa gift card, Wimberly Plamp and Plamp stake.

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