What’s This Picture For? Different Approaches to Conservation Photography

Not all conservation photographs are taken for the same reasons and purposes. Your particular goal will determine what sort of approach you use for each shot.

Not all conservation photographs are taken for the same reasons and purposes. Your particular goal will determine what sort of approach you use for each shot.

Story and photos by Dave Huth

When people learn I’m a “conservation photographer,” they may form many different ideas about what my pictures look like.

No matter what they’re thinking, they’re probably right!

Photography can support the work of conservation in many different ways. Each makes good use of a certain kind of photograph. When I’m in the field, I try to keep in mind the particular ways my pictures might meet a conservation goal — and I set up my shots accordingly.

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In the Frame of Things: Using Natural Frames to Emphasize Your Subject

Snow-covered branches frame urban landscape of Central Park, New York, NY.

Snow-covered branches frame urban landscape of Central Park, New York, NY.

Story and photos by F. M. Kearney

Making a subject stand out is the primary goal of all photographers. There are a number of ways to accomplish this and your subject matter will usually dictate the best method. Common techniques may include special lighting, subject placement, extreme angles or contrasting colors. If you delve into the world of digital imaging, your choices will be virtually unlimited. But, if you prefer to keep your images looking as natural as possible, you may want to stick with the in-camera methods.

One of my favorite ways to highlight a subject is to place it within a natural frame. This might consist of leaves, flowers, bushes … just about anything nearby that you can find to encircle your subject. In the opening photo above, I used the snow-covered branches to frame the distant buildings in this Central Park winter scene. Besides serving as decorative foreground elements, they were a great way to cover up the dead space of a white, featureless sky.

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Biggest Conservation Bill in Decades Passes Senate

Conservation bill will expand Death Valley and other National Parks. Photo from Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park © Frank Gallagher.

Conservation bill will expand Death Valley and other National Parks. Photo from Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park © Frank Gallagher.

In an exercise of bipartisanship, the U.S. Senate is just passed a major conservation bill, S. 47 The Natural Resources Management Act, by a vote of 92-8 and the White House has signaled the president will sign it.  The House of Representatives will take up the legislation later this month.

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NANPA Member in the News: Cindy Miller Hopkins and Five Penguins

The Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project interviews NANPA member Cindy Miller Hopkins.

The Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project interviews NANPA member Cindy Miller Hopkins.

What’s so special about a photo of five penguins?  You could get that at a local zoo.  Certainly, during NANPA member and travel and photographer Cindy Miller Hopkin’s trip last year to the far reaches of the South Atlantic, she had plenty of photos of penguins.  But one shot, from off the South Sandwich Islands, turned out to be unique.

As she was editing and captioning her shots, Cindy noticed that there were five different species of penguins in one frame.  That seemed unusual and she brought it to the attention of an ornithologist on the tour who told her he’d never seen an image with five species in the same place, at the same time.  Further research revealed that no one else had either.

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Weekly Wow! Week of February 11, 2019

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

Showcase 2019 Top 100 winner: "Fully Winter-coated Wolf Pups Playing in the Snow, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming" © Scott Dere.

Showcase 2019 Top 100 winner: “Fully Winter-coated Wolf Pups Playing in the Snow, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming” © Scott Dere.

The following Showcase images have been selected to appear on the NANPA home page for the week beginning Monday, February 11, 2019.  To view all of the top 250 photographs from NANPA’s 2019 Showcase competition, see the photo gallery on the NANPA website.

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How I Got The Shot: Ezo Red Fox in Hokkaido

Ezo red fox on patrol, Eastern Hokkaido, Japan.

Ezo red fox on patrol, eastern Hokkaido, Japan.

Story and photos by Alyce Bender

Early morning, when the roads were still frosted over and there were more deer than people awake, I rolled out my warm hotel on the eastern coast of Hokkaido to visit a place I had never been. This is par for the course with me, but this was a bit of a different situation as I was heading for a relatively unheard of location that a new friend told me about. She had promised there would be Steller’s sea eagles and White-tailed eagles feeding on the leftover fish guts that ice fishermen discard on a frozen lake. Too good a potential photography opportunity for me to pass up, so I made the hour-long drive along the coast on a cold, wintery morning. It could not have been a better choice!

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Photographing the Canadian Rockies

Just one of Canada’s innumerable peaks, the last light of day shows this one to its best advantage.

Just one of Canada’s innumerable peaks, the last light of day shows this one to its best advantage.

Story and Photos by Jerry Ginsberg

Overview

Our American West is sprinkled with many spectacular national parks. Even a quick glance at the map will reveal that these preserves of nature are just islands in a sea of a burgeoning population surrounded by spreading towns and cities that often press against many of the parks’ very borders.

In sharp contrast, our Canadian neighbors have a nation of almost exactly the same size as the U.S., but with only about one tenth of our population. As a result, they enjoy roughly ten times more elbow room. With the exception of relatively small pockets of people, western Canada enjoys lots of wide open spaces. As long as we bring our passports along, those fine folks will let us share their pristine parks and vast wilderness.

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Volunteer Profile: John E. Marriott

Photographer John E. Marriott in the rainforest.

Photographer John E. Marriott in the rainforest.

Volunteers are the life blood of membership organizations.  At NANPA and the NANPA Foundation, volunteers serve on committees, help plan conferences, present webinars, judge competitions and evaluate grant applications.  Volunteers serve on the Board of Directors and play other key roles in keeping NANPA vibrant, relevant and growing.

This is the second of an occasional series of volunteer profiles, saluting those whose hard work, ideas, passion and commitment benefit NANPA and its members.

NANPA recently had the opportunity to ask NANPA volunteer John E. Marriott a few questions about his volunteer experiences.

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Weekly Wow! Week of February 4, 2019

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

Showcase 2019 Top 100 winner: "Rufous-crested Coquette Defending Its Perch, Moyobamba, Arena Blanco, Peru" © William Pohley.

Showcase 2019 Top 100 winner: “Rufous-crested Coquette Defending Its Perch, Moyobamba, Arena Blanco, Peru” © William Pohley.

The following Showcase images have been selected to appear on the NANPA home page for the week beginning Monday, February 4, 2019.  To view all of the top 250 photographs from NANPA’s 2019 Showcase competition, see the photo gallery on the NANPA website.

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Personal Photography Projects at the Nature Photography Summit

At one point or another, most photographers will embark on a personal project.  These projects are ways to more deeply explore a personal passion using photography, whether that be documenting how a single location changes throughout a year, looking for variations on a theme, or recording the health and vitality of a species or habitat.  Personal projects can be global or local, big or small, and most assuredly will provide a satisfying and challenging addition to your photography arsenal.

At NANPA’s Nature Photography Summit, February 21 – 23, in Las Vegas, you can take a deep dive into all aspects of personal projects.  That’s one more reason to register and get yourself (and your gear) to Vegas this month.  Sign up before preregistration closes at midnight, Eastern Time, on Monday, February 4th and take advantage of NANPA’s 25th birthday discount!  Use promo code “Happy25” for $75 off a member, non-member, or student full Summit registration.

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