Set Goals, Be Intentional

The Nature Photographer episode #23 on Wild & Exposed podcast

Editorial images must meet the photo editor’s requirements while also delivering something unique and intriguing for the publication. Consider having just one or two subjects for the year, like getting more and/or better photos of ducks, so you can offer a wide array of images of one subject to photo editors. © Dawn Wilson

Dawn Wilson, Ron Hayes, and Jason Loftus share their goals for the year ahead, helping us think about how to be better photographers and have better photography businesses. Hear what these three are doing to narrow their focus, make intentional choices, and avoid the temptation to chase subject matter—from RED Ranger Helium cameras to camera trap setups, waterfowl portfolios, American dippers, field journals, and not undermining the value of their work. Get tips and ideas to help you set a goal and see it through—no matter what time of year you begin. 

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2021 Year in Review: Perfect Moments, Missed Photographs, and New Opportunities

The Nature Photographer episode #22 on Wild & Exposed podcast

Dawn Wilson, Ron Hayes, Jason Loftus, and Mark Raycroft recount their favorite moments in the field in 2021, including the times they had their equipment and everything was perfect as well as a few almost moments. From a perfect elk rut morning to a BBC project, winter in Yellowstone to a brilliantly colored cross fox, a bucket list image of caribou swimming in well lit blue water to unexpected weasels and a wolf with a haunting, somber howl 90 minutes after sunset, these special moments prove not only that it’s not always about taking the photo but also that it’s possible to feel jealous and happy for another photographer at the same time. Plus: highlights of NANPA’s 2021 and a preview of what’s to come from NANPA and Wild and Exposed in 2022.

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Seize Every Moment, Every Day featuring Lee Hoy

The Nature Photographer episode #21 on Wild & Exposed podcast

Sun Rays, Clouds and Storms, Study Butte and Terlingua, Big Bend National Park © Lee Hoy

At the age of 48, Lee Hoy asked, “How old do you have to be before you finally say, ‘I’m ready to be what I wanted to be when I was growing up’?” Life had already taught him once that he was capable of starting all over again if he lost everything, so he moved to the Davis Mountains of north Texas, just outside of Big Bend National Park, and built a new career on decades of photographing and birdwatching. In this episode Lee tells Dawn Wilson, Ron Hayes, and Mark Raycroft about his adventures traveling 61 of the last 67 days, how to use Olympus’ live composite mode to photograph lightning, and why playing with your gear in your backyard or local park is the best way to prepare for a trip.

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A Feast for the Eyes and Mind: Showcase Top 100 Nature Photos

Collage of Top 100 images by (clockwise from top) Hans Arnold, Rajan Desai, Harry Lerner, and Judith Malloch

If you have an insatiable appetite for compelling nature images, you’ve come to the right place. In November we unveiled the Top 24 prize-winning images from NANPA’s 2022 Showcase competition. Today we’re back to reveal the full Top 100 images from the competition.

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Top 24 Nature Photographs of the Year Revealed

Best in Category Winners, 2022 NANPA Showcase

Tonight NANPA revealed the Top 24 prize-winning images in its 2022 Showcase competition. The annual competition, now in its 19th year, highlights the best nature photographs created by NANPA members—including experienced hobbyists as well as some of North America’s most accomplished professionals in wildlife, landscape, macro, underwater, fine art, and conservation photography.

Showcase prizes are awarded in six distinct categories: birds, mammals,
macro/micro/all other wildlife, scapes, altered reality, and conservation.

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Plains, Cranes and Watersheds featuring Michael Forsberg

The Nature Photographer episode #20 on Wild & Exposed podcast

Platte Basin Timelapse Project is a long-term documentary project that helps build community around a shared watershed. © Michael Forsberg

Nebraska-based conservation photographer Michael Forsberg started with a simple question, Where does your water come from? More than 10 years and 3 million images later, the Platte Basin Time Lapse project continues to produce stories and inspire undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Nebraska and beyond. Hear how Mike and his partners are building community around a watershed. Plus, hear about Mike’s journey to document the migration path of sandhill cranes, a new project on whooping cranes, and other fun things he loves to photograph in the Great Plains.

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Be a Better Naturalist featuring Alyce Bender

The Nature Photographer episode #19 on Wild & Exposed podcast

Alyce loves photographing mustangs in fall and leads photo tours to help others discover and photograph these living legends of the American West © Alyce Bender

Full-time nature photographer Alyce Bender reveals her secret to better wildlife images and to traveling safely alone: be a better naturalist. Hear how observing animal behavior helps Alyce stay aware of her surroundings and anticipate a great action photo. Plus, find out how boredom in the field and a desire to make the best of an imperfect opportunity—like a pronghorn in harsh light—inspire Alyce’s most creative imagery. This expert car camper and military veteran has lived all over the world, including 10 months traveling the U.S. in an RV with her two dogs. Hear about some of her favorite locations, including where she went this summer—logging 12,000 miles in just 11 weeks!

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Are You Physically Prepared for Field Work?

The Nature Photographer episode #17 on Wild & Exposed podcast

There are lots of ways to prepare your body for field work, even a simple daily walk on uneven terrain can help. © Jason Loftus

Dawn Wilson, Ron Hayes, Jason Loftus, and Mark Raycroft talk about daily hikes, canoeing, cycling, or even hiring a personal trainer for targeted HIIT training to prepare for the unique demands of a specific trip. How do you prepare for rugged terrain, high elevations, heavy camera gear, or simply staying hydrated? Hear how these photographers build endurance and strength and reduce the risk for injury for those grueling days when the pedometer hits 20,000 steps. “The more fit that you can be and the more prepared that you can be, the better your opportunities are.”

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No Better Time: Tips for Finding Locations and Subjects to Photograph

The Nature Photographer episode #13 on Wild & Exposed podcast

Using Google Maps is a great way to find nearby wildlife refuges when traveling, like Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, which Dawn Wilson visited while visiting southern Louisiana. © Dawn Wilson

Why does Mark Raycroft keep saying there’s no better time to be a nature photographer than right now? Because in this short episode, the crew answers a NANPA member/listener question about how to find locations to photograph a particular subject in a specific timeframe. Find out what tools and strategies Mark, Dawn Wilson, Ron Hayes, and Jason Loftus use to find a desired subject, or identify potential subjects in a desired area. Plus, hear why your attitude about the trip and the language you use when reaching out to other photographers may make all the difference in the outcome.

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