Ever wonder which of our 59 national parks is really the biggest? No, it’s not mighty Yellowstone or even sprawling Death Valley. Measuring a vast 13,200,000 acres, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, tucked into the southeast corner of Alaska, is far and away the biggest national park around, equal to six Yellowstones! It is larger than Massachusetts and New Hampshire combined, and includes two entire mountain ranges – the Wrangells and the St. Elias. Together with contiguous Kluane National Park across the border in Canada, the combined cross-border tract totals more than a whopping 25,000,000 acres and is the biggest wilderness area in the world.
While size does indeed matter, there is more to this sprawling wilderness than volume. Stunning peaks such as Sanford, Drum, Blackburn, Wrangell, St. Elias and others fill this rugged park. Continue reading →
The weather forecast called for a light shower in the morning, followed by mostly cloudy skies — perfect conditions for flower photography. The showers were light at first, but they gradually increased in intensity to the point where I was forced to seek shelter. It was beginning to look like my plans for the day were going to be a total washout, literally. After about an hour, however, the showers began to subside, and I was back in business.
I was at the New York Botanical Garden to shoot roses. At this time of year, the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden is at its peak with 4,000 rose plants in bloom in more than 600 varieties. I like to get there early to avoid the crowds and to survey the overall scene. On this particular day, I had plenty of time to do that because of the rain delay. It was still early when conditions improved, so I took advantage of the fact that I had the whole place to myself. Continue reading →
Okay, here’s one for you: What did the mama buffalo say to her little boy in the morning when he left to go to school? “Bison!”
I know, corny as all heck, but it’s the only joke I can remember. Besides, bison are my most favorite charismatic megafauna of all time. I can spend hours in Yellowstone’s Hayden or Lamar Valley just watching a herd of bison grazing, rutting, playing, swimming, running, wallowing or whatever; it doesn’t matter.
During a 1999 trip to Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, Nate Chappell became serious about nature photography, and in 2007 he and his wife Angie decided to start a wildlife photography tour and workshop company, Trogon Photo Tours, http://www.trogontours.net/. The first tour they led was to Angie’s homeland of Ecuador. Since then, Nate has led many more bird and nature photography tours to South America as well as tours to South Africa, Namibia and Thailand and dozens of photo workshops in the United States. He has been on the staff of Nature Photographer‘s online magazine since 2007. During the course of his travels, which have included trips to all continents except Antarctica, Nate has photographed more than 1,700 species of birds. Nate’s images have regularly placed in the NANPA Showcase, Audubon’s top 100, Share the View Denver Audubon Society contest and other nature photography competitions. His images have been published in books and regularly in online publications. His stock agencies include Minden Pictures, Birdimagency and Vireo. Nate has given many photography presentations at photo clubs and Audubon Society chapters and enjoys speaking to groups of photography and nature lovers.Continue reading →
One of the greatest values that NANPA provides to its membership is advocacy work that supports and protects photographers’ rights. Many members are unaware that NANPA has a dedicated and hard-working team of volunteers speaking up for our rights.
Photographs are our lifeblood, but they are too often freely downloaded and used by people who either don’t know or don’t care that this is wrong. NANPA is part of a coalition of visual arts associations that has been lobbying the Copyright Office to modernize the copyright process for photographers. We are looking for easier ways to register copyright for our images. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to register your copyright with one click from Lightroom and other photo programs? That is what the NANPA advocacy committee is fighting for.
NANPA is also helping to lobby Congress to outlaw the stripping of image metadata by social media and internet services. We are working to establish a small claims copyright tribunal to provide our members with simple, less expensive ways to pursue small copyright claims that are often financially impractical to pursue under the current system. These are potentially huge changes. After a great deal of effort, legislation is finally moving forward. The advocacy committee is also beginning to work on initiatives to help ensure our access to public lands.
A NANPA membership is so much more than admission to a club. We are an organization that has our best interests as photographers at heart. Your support allows NANPA to support you.
Yellowstone is not only America’s first national park, but the very first such preserve in all the world. Brought into existence with the 1872 signature of President Ulysses S. Grant, Yellowstone set the example for the worldwide park and preservation movement. It is the quintessential essence of our park system. Even after almost a century and a half, Yellowstone remains one of the crown jewels of the world.
We discussed a winter trip to Yellowstone in the October 2015 issue of eNews. In this issue, we’ll explore this vast park in warmer weather. Continue reading →
Today a plethora of information exists on the web about how to photograph nature. Just type your question or topic in the search box and immediately you are presented with hundreds of links that may or may not be of use. It seems as though books about nature photography techniques have gone by the wayside.
Photographing the Patterns of Nature by the late, great photo-naturalist and environmental activist Gary Braasch is surely an exception. This is one book that I continually pull from my bookshelf and read.
Published in 1990, Gary’s techniques are as relevant today as they were when he first started his career as a nature photographer in the sixties. The book is only 144 pages, and it is written in a simple, readable and relaxing style. Gary offers a treasure trove of techniques for photographing nature — techniques that will elevate the skill level and photographic vision of any nature photographer. It’s as if Gary is right beside you, helping you discover the patterns in nature.
Carl Heilman II is an internationally published photographer and author. He has been photographing the Adirondacks since 1975, working to capture the location’s grandeur and his emotional and spiritual connection to it. He started climbing on a pair of handcrafted snowshoes, and he continues to explore and photograph the mountains and lakes of the Adirondack Park. Carl shares his decades of photography experience with others in his photography workshops and tours, coffee table books and how-to photography books. From September 24-27, Carl and Tom Dwyer will be leading a NANPA Regional Event in Adirondack State Park. Go to https://www.nanpa.org/events/regionals/adirondack-new-york-2017/ for more information.
Carl has had nine books published and did the photography for an additional three. His most recent are 101 Top Tips for Digital Landscape Photography (Ilex Press, May 2014), Photographing the Adirondacks (Countryman Press, June 2013), The Landscape Photography Field Guide (Focal Press / Ilex Press, fall 2011) and Advanced Digital Landscape Photography (Ilex Press 2010). He is currently working on a coffee table book for Rizzoli on the Blue Ridge Mountains from Shenandoah National Park to the Smokies, to be published in spring 2018.
If you like shooting flowers, now is the time of year to be out in the field. Whether you live in a rural setting or in the middle of a large metropolitan area, these colorful little jewels of nature should not be too hard to find.
One of the most appealing aspects of flower photography are dew drops. As exposed surface temperatures cool, atmospheric moisture condenses in the form of water droplets. These droplets, commonly referred to as dew, can form on grass, leaves and even inanimate objects like railings and vehicles in the early morning hours. The formation of dew on flowers can turn a generic image into one that is stunning. Continue reading →
Like most nature photography instructors, I arrive several days prior to a workshop to scout the area. I check on the condition of the sites where I will be taking my students and search for new ones as well. I take the time to see how the light illuminates a scene at different times of day and determine the best perspective and time for my students to photograph there. These days also afford me time to photograph on my own and to reconnect with and savor nature.
On scouting trips before my workshops along Virginia’s eastern shore, I make time to walk the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge’s wildlife loop drive. The drive is closed to vehicles until after 3 p.m., making it a great opportunity to get my daily steps in while exploring the refuge without worrying about traffic.
The loop is a perfect 3.1 miles in length and winds through major habitat types of the refuge. With a few spur trails leading off from the main loop, there is always a new and different route to explore. Whether I hike the loop in the morning or afternoon, I’m going to find something to photograph — or better yet, experience.