It’s hard to believe that this fiscal year over! Today we welcome Dawn Wilson as NANPA’s next president as well as new board members Beth Huning, Trent Sizemore, and Kika Tuff. Lisa Langell will stay on for a second term and be a great mentor to the incoming members. I’m looking forward to working with and helping everyone achieve NANPA’s goals and dreams.
Wow! It was quite the shock to me a little over a year ago when I was approached about being nominated to be the next president of NANPA. Skip forward almost one year after being elected as president and the time has just flown by. The best part about it has been the opportunity to become more involved with NANPA and getting to know many of the people who make NANPA a special community of and for nature photography. So, before I pass the gavel to our incoming president, Dawn Wilson, I want to thank all who have helped NANPA in the last year and continue to do so. This may feel like a going away note, but really I will be on the board for another year, and who knows after that.
NANPA has just lost a great member and friend, Walt Anderson. Walt passed away on December 20, one day short of his 71st birthday.
Walt was the founder of Visual Echoes, Inc., which produced and sold the “Better Beamer” flash extender and the Panning Plate. He loved to share his knowledge of the use of flash with his Sunshine in your Pocket program and his thoughts on the ethical use of a flash with wildlife. He was also a great photographer and loved to travel: Florida for birds, the Smoky Mountains and the southwest for landscapes, and of course Yellowstone.
Walt was widely published and received many awards, what I will remember about him the most, was his sweet tooth. He never turned down the opportunity for a good chocolate donut or a piece of pie. If we were not traveling together, I would always consult Walt for some of his favorite locations to photograph in the areas where I would be, he would always start the conversation with the locations of the best donut shops.
Walt loved to be part of the NANPA community. He attended most of all the Summits, led a few NANPA Regional Events and helped with the college scholarship students as a mentor. He will be missed by the photography community. Walt is survived by his wife of 38 years, Carol.
Rest well my friend,
Don Carter currently serves as NANPA’s Vice President, and is a past president. He is a retired university professor who takes photographs full time while traveling the country with his wife and springer spaniel in their RV.
Mary Jane Gibson, Vice President of the NANPA Foundation Board of Trustees announces the results of a challenge grant at the 2019 Nature Photography Summit.
During NANPA’s recent Nature Photography Summit and Trade Show in Las Vegas, one bunch of photographers always seemed to be especially hard at work, energized and excited. These young people were participants in the NANPA Foundation’sSummit College Scholarship Program and their week in Las Vegas was packed with learning, growing, creating, networking and having fun.
Their assignment: develop a story-telling project which would be shown during the Summit.
This is my last letter as president. Gordon Illg becomes president on July 1 and I look forward to working with him this coming year. NANPA is an amazing organization and I know under Gordon’s leadership, NANPA will continue to do great things for its members.
No rain, no flowers. I guess it was too much to hope for to have two years of wonderful flower photography in the desert southwest. Even with the dry conditions, the desert is a photographer’s paradise, the “sky islands” offer such a unique environment. In southwest Arizona, the desert floor sits at 2400 feet, but you can hike (or drive) to over 9000 feet. The valley floor is surrounded by small clusters of mountains, or islands, which provide the adventurous photographers a cornucopia of opportunities. In the valley, you can see quail, roadrunners, javelina, deer, pronghorn, snakes, of course, and also the beautiful saguaro cactus. The peaks provide cover for bear, ringtail, coati, and some of the best birding in the world.
As this winter starts to fade I’m thinking about spring photography and, for me, it’s getting out of the deserts of Arizona and into the mountains of Wyoming. I’m remembering last May’s Regional Event in Yellowstone where I was able to photograph seven different bears in a single day. This year I’m going to return with a stop in Jackson for NANPA’s Nature Photography Celebration, May 20 – 22.
One of the great things that I get to do as president of NANPA is work with our High School and College Scholarship Program students. During the Summit event, college students work with a client on a multimedia project; they also meet NANPA members and participate in Summit activities. Over the past several years they have produced projects for the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the North Florida Land Trust.
During the summer NANPA brings the high school students to the Great Smoky Mountain Institute at Tremont. This past year all of the NANPA instructors for the high school group were themselves past college participants.
These students are the future of NANPA; they will be our Board of Directors, committee chairs and volunteers. One of these past scholarship winners serves on the current Board. The NANPA Foundation raises the funds for these two programs and the majority of the donations come from our members. We all have lots of activities to attend with families and friends over the holidays but I hope each of you can donate $5.00 to the Foundation. These donations will help NANPA introduce these young photographers to all of the things we hold in high regard–nature photography, education, and being an ethical photographer in the field.
Susan Day, our executive director, wrote about the coming Nature Celebration in Jackson, WY, May 20 – 22, 2018 in her last newsletter column. I want to remind everyone about the presence of Canon, Fujifilm, Olympus, Panasonic, Sigma, and Tamron at the Celebration and that they will be lending the participants gear to be used out in the field. It’s not often we will have access to so many cameras and lenses to use especially in such a beautiful location. Our presentations will be held at the Jackson Center for the Arts, a 500-seat theater located just off the center of downtown Jackson. We have a great line-up of speakers who will be making “Ted Talk” style presentations. I’m really excited about hearing the presentation by Dennis Jorgensen titled “Buffalo-People: The Path Back for Bison and Plains Tribes,” and Jenny Nichols’ presentation, “The Power of Multi-Disciplinary Projects” among others. Check the schedule to see a listing of all the other wonderful presentations at this event.
If you’re looking for a warm place to photograph this winter, NANPA has one event that still has space available in January—at Lake Hodges in southern California. Registration deadline is December 28th.
During the upcoming year NANPA will be offering several new locations for regional events and workshops. The committee is exploring possible locations along the Oregon coast, Moab, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and Madera Canyon in Arizona. We’ll update you as soon as more information is available.
Wishing you and yours a Festive and Peaceful Holiday Season.
Although little introduction is needed, Don Carter is the president of NANPA, and Melissa Groo, in addition to being a world-renowned wildlife photographer, is chair of NANPA’s Ethics Committee. Over the past several years, significant ethical considerations around nature photography have arisen, along with the need to honestly and accurately caption the details of images.
After several years of work, NANPA has developed a new “Truth in Captioning” statement that addresses these and other issues. I recently sat down with Don and Melissa to talk about ethical considerations in wildlife photography, as well as the work done on this document.
As we all know, wildlife photography can provide us with some great stories and, perhaps, some moments of embarrassment. Here is one of those moments that happened to my good friend Walt and me.
Sweetwater Wetlands Park is a small 60-acre park on the west side of Tucson. It is known for its multitude of bird species including the Belted Kingfisher, Gila Woodpecker, hawks, falcons and, of course, Coots galore. Sweetwater’s wonderful birding opportunities aside, we had come to find it’s somewhat elusive bobcat (Lynx Rufus). On a crystal clear Wednesday morning, Walt and Carol Anderson (Mr. and Mrs. Better Beamer Flash Extender) and I started our search. While several friends had seen the bobcat, I had not had the opportunity to photograph the beautiful animal and I wanted this disappointing streak to end. Continue reading →