I photographed Grizzly 399 crossing the highway with a horde of photographers watching in the background as part of a project involving ecotourism and the pressure that it puts on wildlife. I had envisioned this image for some time now and, while I was in Wyoming for the NANPA Nature Celebration, I got the opportunity I was looking for. Grizzly 399 is famous for spending much of her time close to the road. I knew she would make for the perfect subject for this project. I created the image by making sure I was on the opposite side of the road as the rest of the crowd and then when the moment she crossed I lined myself up in the middle of the road to focus on the crowd.
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.
Why should you go to the Nature Photography Celebration?
As the April 9 early registration deadline nears for the Nature Photography Celebration in Jackson, Wyoming, I thought I’d write about questions we’ve been answering lately in the NANPA office.
First of all, it’s a NANPA event; and anyone who has ever attended a summit or regional event knows that they’re fun, educational, inspiring, and you get to hang out with a bunch of friendly nature photographers. Summits are primarily inside at a convention center or hotel, and regional events are outdoor field trips or workshops. Celebration combines the two—indoor presentations plus our schedule allows for free time each morning to photograph and spend time with other photographers and vendors in the field. Or have coffee or drinks together after hours in some of the cool watering holes in downtown Jackson.
Morgan Heim is a full-time freelance nature and wildlife photographer who brings unparalleled intensity and compassion to her work. The easiest way to appreciate this is to take a look at her website, morganheim.com and go through the projects she has tackled over the past eleven years. From photographing the work of drug trafficking organizations (primarily the dismantling of their work by scientists and law enforcement agents) that run industrial-scale marijuana growing operations in California forests with an estimated value of $31 billion, and that have a terrible impact on the environment, to stopping along the road to memorialize animals that have been killed by motor vehicles, Morgan’s approach to conservation photography leaves a deep and contemplative impression on the viewer that doesn’t pass quickly.
While Morgan feels lucky to get to work steadily on projects, there is still a tremendous amount that she wants to do. “My overarching goal is to have the work that I do provide a meaningful contribution to conservation,” Morgan says. “I’ve gotten a good start on a lot of things, but there’s a lot left to do, both on the projects I’ve already undertaken, as well as new projects in the future. For example, fishing cats are still endangered, and a little money was raised to help them, but my work won’t save the fishing cat,” she says. Morgan says that when she works on a project, she wants to be part of the process and part of the community. She enjoys the journey and the challenge. She’s not only excited about creating images, but how she is able to use them.
2017 High School Program Participant Hannah Mirando photographs a damselfly during this week’s program. Photo by Andrew Snyder.
You made it happen! The 2017 NANPA High School Scholarship Program concludes today in the Smoky Mountains thanks to your gift to the NANPA Foundation supporting the program. Ten high school students had an intensive week learning about nature, nature photography and the natural history of the Smoky Mountains at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont in Tremont, Tennessee. The students’ best work from the week will be shown at a reception today. Instructors Kika Tuff, Morgan Heim, Andrew Snyder and Don Carter led discussions and presentations on topics for the student participants on topics including: