I never pass up a chance to travel, and I am behind on my goal of visiting all of the national parks by my birthday this year. (I currently have visited and photographed 43 of 63 national parks.) Part of that is due to the pandemic, partly due to the addition of five new parks, and partly just due to a busy schedule.
Well, for most people it should be. As I type this blog post, it is snowing again here in Colorado. The snow is a welcome weather occurrence as we desperately need the moisture, but it does do a number on those flowers people plant before the recommended planting date of Mother’s Day in Colorado. Much of Colorado, like the West, is still under severe drought conditions, bringing with it the fear of yet another difficult wildfire season. Fingers crossed that is not the case.
It is the season of spring flowers, wildlife babies, and green landscapes. It is also the season of growth and new beginnings.
So, what new beginnings can you start? Maybe learn a new skill to improve your photography? Maybe you could try some new piece of equipment for a different type of photograph. Or maybe you could visit a new location and explore what photo options it has. Or maybe you can evaluate your impact and how you can make a difference? There are endless options.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and opted to be outside for Black Friday.
As the year comes to a close, I can’t help but reflect back on the ups and downs of the year.
Because of the coronavirus, our lives came to a standstill early in the year and plans significantly changed and evolved. They still keep changing, and planning for 2021 remains difficult.
All of my workshops were canceled or postponed to 2021, as were many for our members. All of my in-person classes were canceled, but Zoom provided an alternative that opened up the ability to teach to a larger audience (and reconnect via happy hours with my sorority sisters back in New Jersey and other states).
We were ordered to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID, yet it became a business opportunity to sell masks with my photos.
As I write this, I am evacuated in the desert of Utah from my home in Estes Park, Colorado. Several wildfires are burning near this gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park—the Cameron Peak Fire to the north, which became Colorado’s largest wildfire in history at more than 200,000 acres, and the East Troublesome Fire to the west near Grand Lake, Colorado. Both fires are burning within Rocky Mountain National Park, including much of the Kawuneechee Valley on the west side, a portion in the northern wilderness, and more than 4,300 acres on the east side in the popular Bear Lake corridor and Moraine Park regions.
As most of you—hopefully—did as well, I read the latest NANPA handbooks, Bird Photography and Contest Secrets, this past month.
In Contest Secrets, Karen Schuenemann makes a valid point in her article “Getting from No to Yes.” Ms. Schuenemann said, “If you sit back and don’t put in the effort, you already have a NO. If you don’t try something that you dream about doing, you already have a NO. If you don’t attempt to do anything at all, you already have a NO.”
This is a twist on something I frequently say to people: “If you don’t ask for a yes, you already have a no.”
In a few short weeks, NANPA will officially launch The Nature Photographer Podcast in collaboration with the cast of Wild and Exposed, so we asked one of the co-founders and co-hosts to tell us what he’s gained from hosting and participating in nature photography podcasts, and what he hopes the new NANPA podcast brings its listeners.
Photos and story by Ron Hayes
I’m all about networking in wildlife photography. Networking is critical to being able to find good locations to shoot, but it’s also how you find people you respect to review your work and give you honest input. You might not want to hear the feedback, but it will help you improve your image quality.