Being Different, Being Powerful, Being you

Photo of a horse galloping across a hill covered with small bushes and brush. This wild palomino stallion running free in Sand Wash Basin, Colorado was one of the last horses I photographed before the roundup. © Dawn Wilson
This wild palomino stallion running free in Sand Wash Basin, Colorado was one of the last horses I photographed before the roundup. © Dawn Wilson

By Dawn Wilson, NANPA President

First, my apologies for this late blog post this month. It seems every year I get to the end of summer and freak out about all the things I didn’t finish on my to-do list or wish list before the leaves start turning gold and orange. This year was no different.

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Mark Lukes Receives NANPA’s Lifetime Achievement in Nature Photography Award

Mark Lukes holds up his Lifetime Achievement in Nature Photography Award presented by NANPA at his home in Fort Collins, Colorado. Photo credit: Jeff Lukes
Mark Lukes holds up his Lifetime Achievement in Nature Photography Award presented by NANPA at his home in Fort Collins, Colorado. Photo credit: Jeff Lukes

Mark Lukes received NANPA’s Lifetime Achievement in Nature Photography Award on July 17th at a barbeque organized by his wife, Linda, and daughter, Lauren, at his home in Colorado. NANPA President Dawn Wilson presented the award and both Francine Butler and Wendy Shattil spoke before an audience of about 40 of his friends, neighbors, family, and former employees.

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Olympics Shed Light on Pressure to Succeed

Photo of a female moose crossing a body of water. The water comes up to her knees. There is a forest background. Moose are one of my favorite animals to photograph, and I spend quite a bit of money and time while racking up miles on my truck looking for them. Is it worth it? It is for me personally. © Dawn Wilson
Moose are one of my favorite animals to photograph, and I spend quite a bit of money and time while racking up miles on my truck looking for them. Is it worth it? It is for me, personally. © Dawn Wilson

By Dawn Wilson, NANPA President

A couple of weeks ago, I had a very personal conversation with a friend and fellow photographer about photographer burnout. We discussed where she was with her photography, why she was feeling like she wasn’t achieving her goals, the pitfalls of comparing your own work to other photographers, the thoughts of walking away from photography, and the source of all this stress and concern.

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Travel has returned!

Two brown bear cubs play in a field of grass and flowers just outside the lodge where I stayed in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska. © Dawn WIlson
Two brown bear cubs play just outside the lodge where I stayed in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska. © Dawn Wilson

By Dawn Wilson, NANPA President

It had been a long year without being able to fly to some of my favorite locations.

I’ll be honest; I still traveled. I couldn’t help myself, but I did it via my truck and camped whenever I could to stay as safe as possible.

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Welcome to Great Outdoors Month!

Photo of a pastel-colored sunrise over undulating terrain, A quick visit in late May to Theodore Roosevelt National Park to celebrate the beauty of the outdoors produced this sunrise image at Painted Canyon. © Dawn Wilson
A quick visit in late May to Theodore Roosevelt National Park to celebrate the beauty of the outdoors produced this sunrise image at Painted Canyon. © Dawn Wilson

By Dawn Wilson, NANPA President

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.

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Spring Flowers

Photo of the Estes Valley outside of Rocky Mountain National Park after a spring snowstorm. ©  Dawn Wilson
A view of Estes Valley outside of Rocky Mountain National Park after a spring snowstorm. © Dawn Wilson

By Dawn Wilson, NANPA President

Welcome to the month of spring flowers!

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.

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Happy Spring!

Photo of mule deer fawn. Now that spring has arrived, it won't be long before wildlife babies will be bouncing around.
Now that spring has arrived, it won’t be long before wildlife babies will be bouncing around.

By Dawn Wilson, NANPA President

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.

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Welcome to Women’s History Month!

Hey girls! Don't be afraid of getting a little dirty or looking a little less than feminine. I may not look the prettiest in my mud-stained waders, but I sure do like staying dry when getting low-angle shots in water. © Dawn Wilson
Hey girls! Don’t be afraid of getting a little dirty or looking a little less than feminine. I may not look the prettiest in my mud-stained waders, but I sure do like staying dry when getting low-angle shots in water. © Dawn Wilson

By Dawn Wilson, NANPA President

There have been numerous female photographers who have paved the way for other photographers by taking thought-provoking and emotional images from the early days of photography.

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Happy New Year!!

A young moose pops up to watch some people along a trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. As a resident of Estes Park, just outside of Rocky, this national park became my escape during Covid. It also became an easy place to escape to for the growing population along the Front Range during 2020
A young moose pops up to watch some people along a trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. As a resident of Estes Park, just outside of Rocky, this national park became my escape during Covid. It also became an easy place to escape to for the growing population along the Front Range during 2020

Story and photos by Dawn Wilson, NANPA President

Wow, it felt great to say that. 2020 was a very long year but we made it through the challenges and hopefully came out with new knowledge and perspective.

Now let’s look forward to a new year with new opportunities.

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Happy Holidays!

Two brown bears play along the beach of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska on my 2019 brown bear photo workshop. My 2020 workshop was canceled and I am hopeful the 2021 workshop will go as planned.
Two brown bears play along the beach of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska on my 2019 brown bear photo workshop. My 2020 workshop was canceled and I am hopeful the 2021 workshop will go as planned.

Story and photos by Dawn Wilson, NANPA President

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.

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