Showcase 2020 Winner Profile – Tom Myers

Showcase 2020 Judges’ Choice, Macro/Micro/All Other: "Cerambycid Beetle, Belize, Central America” © Tom Myers
Showcase 2020 Judges’ Choice, Macro/Micro/All Other: “Cerambycid Beetle, Belize, Central America” © Tom Myers

How I Got the Shot

I was on a trip to Belize to photograph insects and other arthropods in the rainforest. This beetle had flown in and landed by a light near where I was staying. Due to the high humidity, I was having problems with lens fogging. The dark background is the blackness of the rainforest at night. I was using a diffused macro flash to shoot. I set up a flash behind the beetle to separate it from the dark background. After a couple of shots, the beetle decided to take flight. I was able to get the photo of it as the beetle got ready to takeoff.

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Showcase 2020 Winner Profile – Lisa Jansen

Showcase 2020 Judges’ Choice, Altered Reality: "Bursting with Color” © Lisa Jansen.
Showcase 2020 Judges’ Choice, Altered Reality: “Bursting with Color” © Lisa Jansen.

How I Got the Shot

Great Blue Herons don’t usually visit our small Wisconsin Lake, so this was a pleasant surprise.  It was early morning as I take my usual kayak ride on the lookout for nature’s wonders.  As I came around the bend, there he was, standing tall and proud amongst the reeds.  He stood still as a statue as I positioned myself according to the light, determined appropriate camera settings, and captured the shot.  My concern was to get a well-focused, close shot without disturbing him and with a zoom lens and crop sensor, I was able to accomplish this.

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Showcase 2020 Winner Profile – Greg Duncan

Showcase 2020 Judges’ Choice, Scapes: "Over Iceland: Aerial View of Glacial Melt Waters" © Greg Duncan.
Showcase 2020 Judges’ Choice, Scapes: “Over Iceland: Aerial View of Glacial Melt Waters” © Greg Duncan.

How I Got the Shot

As Halldór Jónsson would say “The greatest artist of all is nature itself” I’ve been going to Iceland for the past several years photographing all its wonderful natural landscape. This is the first time photographing Iceland from the air and WOW what an unbelievable experience. But ,like anything worth doing, it does take preparation and good timing. Going in the summer gives you the best opportunities and hiring a skilled pilot with immense knowledge of the area is a must. I was fortunate to have a friend in Iceland who recommended Halldór Jónsson of Your Private Pilot and I highly recommend him for Iceland aerials. 

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Showcase 2020 Winner Profile – Sha Lu

Showcase 2020 Judges’ Choice, Birds: “White-tailed Kite Food Transfer" © Sha Lu.
Showcase 2020 Judges’ Choice, Birds: “White-tailed Kite Food Transfer” © Sha Lu.

How I Got the Shot

This photo shows the food exchange between a parent and a juvenile white-tailed kite. Their nest was on a tree at the parking lot of a local park. After photographing and observing their daily behavior for many days, I had a good educated guess of where such exchanges might happen. When this juvenile fledged, it performed one of its very first food exchanges right in front of my position, giving me almost full frame shots, resulting in a great amount of details in the photos.

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Showcase 2020 Winner Profile – David Bates

Showcase 2020 Judges’ Choice, Mammals: “Puma Targeting a Large Guanaco” © David Bates.
Showcase 2020 Judges’ Choice, Mammals: “Puma Targeting a Large Guanaco” or “Did somebody say it was time for dinner?” © David Bates.

How I Got the Shot

Living in South Florida and spending countless hours in the Everglades hoping to catch even a glimpse of a panther, I could not resist the opportunity to travel to Chile where the odds of actually photographing a puma are excellent. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I think I would have the opportunity to observe and photograph a puma actually hunting a guanaco. I was amazed by the confidence of this puma in targeting such a large guanaco. Of course, I must also thank SouthWild and our guide, Maurico Montt, and their amazing trackers that provided me with many amazing puma encounters.

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Showcase 2020 Winner Profile – Carla Rhodes

Endangered Adjutant Storks atop a landfill.
2020 Showcase, First Runner-up: Conservation. “Beautiful Scavengers, Boragaon landfill, Guwahati, India” © Carla Rhodes.

How I Got the Shot

During my first trip to India, I saw a striking 5-foot-tall bird standing by the roadside. I was told it was a Greater Adjutant stork. The next day, I was taken to the last place I expected to see a mass population of endangered birds: the sprawling Boragaon landfill. With no prior knowledge of my subjects and limited time, I had to think fast while shooting from a stationary vehicle. I’ll never forget the smell, which clung to my gear for days. The scene was heartbreaking yet beautiful. At that moment, I knew I had to pursue wildlife conservation photography.

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Showcase 2020 Winner Profile – Matthew Meier

2020 Showcase, First Runner-up: Macro/Micro/All Other. “Lemon Shark Sunset Split, Tiger Beach, Bahamas” © Matthew Meier.
2020 Showcase, First Runner-up: Macro/Micro/All Other. “Lemon Shark Sunset Split, Tiger Beach, Bahamas” © Matthew Meier.

How I Got the Shot

This photo was created while on a dive trip to Tiger Beach, located NW of Grand Bahama Island. While anchored over the dive site, dozens of Lemon Sharks circled the boat near the surface. To get this shot, I was laying face down on the swim step with my camera housing in the water, trying to balance the exposure for the fleeting sunset with the power of my strobes to illuminate the sharks under the surface.

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Showcase 2020 Winner Profile – Bob Coates

Series of consecutive images of a sandhill crane taking off. 2020 Showcase, First Runner-up: Altered Reality. “Taking Flight” © Bob Coates
2020 Showcase, First Runner-up: Altered Reality. “Taking Flight” © Bob Coates

How I Got the Shot

Wanting to tell the ‘story of takeoff,’ I had been trying for two years to make a sequence of the sandhill crane shedding the earthly bounds that was in focus and sharp. It took many attempts, as the birds do not always travel parallel to the camera. In addition, trees, bushes or other birds can get in between the camera and the target during the sequence. Many, many files landed on the cutting room floor with either the wrong shutter speed or slight focus issue.

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Showcase 2020 Winner Profile – Dawn Wilson

2020 Showcase, First Runner-up: Scapes. "Aerial View of Cook Inlet, Alaska" © Dawn Wilson.
2020 Showcase, First Runner-up: Scapes. “Aerial of Cook Inlet, Alaska” © Dawn Wilson.

How I Got the Shot

I always remind my group to keep their cameras out during our flight to or from Lake Clark National Park — you never know what you might see. On my last trip, as I sat in the back of the plane, I noticed the windows were especially clean. I pulled out my camera and started looking for interesting patterns in the deltas where braided rivers ran down from glaciers into Cook Inlet in southwest Alaska. I loved the browns and blues in this scene high above a river’s outflow.

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24 Inspirational Nature Photos for These Trying Times

Showcase 2020 Best in Show, Birds: “Sandhill Cranes at Sunset in Central New Mexico” © Keith Bauer.
Showcase 2020 Best in Show, Birds: “Sandhill Cranes at Sunset in Central New Mexico” © Keith Bauer.

Stuck at home with schools, parks and restaurants closed?  Tired of practicing “social distancing” during the COVID-19 outbreak?  Give yourself a break from the chaos and anxiety and spend a few minutes with spectacular images that were judged the top 24 photos in North American Nature Photography Association’s (NANPA) Nature Photography Showcase.

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