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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Showcase 2020 Winner Profile – Melissa Rowell

2020 Showcase, First Runner-up: Birds. "Dance of the Great Blue Herons, Delray Beach, Florida" © Melissa Rowell.
2020 Showcase, First Runner-up: Birds. “Dance of the Great Blue Herons, Delray Beach, Florida” © Melissa Rowell.

How I Got the Shot

I arrived at Wakodahatchee Wetlands later than I had planned and knew I wouldn’t have long because of an impending storm. I grabbed my short, light Nikon 200-500mm lens, and walked slowly around the boardwalk hoping to find a quiet area where I could spend some time. Suddenly I spotted two Great Blue Herons interacting atop a tree. The male was attempting to entice a female with his elaborate stretch display, and she was playing hard to get. Fascinated I stopped to watch them just as serious bill duels erupted between the pair. Thunder began rumbling in the distance, and their long, flowing plumes were accentuated as the wind picked up. I was thrilled to witness this dramatic behavior which continued for a few brief moments signaling what I hoped would be the beginning of a strong bond leading to a successful breeding season.

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Showcase 2020 Winner Profile – Newton Hightower

2020 Showcase, First Runner-up: Mammals. "Nectar Bat and Banana Plant Flower, Costa Rica" © Newton Hightower.
2020 Showcase, First Runner-up: Mammals. “Nectar Bat and Banana Plant Flower, Costa Rica” © Newton Hightower.

How I Got the Shot

While traveling in Costa Rica, I had the opportunity to photograph nectar bats in the rain forest at night. I set up my camera and lens with multiple flashes to provide the light necessary to produce this exposure. I sat in a chair a few feet away and watched them swarm the blossom. A couple of them even bumped into me!

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Showcase 2020 Winner Profile – Scott Trageser

2020 Showcase, Best in Show: Conservation. "Desperate Deals, Mro Village, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh" © Scott Trageser. Villiager holding two birds that will be sold.
2020 Showcase, Best in Show: Conservation. “Desperate Deals, Mro Village, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh” © Scott Trageser.

How I Got the Shot

The area within the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh, that our conservation programs are focused and where this shot was taken is a restricted area. I was required to apply for the permit, stay in a designated area for a very limited timeframe, and also to be accompanied by four policemen at all times. We were guided by our indigenous parabiologists to this small, remote Mro village and luckily were able to convince them to pose with these hornbills which were being reared by the family. This photo was taken to demonstrate the challenges for both wildlife and the local people.

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