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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Story and photos by Tom Haxby, NANPA Board President
It is an understatement to say that these are unprecedented times, but we nature photographers are a hardy bunch. We’re accustomed to physical and intellectual challenges in our pursuits of excellent visual stories. And this isn’t the first time we’ve weathered the need to re-imagine how we do business.
In short, you’ve got this, and NANPA is still here to help.