While flipping through old NANPA printed publications recently, it hit me that I’ve been contributing to our communications for nearly 25 years, so it seemed timely for NANPA’s 25th birthday year, that I share a bit of NANPA’s communication’s history. I started writing for NANPA immediately after the 1994 Forum in Ft Myers, Florida and volunteered in some capacity –committee member, committee chair, advisor, editor/proofreader, project manager, etc. since. I can’t count how many articles I wrote, researched, interviewed for, ghost-wrote, assigned or edited through the years. In the early years, all communications were printed and mailed to members; and I saved sample copies of almost every issue.Continue reading
Bears, Salamanders and Snakes – Oh My!
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” I thought about that proverb a lot during the NANPA High School Scholarship Program in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where I was one of the instructors. A month ago, ten high school students from around the country spent a week learning about photography, conservation, ethics, biodiversity and a whole lot more through this annual program, made possible by your donations to the NANPA Foundation.Continue reading
June 30 is the last day for Gordon Illg’s term as NANPA’s 25th president and when the board terms for Sean Fitzgerald and Ted Moreno end.
If there was a prize for the most meetings presided over, Gordon definitely qualifies! In the last twelve months, Gordon led twelve teleconference board meetings, three teleconference executive committee meetings, two in-person multi-day board meetings, and the NANPA Business meeting held at the 2019 Summit in Las Vegas. Not to mention, he participated in almost weekly meetings with me plus dozens of committee and planning meetings in the past year. Gordon has been great to work with, and even though he travels a lot for his workshop business, he was always available to answer questions and kept in regular contact with me. Gordon will continue his board service to NANPA as Past President for another year—where he’ll still get to attend plenty of meetings (but won’t have to lead them!)
NANPA’s 2019 Award Recipients
It all started back in October 1993, when ornithologist, artist and nature photographer, Roger Tory Peterson invited a group of nature photographers to the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, New York. This was the first time that an organized group of nature photographers had assembled in one place, and more than 100 photographers showed up for panel discussions, networking, and presentations. This meeting was so well received that everyone wanted to do it again—and thanks to a ton of work and great organization—by April 1994, NANPA had a founding board, president, bylaws and mission, with plans underway for their first annual conference, which took place in Florida in January 1995. NANPA’s first awards were also bestowed at the 1995 conference when Roger Tory Peterson received NANPA’s first Lifetime Achievement in Nature Photography Award, and Outdoor Photographer Magazine was honored with our first Community Recognition Award.
Traditionally, October is a relatively slow time in the NANPA office because so many photographers are out searching for fall color and wildlife. It’s also when people take vacations or squeeze in another workshop while the weather is cool, but not yet bitterly cold and blustery. For whatever reasons, this October was different – and busy – with member activity, phone calls, and questions.
In this month’s column, I’ll give a brief status report on what’s happening with NANPA’s events and programs.
2019 Showcase Competition
The 2019 Showcase Competition closed on October 17, and judging started soon thereafter. We received more than 3,600 entries from nearly 400 photographers, which is our highest participation since 2009. Judging has been completed, and winners have been notified and are now sending us their hi-res photos that will be published in Expressions 2019. Production of Expressions 2019 is underway, and barring any unforeseen delays, will be available in February. Members who submitted images in the competition can view the results by logging into the members area of the website. The Top 250 Winning Images will be displayed on the NANPA website beginning in January. Thank you to all who entered the competition; to judges Melissa Groo, George Lepp, and Joe and Mary Ann McDonald; Showcase Coordinator, Wendy Shattil; Showcase Web Developer, John Lock; and Project Manager, Teresa Ransdell.
2019 Nature Photography Summit & Trade Show
Registrations opened in early October for the 2019 Nature Photography Summit & Trade Show which will be held February 21-23, 2019 in Las Vegas. As usual, members wanting to ensure spots with their top choices of portfolio reviewers and to make sure they get in for Super Sessions and pre/post photo outings, registered early. Take a look at the speaker lineup and schedule for this Summit, check out the reviewer openings (A bargain at only $60 for 20 minutes one-on-one time with a pro!), and consider adding a Super Session (only $75 for a 3-hour class on a variety of great topics). We’ve heard of some great airfare sales to Vegas, and you can’t beat the room rate at the Westgate! NANPA will be emailing a series of Summit Snapshots to you in the coming weeks with announcements of any changes or additions to the program. Be sure to bookmark the Summit website and check back periodically because we’ll be making updates as they come up.
A few exhibitor booth spaces, advertising, and sponsorships are still available. More info.
NANPA Regional Events are almost full for 2018 and 2019. As of November 1, there are two spots left for the Bosque del Apache event with Cathy Illg in December and one spot left on the Florida Birding Workshop with Maresa Pryor Luzier in January. We still have spaces left for the fall 2019 Fall in Upper Peninsula of Michigan with Richard Day and Hank Erdmann. The Yellowstone Snowcoach Tour and the Arches Astrophotography Workshop are both sold out.
We took a short break from webinars this fall while photographers were traveling, but have a great lineup ready for the next few months. Topics include power marketing, video nature photography, timesaving tips with Adobe ACR or Lightroom, macro on a budget, and more.
Those are the highlights from October, and we’ll continue to share new information on events, programs, and projects when it’s available.
NANPA Executive Director
Choices and Goals
Everyday we make choices. What to eat. What to wear. What to do. Nature photographers make choices on new equipment, how to pay for it, where to use it, how to compose an image, which tweaks to make during post-processing; and for some, how to make a living. Everyone’s bucket list is unique, and we take different paths to reach them–whether you’re a big-time goal-setter with spreadsheets and planners or a seat-of-the-pants winger.
Passion, planning, and drive play big parts in whether (and when) we take those fall landscape photos in the Rockies or photograph wildlife on an African safari.
Meetings, Meetings, and More Meetings…
Meetings are a necessary evil. Few people will confess to liking them, but for groups like NANPA with members who, at any given time, are scattered throughout the world; meetings are a means of keeping us connected to one another. To keep in touch, NANPA’s board, committee members, contractors, membership, and the nature photography community rely on virtual, teleconference, social media, and in-person meetings to function and flourish.
Most of my weeks are filled with board tasks, committee meetings, and writing and studying reports; but lately, I’ve been reminded of the essence of NANPA—nature photography.
I talked to a relatively new NANPA member recently who had looked at his first issue of Expressions, the annual journal of our Showcase winners. He commented on the amazing images that won the competition and how inspired he was viewing them. I’m probably not alone as a charter NANPA member who has seen and been involved with the world-class photography of our members for many years; and even though I still appreciate seeing an outstanding photo, I had forgotten about that sense of wonder of looking at hundreds of extraordinary images in one sitting. My conversation with that member made me see those images with fresh eyes. Expressions 2018 https://www.nanpa.org/learning/publications/expressions/ was delivered to the Showcase winners this week, and the office received quite a few emails and comments about how much people enjoyed it and that they are proud to be a part of it.
Did you know that June 15 is Nature Photography Day? NANPA registered this date in 2006 in Chases’ Calendar of Events, and each year we’ve celebrated the day by encouraging people to get outside and take nature photos and share them that day.
Why should you go to the Nature Photography Celebration?
As the April 9 early registration deadline nears for the Nature Photography Celebration in Jackson, Wyoming, I thought I’d write about questions we’ve been answering lately in the NANPA office.
First of all, it’s a NANPA event; and anyone who has ever attended a summit or regional event knows that they’re fun, educational, inspiring, and you get to hang out with a bunch of friendly nature photographers. Summits are primarily inside at a convention center or hotel, and regional events are outdoor field trips or workshops. Celebration combines the two—indoor presentations plus our schedule allows for free time each morning to photograph and spend time with other photographers and vendors in the field. Or have coffee or drinks together after hours in some of the cool watering holes in downtown Jackson.