Weekly Wow! Week of September 14, 2020

Showcase 2020 Top 100 Winner: “Tiny but Mighty Cheetah Cub, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya” © Anita Ross
Showcase 2020 Top 100 Winner: “Tiny but Mighty Cheetah Cub, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya” © Anita Ross

All of this week’s Weekly Wow! images can be seen in the slideshow on the NANPA homepage at nanpa.org.

The following Showcase images have been selected to appear on the NANPA home page for the week beginning Monday, September 14, 2020.  To view all of the top 250 photographs from NANPA’s 2020 Showcase competition, see the photo gallery on the NANPA website. The 2020 edition of Expressions contains all of the top 250 photos from the Showcase competition as well as interesting and insightful articles. Order your copy here!

The 2021 NANPA Showcase competition is open! Enter your best photos between now and September 21st and maybe you’ll be featured in next year’s Weekly Wows or, better yet, win a prize! Get all the details on the 2021 NANPA Showcase page.

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Avoiding a Messy Background!

Images such as this have the background far enough away to blur, but still give a hint of the habitat beyond. This is how the Great Masters painted backgrounds with just a hint of the scene. Nikon D850, 70-200mm f/2.8, 1/500 @ f/4, ISO 50 © Donna Brok
Images such as this have the background far enough away to blur, but still give a hint of the habitat beyond. This is how the Great Masters painted backgrounds with just a hint of the scene. Nikon D850, 70-200mm f/2.8, 1/500 @ f/4, ISO 50 © Donna Brok

By Donna Brok

What the heck is a messy background, as opposed to a good one, and is it boring?

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A Break With Tradition: New Showcase Recognition for Non-traditional Captures

Photo of a man flying a drone. Drone Man Playing by Mohamed Hassan. Pixabay license.
Drone Man Playing by Mohamed Hassan. Pixabay license.

By Frank Gallagher, NANPA Blog Coordinator

Like everything else in this crazy world, nature photography is constantly changing. Especially during a pandemic, out business models, ability to travel and the very tools we use aren’t the same as they were a year ago. In acknowledgement of all the new ways photographers are using to capture outstanding images, document nature, advocate for conservation and create art, NANPA’s Showcase competition has added special recognition for “non-traditional captures.”

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Weekly Wow! Week of September 7, 2020

Showcase 2020 Top 100 Winner: “Sparring Red and Green Macaws, Pantanal , Brazil” © Judy Lynn Malloch
Showcase 2020 Top 100 Winner: “Sparring Red and Green Macaws, Pantanal , Brazil” © Judy Lynn Malloch

All of this week’s Weekly Wow! images can be seen in the slideshow on the NANPA homepage at nanpa.org.

The following Showcase images have been selected to appear on the NANPA home page for the week beginning Monday, August 24, 2020.  To view all of the top 250 photographs from NANPA’s 2020 Showcase competition, see the photo gallery on the NANPA website. The 2020 edition of Expressions contains all of the top 250 photos from the Showcase competition as well as interesting and insightful articles. Order your copy here!

The 2021 NANPA Showcase competition is open! Enter your best photos between now and September 21st and maybe you’ll be featured in next year’s Weekly Wows or, better yet, win a prize! Get all the details on the 2021 NANPA Showcase page.

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From the Archives: Why Do Photographers Enter NANPA’s Showcase Competition?

Male Lion Attack on Giraffe, 2017 Showcase Judge’s Choice, Mammals © Michael Cohen

There are as many reasons to enter NANPA’s Showcase photo competition as there are photographers.  For some, winning Best in Show or Judge’s Choice serves as an endorsement of their skill, and can be added to their bio and marketing materials.  To others, recognition by the judges is a validation of their devotion to nature photography, a payoff for the years of effort they put into improving their skills.  And, for still others, selection of their photo is both a personal triumph as well as a challenge; applause for how far they’ve come and a challenge to continue getting better.

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Spectacular Florida

Glorious sunset in the Florida swamps.
Glorious sunset in the Florida swamps.

By Jerry Ginsberg

Even though we have been uncharacteristically and, in many cases, uncomfortably cloistered in our homes for several months now, there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. With the optimistic expectation that we will be unleashed to once again be out in nature creating beautiful images sooner rather than later, the following is a portrait of yet another great photo destination.

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Weekly Wow! Week of August 31, 2020

Showcase 2020 Top 100 Winner: “Horned Puffins Posing, Bird Island, Cook Inlet, Alaska” © Molly Isaacs
Showcase 2020 Top 100 Winner: “Horned Puffins Posing, Bird Island, Cook Inlet, Alaska” © Molly Isaacs

All of this week’s Weekly Wow! images can be seen in the slideshow on the NANPA homepage at nanpa.org.

The following Showcase images have been selected to appear on the NANPA home page for the week beginning Monday, August 24, 2020.  To view all of the top 250 photographs from NANPA’s 2020 Showcase competition, see the photo gallery on the NANPA website. The 2020 edition of Expressions contains all of the top 250 photos from the Showcase competition as well as interesting and insightful articles. Order your copy here!

The 2021 NANPA Showcase competition is open! Enter your best photos between now and September 21st and maybe you’ll be featured in next year’s Weekly Wows or, better yet, win a prize! Get all the details on the 2021 NANPA Showcase page.

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Top Six Tips for Standout Bird Photographs

Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) feeding on crabapple fruit in late winter, Ithaca, New York, USA. Canon EOS 7D, EF 500mm f/4 IS USM lens, 1.4X extender, Gitzo tripod. 1/1250 second, f/5.6, ISO 800.
Cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) feeding on crabapple fruit in late winter, Ithaca, New York, USA. Canon EOS 7D, EF 500mm f/4 IS USM lens, 1.4X extender, Gitzo tripod, 1/1250 second, f/5.6, ISO 800. © Marie Read

By Marie Read

Whether beautiful or bizarre, colorful or cryptic, exuberant or elusive, birds captivate us with their spirited ways and fascinating lifestyles. It’s no wonder they top the list of favorite subjects for many nature photographers. That’s been true since the dawn of nature photography, even more so since the digital age brought getting great photos within reach of anyone with a camera. The result is a world saturated with gorgeous bird imagery. So, how do you create images that stand out from the crowd? Once you’ve mastered the classic portrait, take your photos to the next level: make more meaningful images by showing the bird in its habitat or by capturing its behavior. Here are a few tips to help you.

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Crafting Compelling Captions for Photo Contests, Part I

A young pine marten leaps from one tree to another in my direction. I was shooting out of an open window. Silver Gate, Montana © Patricia McCollom Bauchman
A young pine marten leaps from one tree to another in my direction. I was shooting out of an open window. Silver Gate, Montana © Patricia McCollom Bauchman

By Frank Gallagher, NANPA Blog Coordinator

Captions play a critical role in photo contests. You might think that your photograph stands on its own but judges don’t have your knowledge of the circumstances at the moment you pressed the shutter button. The information you provide in your caption can help preemptively answer a judge’s questions or concerns, explain a unique situation you captured, illuminate subtle nuances in your composition, and assuage any trepidations over potential ethical problems. Captions can make or break your photo’s chances in Showcase or any other photo contest.

We’re in the middle of the 2021 NANPA Showcase nature photo competition and hundreds of photographers are combing through their archive to choose which stellar images they want to submit. The quality of submissions has always been outstanding, making the judges’ job difficult. Yet every year we get comments from judges about images with inadequate captions. Don’t let a weak caption give judges a reason to discount your photo!

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Weekly Wow! Week of August 24, 2020

All of this week’s Weekly Wow! images can be seen in the slideshow on the NANPA homepage at nanpa.org.

Showcase 2020 Top 100 Winner: “Patterns in a Dried Mud Flat, Death Valley National Park, California” © Ian Frazier
Showcase 2020 Top 100 Winner: “Patterns in a Dried Mud Flat, Death Valley National Park, California” © Ian Frazier

The following Showcase images have been selected to appear on the NANPA home page for the week beginning Monday, August 24, 2020.  To view all of the top 250 photographs from NANPA’s 2020 Showcase competition, see the photo gallery on the NANPA website. The 2020 edition of Expressions contains all of the top 250 photos from the Showcase competition as well as interesting and insightful articles. Order your copy here!

The 2021 NANPA Showcase competition is open! Enter your best photos between now and September 21st and maybe you’ll be featured in next year’s Weekly Wows or, better yet, win a prize! Get all the details on the 2021 NANPA Showcase page.

Continue reading