Whales, Bears & More in Southeast Alaska with Wendy Shattil

The calm waters of southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage teem with captivating wildlife and breathtaking scenery. At this time of year humpback whales congregate in large numbers and may indulge in impressive bubble-net feeding, breaching, tail lobbing and other dramatic behaviors. We’ll travel from Sitka to Juneau, Alaska aboard the classic wooden boat, the M/V Westward, where you’ll have a front row seat for sea lion haul-outs, bald eagles and an ancient glacier with giant icebergs calving off its face. We’ll search for brown bears catching salmon, walk through lush and serene rainforests, explore the diversity of creatures in tide pools and skiff or kayak through the gentle waters, drifting quietly past hanging gardens and waterfalls.

Benefit from Wendy Shattil’s 30+ years of field experience as a professional wildlife and conservation photographer. The remote wilderness adventures we’ll encounter from our comfortable wandering home invite a tranquility of the soul. Expect to be stimulated by the quiet solitude and reminded of our place in nature. We’ll do our best to capture these feelings and experiences with our eyes and our cameras and learn the power of our own storytelling ability through compelling imagery.

Whatever your skill level, you will learn tips, techniques and strategies to create memorable images. In the comfort of the Westward’s salon we’ll project our images and review the day’s experiences in a friendly group setting. Rather than snapping pictures and hurrying to find the next encounter, we’ll take time to savor each moment. Every scene is constantly changing, each animal is an individual and every behavior has a purpose.

Katmai Bears with Art Wolfe

Join Art as he leads this exclusive workshop to a private lodge in the Katmai region of Alaska. You will have opportunities to view and photograph bears safely and will be creating dynamic images that are different than anything you have seen before. This is a Katmai experience like no other due to the exclusivity of the location and the expert guidance. You can be one of only 8 people to learn the nuances olol f nature photography taught in a truly wild atmosphere by a well-versed set of instructors.
Limited to 8 participants. Co-led by Gavriel Jecan.

Alaska Bears at Lake Clark with Jess Lee

This is one of the best times for photographing these grizzly and their young cubs. You will have internationally acclaimed and long time bear photographer, Jess Lee, at your side giving instruction on how to get the best photos of cubs playing, brown bears courting, and the beauty of the Alaskan wilderness at Silver Salmon Creek Lodge.
You are invited to join Jess with a small group of adventurous photographers on this great Alaska Bear Photo trip. We will fly in our private bush planes directly from Anchorage to our lodge on the edge of the fabulous Lake Clark National Park wilderness for 6 days and 5 nights of pure Alaskan wilderness wildlife photography heaven. Our lodge (Silver Salmon) is first rate in its comfortable accommodations, food, and hospitality. Even the bears love this place, we often watch them in the yard from our dining room.
When you are with Jess, the first goal will be for you to capture great photos. You will take advantage of Jess’s vast experience of knowing wildlife behavior and nearly 4 decades of photographing bears. The majestic Brown Bear or Alaskan Grizzly will be our main quarry, but nearby pelagic bird populations, including horned and tufted puffins, black-legged kittiwakes and murres. Bald eagles, trumpeter swans, and harbor seals can also be targeted. Scenic backdrops include volcanic Mt. Iliama, Mt. Redoubt, and Augustine volcano, all part of Cook Inlet’s “ring of fire.”
Late June is a transition time for bears at Lake Clark. The breeding season is just winding down and the mother bears with their new cubs are just starting to show up. This gives photographers a great variety of interactive scenes between the bears. After mid July the bears start to disperse into the mountains and along the coast. This area is a concentration point of bears and their activities from mid June to mid July with daily bear photography opportunities of numbers of bears in the teens. Later in the season it is possible to only see from 1-3 bears on the trip. Late June is also usually the peak of the flower bloom and bears love lupines.
All of this makes Jess”s Alaska adventure a favorite. Touted in Outside Magazine and one of the top Alaska Bear photography trips. You will not only spend your time filling your hard drives with great images, but you will learn many of the techniques used to produce fabulous award winning photographs from one of today’s best working photographers. Jess will be available to review your work, giving you suggestions and examples of how to make your images stand out from the crowd. He will show you some of his processing techniques for not only editorial images, but some of the latest work flow using NIK software to help you produce stunning fine art prints. In the field, Jess will be shooting alongside you and taking time to offer advice on how to shoot and what to look for in grizzly bear behaviors to make your images special.
In this atmosphere, Jess will take time to give individual instruction while we are shooting. This is where you can learn best at a time when you can directly apply what you are learning. There will be time during the mid day breaks to study and fine tune the skills you will come to master.
All participants should be in Anchorage the day prior to our departure. We will be flying out of Anchorage early the morning of the 26th for Lake Clark. We will return to Anchorage mid day on the last day of our adventure. Weather delays, though not frequent, are possible so we suggest you book your return flights home the day after your return to Anchorage.
6 days and 5 nights from Anchorage, including meals and bush flights to our wilderness lodge. Lodging , meals, and transportation in Anchorage is not included. Plan to arrive in Anchorage on the 25th to be ready for our early bush flight on the 26th. $750.00 non refundable deposit holds your place with this small group of Alaskan photography adventurers.

Crowds vs. Conservation–Conflict or Cooperation

Crowds of tourists and photographers start to gather by Delicate Arch hours before sunset.

Crowds of tourists and photographers start to gather by Delicate Arch hours before sunset.

Story & photo by Frank Gallagher

Where do you draw the line between access and preservation?  At what point does introducing a larger number of visitors to the wonders of nature start to endanger that very nature?  It’s a tough call and one that land owners, government agencies and photographers are facing every day.

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From the President: Gordon Illg

In the wildflower bloom at Peridot Mesa in Arizona © Cathy Illg.

In the wildflower bloom at Peridot Mesa in Arizona © Cathy Illg.

This is my last blog as NANPA president, the end of a year of maundering over the past, present and future of nature photography. It turns out my fear that the organization would suffer under my leadership, or lack thereof, was unfounded, just as many of my fears are. Not only is NANPA doing well, but its membership has reached a new high point. It’s tempting for me to take credit for our success, but the truth is I’m riding on the coattails of an incredible herd/school/pride/pod of talented and hard-working staff and volunteers. Without them I would have been president of nothing, and I’m extremely grateful for my addiction to nature photography if for no other reason than it introduced me to these wonderful people who have guided and supported me.

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Showcase 2019 Winner Profile – Laura M Eppig

Showcase 2019 Birds, Judges' Choice: Ruby-throated Hummingbird Catching Gnat © Laura M. Eppig.

Showcase 2019 Birds, Judges’ Choice: Ruby-throated Hummingbird Catching Gnat © Laura M. Eppig.

Bio:

Laura M. Eppig is a mostly self taught Nature Photographer who learned on slide film in the late ’80’s. She was invited to join a Camera Club in order to learn Bird Photography and was mentored by 3 of the founding members.  While Laura shoots the majority of her images close to home, she has been known to travel far afield in search of certain elusive subjects, specifically Owls.

Laura finds that she can combine most of her interests through photography. Hiking and bird watching are two of her passions that nature photography encompasses. Macro photography is one of her special interests, especially shooting insects and spiders.  Library Exhibits, as well as other types of displays, and Photography Classes keep her busy in addition to photographing whenever possible.

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Showcase 2019 Winner Profile – Robert Schamerhorn

Showcase 2019 Mammals, Best in Show: Red Fox - Mouth Full of Voles © Robert Schamerhorn.

Showcase 2019 Mammals, Best in Show: Red Fox – Mouth Full of Voles © Robert Schamerhorn.

 

Bio:

Bob Schamerhorn was propelled into nature photography as a result of the digital age. In 2006, a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with a Peregrine Falcon on a beach in Cabo San Lucas sparked the transition from a point-and-shoot to a semi-pro camera. Within two years he began presenting programs at bird clubs, wildlife festivals and Audubon groups. He now keeps a full speaker schedule and displays at thirty art shows a year. Occasional publishing opportunities for book and magazine covers, plus photography contests have provided recognition and, in  2015, nature photography became a full time vocation.

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Showcase 2019 Winner Profile – Charles Gangas

Showcase 2019 Macro/Micro/All Other, First Runner-Up: Mobula Ray © Charles Gangas.

Showcase 2019 Macro/Micro/All Other, First Runner-Up: Mobula Ray © Charles Gangas.

Bio:

Charles Gangas became interested in nature photography as an aviator in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his career he had the opportunity to travel to distant lands and found he enjoyed taking photographs of the many “natural critters” he encountered. After retiring in 2013 from a career as a pilot for a major U.S. airline, he has gone from an avid hobbyist to a full-time professional photographer and guide. He has been a NANPA member for three years, and this is his first Showcase recognition.

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From the President: Gordon Illg

A family of sandhill cranes has no fear of this photographer. Photo © Cathy Illg.

A family of sandhill cranes has no fear of this photographer. Photo © Cathy Illg.

Cathy and I just returned from our last photo tour, a week of pointing lenses at colorful birds and ancient reptiles in some of Florida’s remaining wetlands. Just about every location we visited was outstanding, so crammed with photographic possibilities it was sometimes difficult to choose which subject to put in the viewfinder. A viewer, judging from the images we came home with, would assume all is right with this sub-tropical environment. What the photos don’t show is that each wonderful site was separated from the others by a couple of hours of driving on some very busy roads. It’s perfectly true that there are still some great venues for those who enjoy photographing wild things and the places they live, but these venues are becoming more and more isolated, islands of biodiversity in a growing sea of concrete, asphalt and golf courses.

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Photographing Wildlife With a Home-Made DSLR Camera Trap

Renous, River, New Brunswick (August 2007).

Renous, River, New Brunswick (August 2007).

Story & photos by Phil Riebel

A favorite hobby on my woodland property.

As a nature photographer I feel very fortunate to own forestland.  I regularly visit one of our properties on the border of the Renous River in Northern New Brunswick, about 35 minutes from where I live.  This is quite a wild area, dominated by forest with few people.

There are many nature photo opportunities here, including several species of mammals such as Moose, White-tailed Deer, Coyotes, Black Bear, Red Fox, Weasel, and Bobcat, just to name a few.  However, because they often avoid humans, it’s a challenge to get good photos of some of these species.

My small trailcam has allowed me to capture some photos and see what is around, but the quality of the photos is not great, especially when compared to a high-resolution DSLR.  That’s when I got the idea of building a DSLR camera trap based on discussions with colleagues and a bit of research.

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