Fresh Approaches to Photographing Familiar Places

Photo of a range of mountains with the top lit by the orange light of sunrise. The foreground and base of the mountains are in shadow, except for some trees with yellow leaves. The first rays of sunrise strike the sandstone face of enormous West Temple in Zion Canyon. Rather than darkening the upper portion of the frame with a gradiated N.D. filter, I chose to invert the filter, darkening the foreground still further and then apply a local adjustment to lighten the trees. To my surprise, it worked. © Jerry Ginsberg
The first rays of sunrise strike the sandstone face of enormous West Temple in Zion Canyon. Rather than darkening the upper portion of the frame with a gradiated N.D. filter, I chose to invert the filter, darkening the foreground still further and then apply a local adjustment to lighten the trees. To my surprise, it worked. © Jerry Ginsberg

By Jerry Ginsberg

Yosemite, Yellowstone, Arches, Monument Valley. The names alone bring glorious and exciting images to mind. They’ve been published and printed for many decades. The classic shots of Half Dome, Old Faithful, Delicate Arch, and the Mittens; we’ve seen them all. Yet we continue to make pilgrimages to these scenic meccas of America in the hope of capturing the quintessential photograph of some already over exposed mountain or canyon that will distinguish our work from the pack; some fresh perspective that will set our images apart from the cliché.

Is this still possible? With all of the iconic photographs of our premier wilderness areas that have been made and circulated since the days of William Henry Jackson and Ansel Adams pioneered the craft, can we, with our hi-tech zillion megapixel cameras and the compressed schedules of our fast-lane lifestyles, persist in the creation of original interpretations of these well-known places? Clearly, the answer is still “Yes!”

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Photo Travel in the Age of the Coronavirus

Clearing Storm over the Teton Range. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. © Jerry Ginsberg
Clearing Storm over the Teton Range. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. © Jerry Ginsberg

By Jerry Ginsberg

The Bucket List

In these days of COVID-19 my bucket list is getting bigger, but my bucket is not. At the risk of being less than completely clear, allow me to explain. As time goes by, always far too quickly, I learn about more and more places on our little globe that I would like to visit, photograph and enjoy.

My list is now measurably longer than it was a year ago. Working against my ability – and that of all of us – to cross names off that list is the virtually worldwide lockdown as nations everywhere take a multitude of steps in an effort to minimize the spread of this scourge. Countries including as Argentina, Chile, Jordan and Switzerland are sitting on my yellowing list now rigidly frozen in gridlock.

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Now More than Ever, Know before You Go

Visitors won't be seeing this view of Mount Wilbur across Swiftcurrent Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana this year. © Frank Gallagher
Visitors won’t be seeing this view of Mount Wilbur across Swiftcurrent Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana this year. © Frank Gallagher

A time-tested piece of travel advice is to check the status of things at your destination before you depart. The last thing you want to encounter is a key location in your once-in-a-lifetime trip that is CLOSED. That’s happening now, as various national parks and points of interest are in varying stages of reopening during a pandemic. But a virus isn’t the only thing that can impact availability. Today you’ll find roads, campgrounds and entire sites that are closed or open only for limited hours almost anywhere you want to travel. It pays to know before you go.

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Weekly Wow! Week of July 20, 2020

Showcase 2020 Top 100 winner: "American White Pelican Pod Preening” © Dennis Fast Photography
Showcase 2020 Top 100 Winner: “American White Pelican Pod Preening” © Dennis Fast Photography

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, July 20, 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!

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Showcase 2020 Winner Profile – Patrick Pevey

Wolves walking through snow. Showcase 2020, Best in Show, Mammals: "Yellowstone Wolf Pack" © Patrick Pevey.
Showcase 2020, Best in Show, Mammals: “Yellowstone Wolf Pack” © Patrick Pevey.

How I Got the Shot

After years of annual winter visits to Yellowstone, this rare opportunity to photograph wolves near the road occurred.  The large Wapiti Lake wolf pack had been taking down bison in the general area. Late one afternoon we saw an injured bison along the Madison River. Overnight the bison was taken by the wolves and early the next morning we saw the mostly eaten carcass near the road with wolves nearby. I stood on the road for hours and had the chance to see the wolves’ behavior and hear them howling, a thrilling experience.

What I Used

I used a Canon 1Dx MKII camera with Canon 600mm f/4 MKII lens + 1.4x III extender at 840mm focal length.  I chose camera settings of 1/1600 sec at f/8, ISO 2500, +2 EV. Using a sturdy tripod with a gimbal I was relying on this steady support in low light to get crisp images from a great distance away. The bison carcass was close but the wolves were coming and going at various distances away.

About Me

I am an enthusiastic hobbyist and been photographing nature and wildlife for 15 years. My favorite location to go for wildlife would have to be Africa where there are just so many locations with opportunities to observe and photograph animal behavior. All of my trips to Africa included photography on the Chobe River, Botswana, a very productive location.

My Photographic Journey

I started out photographing landscapes, then became interested in wildlife and birds in flight.  What keeps me interested is watching animal behavior, photographing them in their habitat, and learning about the ability of animals to adapt and survive; I could watch them all day.  One winter we stood on the road in Yellowstone watching a red fox sleep for 5 hours waiting for it to move!  CNP Safaris in Africa has been critical to improving my photography and training me how to get the best images possible. With expert guidance I would say you just don’t stop learning and improving.

NANPA and Me

I have been a member for 11 years now. I’d never heard of NANPA until I saw NANPA’s Road Shows advertised in Outdoor Photographer magazine. I attended a one in Sacramento, California, and was impressed and inspired.  I have entered the Showcase since 2015 and have had numerous top 250 images over that time.  In 2017 I was honored to have my image of Snow Monkeys awarded Best in Show, Mammals.

Learn More About Me

I have been slow to join in on the social media side. Recently, however, I created a web page jointly with my gal: PatrickPeveyPhotography.com and see my NANPA Showcase portfolio.

How NANPA’s High School Scholarship Program Impacted Me: A Turning Point

Owl on alert in the forest.

Owl on alert in the forest.

Story and photos by Ashleigh Scully

I was a participant in the 2017 NANPA High School Scholarship Program and spent a week in the Great Smoky Mountains working with some incredible mentors, broadening my interests in photography and learning from some very talented kids my age as well. This program was a turning point for me–it showed me just how much I want to inspire the younger generation to learn more about conservation and photography. Working with and learning from 9 other students from across the country was not what I expected it to be. I had assumed we would all stick to the certain aspects of photography we were comfortable with, but instead we all motivated each other to try a little bit of everything. During that week in the Smokies, I got to experiment with flash and night photography and use some of the cameras, lenses, and flashes that Canon sent to as loaners. I now have knowledge of the settings to use for star and night photography, something that will definitely come in handy for me in the future. We also hiked out to a waterfall and attempted slow motion waterfall photos to capture the blur of the water. Using the loaner flashes, we also found little salamanders and toads and used white backgrounds for the “Meet Your Neighbors” technique that  Andrew Snyder, one of the mentors, taught us. Some of the kids were so in love with this new technique, it was all they did!

Do you know a talented young nature photographer? NANPA’s High School Scholarship Program is seeking 10 high school student photographers to attend a five-day field event where they can learn from the industry’s top shooters. Apply now for this immersive, hands-on education program to be held in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park July 6–11, 2020. Combining classroom and field-based instruction, students will have the chance to improve their nature photography skills, learn about NANPA, meet industry professionals, and gain an appreciation of the Smoky Mountains’ rich natural history. The NANPA Foundation funds this and other educational programs. January 31, 2020 is the last day to apply, so don’t wait. Apply now! This article was originally published in January, 2019.

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Weekly Wow! Week of December 2, 2019

Showcase 2019 Top 100 winner: " Undertow, Kona Coast, Hawaii " © Geoffrey Schmid.
Showcase 2019 Top 100 winner: ” Undertow, Kona Coast, Hawaii ” © Geoffrey Schmid.

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, December 2, 2019.  To view all of the top 250 photographs from NANPA’s 2019 Showcase competition, see the photo gallery on the NANPA website. 

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Weekly Wow! Week of November 25, 2019

Showcase 2019 Top 100 winner: “Winter Bobcat With Drake Mallard, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming” © Cindy Goeddel Photography, LLC.
Showcase 2019 Top 100 winner: “Winter Bobcat With Drake Mallard, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming” © Cindy Goeddel Photography, LLC.

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, November 25, 2019.  To view all of the top 250 photographs from NANPA’s 2019 Showcase competition, see the photo gallery on the NANPA website. 

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Weekly Wow! Week of November 18, 2019

Showcase 2019 Top 100 winner: " I Wanted to Show the Way an Osprey Carries a Fish, Fort Myers Beach, Florida" © Sankha Hota.
Showcase 2019 Top 100 winner: ” I Wanted to Show the Way an Osprey Carries a Fish, Fort Myers Beach, Florida” © Sankha Hota.

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, November 18, 2019.  To view all of the top 250 photographs from NANPA’s 2019 Showcase competition, see the photo gallery on the NANPA website. 

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Weekly Wow! Week of November 4, 2019

Showcase 2019 Top 100 winner: "Boulder Beach at Sunrise, Acadia National Park, Maine" © John R. Kuhn Jr.
Showcase 2019 Top 100 winner: “Boulder Beach at Sunrise, Acadia National Park, Maine” © John R. Kuhn Jr.

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, November 4, 2019.  To view all of the top 250 photographs from NANPA’s 2019 Showcase competition, see the photo gallery on the NANPA website. 

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