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://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.
Nature Photography Day was June 15 and NANPA hosted a Facebook photo contest, which many of you participated in. It was open to the public, and we received entries from around the world. Winners were selected on June 20—and again, I had the opportunity to view some great photography and to experience the excitement and gratitude of those top winners.
A few weeks ago, many of you gathered in Jackson, Wyoming for NANPA’s Nature Celebration. I wasn’t able to attend, but I saw photos that attendees shared on social media of adorable bears, the Tetons, and beautiful photos taken during the event. Our Celebration attracted many of you who wanted to connect with your peers to talk about and photograph nature.
In case you didn’t know, NANPA has a Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/naturephotographyNANPA/?ref=bookmarks where people share photos. This is another great place to view gorgeous imagery–for inspiration and to glean ideas on how to capture subjects in new ways. It’s also a way to find out where people are photographing throughout the year, which can be helpful for planning future photography outings.
Many times we get caught up in the news, health issues of ourselves or those close to us, family drama, the doldrums of making a living, or pointing fingers at those who disagree with our opinions. After hearing the appreciation from members the last couple of weeks, not only from those who won photo contests but those who were touched by those images, I was reminded of the basic reason why I belong to and support NANPA.
It’s hard to explain to people who aren’t photographers. But it’s the pure joy of experiencing and photographing nature, sharing it with others, and being recognized when we capture a winning image. Any or all of those pieces keep us doing what we do on our quest for the perfect photo–no matter how elusive it may be.
If you need a little motivation or a kick in the fanny to get out and photograph, take a look at the 2018 Showcase winners https://nanpa.org/members/showcase-gallery.php . You can order a print copy of Expressions 2018 https://nanpa.org/learning/publications/expressions/ , download an electronic version from the members’ area of the website—or view the images on the website.
Submissions for the 2019 Showcase competition https://nanpa.org/events/showcase/nanpa-showcase-2019/ begin on August 1, and with summer travel and the abundance of wildlife, flowers, and photo ops, this is a great time to take photos to enter.
Have a great summer!