Barney Koszalka is a nature photographer based in Chapel Hill, NC, and Jackson, WY. Originally trained as a scientist, he’s been photographing across Europe, South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia and Australia as well as throughout the western US. His work has been featured by the Sierra Club, recognized with numerous Explorer designations by Flickr, Member Choice awards in both Landscape and Plant Life by the Carolina Nature Photographers Association (CNPA), and named as a finalist in the 2018 Comedy Wildlife Awards competition. Koszalka is also a contributor to CNPA’s Camera in The Wild quarterly magazine and his studio art photography has appeared in a variety of advertising venues and craft books.
Your Name: Barney Koszalka
Title of Your Winning Image: Winter’s Sentinels
About your winning Showcase image:
1) How I Got the Shot
Venturing out to see what nature has to offer when it’s -25 degrees in Yellowstone National Park is a challenge no matter how well dressed one is. The Bobby Socks trees are in the Mid Geyser Basin a few miles north of Old Faithful. In the summer, one might drive past this group of dead tress. Look closely and see the white ‘socks’ at the tree’s base formed by the evaporation of mineral laden water after being absorbed by the wood. Come winter, when the roads are packed snow the scene changes. Add in a deep snow pack, extreme cold, a rising sun, a lingering fog and one can get something special here. To get this perspective you have to venture into hip deep snow and get low. It helps to have a friend help you get out too!
2) What I Used
This image was captured using a Nikon D4 with a 14-24mm f/2.8 lens at 14mm, f/8.0, 1/500 sec, ISO200, handheld. Post-processing work was completed in Lightroom and Photoshop.
3) About Me
I split my time between Chapel Hill, NC, and Jackson, WY, with the majority of that being in Chapel Hill. In addition to my interest in capturing the different forms nature has to offer with a Nikon D500 and D850, I shoot with two modified Nikon cameras in IR (590nm and 830nm). I also enjoy underwater photography, as well as documenting events and sports and share my knowledge regularly with presentations to various photography organizations. I also support our local art community by offering professional studio and printing services with a focus on jewelry, sculpture, paintings and folk art.
4) My Photographic Journey
Trained as a scientist, my interests began by learning the fundamentals of exposure and composition in books written by John Shaw. Partnering with another scientist with similar interests over 30 years ago we challenged each other, learned, and grew our skill set. Today we are on opposite sides of the continent but continue to critique each others work. I have photographed in Europe, South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia and Australia as well as through out the US West. The Teton Range and Yellowstone area have a particular draw even after years of working these areas.
5) NANPA and Me
I joined NANPA three years ago after a recommendation from a fellow member. The immediate draw was access to a variety of educational webinars and services. In addition to NANPA I’m also a member of the Teton Photography Club in Jackson, WY, that has hundreds of members across the US and the Carolina Nature Photographers Association with membership in both North and South Carolina.
6) Where Can People Learn More About You?
My NANPA Portfolio is: https://nanpa.org/portfolio/barney-koszalka-2019/.