By Frank Gallagher, NANPA Marketing, Communications, and Blog Coordinator
On Nature Photography Day, June 15th, hundreds of photographers joined the NANPA’s iNaturalist Nature Photography Day bioblitz, an eleven-day community-science event to find, identify, and document as many species as possible in a given area. NANPA offered three gift cards as prizes and incentives to participate. Over three articles, we’ll meet the winners and see why they participated and what they got out of the experience (besides a prize, of course). During the course of the year, we’ll be highlighting other observations made during the bioblitz. And, if you’re interested in community science and documenting species, check out NANPA’s list of community science projects or join an iNaturalist collection project like Lost Words.
Speaking of photo contests, NANPA’s Showcase nature photography competition has just opened and is accepting entries through September 15, 2022. That’s another chance to have your photos recognized in a prestigious forum that also offers prizes for the top images. Learn all about it here.
Most species observed
Gouri Prakash, a NANPA member and hobbyist photographer in Pennsylvania, won the prize for the most research-grade observations of different species. This is Prakash’s second year participating, having won a second-place prize in 2021. And what keeps her involved in projects like a bioblitz?
When I go out into nature and observe species and wildlife, I typically pace it slow,” she said, “do it under controlled conditions and get pictures of one or two species in a day. A bioblitz is my opportunity, to go all out, unconditionally, to focus on discovering more of the many species that call planet Earth home, and do it without any filters, which is why I decided to participate in NANPA’s Nature Photography Day Bioblitz.
“The most interesting day in this eleven-day journey was, hands down, the trip I took to Machais Seal Island, off the coast of Maine, where I had the opportunity to observe the common puffin, with their alarmingly colorful beaks. These birds with their innocent faces and beseeching eyes are also aptly known as the friars of the sea.
“The day before the trip, I looked up the island online and learned that U. S. and Canada actually consider the island to be disputed territory. I got worried whether I needed to have my passport on me to even step foot on the island. I was, of course not carrying my passport with me. I called the tour operator and was informed that passports were not needed as U. S. and Canada have come to an amicable arrangement that allows the tour operator to bring passengers to the island, even if a passenger is not native to either of the countries!
“It was heartwarming to see that, apart from the puffins, there were the terns, razorbills (opening photo) and murre, all cohabiting in harmony and at peace with each other’s presence on the island. If only to live and to let live were a universal paradigm …”
Frank Gallagher is a landscape and nature photographer based in the Washington, DC, area who specializes in providing a wide range of photograph services to nonprofit organizations. He serves as NANPA’s Interim Marketing and Communications Coordinator and manages NANPA’s blog. He can be found online at frankgallagherphotography.com or on Instagram @frankgallagherfoto.
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