2023 Nature Photography Summit
You won’t want to miss the stories, the images, the insight, the inspiration that will be shared by a terrific slate of keynote speakers!
Michael Frye – The Art of Nature Photography
Thursday, May 4, 12 p.m.
In its early days, photography struggled to be accepted as an art form. It was seen by many as just a “mechanical process,” not a creative form of expression. Thanks to the efforts of people like Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, and others in the early 20th Century, photography became widely recognized as a legitimate art form, and accepted into major museums. But what separates an artistic, creative photograph from one that’s merely a visual record? How do you make artful photographs that remain true to the essential character of the medium? And what does it mean to photograph nature in an artistic way? Furthermore, how can you realize your own artistic vision of the natural world? What do you want to say about nature, and how can you express that? Join Michael Frye as he discusses the past, present, and future of nature photography as an art form, and invites you to join this tradition and express your own artistic vision of nature.
Michael Frye will receive NANPA’s Fine Art in Nature Photography Award.
Wendy Shattil – What Happens Along the Way
Thursday, May 4, 2 p.m.
Fifty plus years ago at the University of Arizona, I discovered photography could have purpose, which set me on a circuitous path back to Tucson to receive this award. Life happens, tidy or not, but purposeful photography remains her objective today.
Wendy will receive NANPA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Daniel J. Cox – Finding Purpose: A Photographic Journey
Thursday, May 4, 3 p.m.
I had a dream in the early days of my journey as a nature photographer. That dream was to promote our planet’s beauty and fragile nature while working at the craft of photography I loved. Although I knew it wouldn’t be easy, It was a passion I had to pursue. Two decades passed as I worked with all the major publishers, magazines, advertising agencies, and others. And then it began to change.
The transition began with technology. Specifically, the invention of autofocus, which was the beginning of the end of life as I knew it. I’ll discuss how these changes forced me to pivot in the most positive ways—driving me even closer to two conservation groups I’ve worked with for almost three decades.
This program will be about dreams, hope, and a commitment to something larger than one person and the friends I’ve made along the way.
Daniel J. Cox will receive NANPA’s Environmental Impact Award.
Gabby Salazar – Finding Creativity in Collaboration
Friday, May 5, 12 p.m.
As nature photographers, we tend to spend a lot of time alone. We take solo hikes in the woods, sit in our cars at overlooks waiting for sunrise, and hide ourselves away in photo blinds. While there are many benefits to solitude, there is also a lot to be gained from working with others. Spending time in the field with fellow photographers can help us expand our practice and become more creative. Collaborating on projects with scientists, filmmakers, writers, and other types of artists can also help us create new and innovative work that is outside of our comfort zone.
In this keynote address, I will share how my photographic practice has grown and evolved through collaborative projects. These projects have taken me to places I never thought I would go – from the top of an active volcano in Guatemala to the grasslands of Zimbabwe in search of lions. I’ll also share how collaboration can be the key to having a broader positive impact on the wildlife and wild places we all love.
Gabby Salazar received NANPA’s 2021 Emerging Photographer Award (now called the Trailblazer Award).
Adam Schallau – From Rim to River: A Photographic Exploration of the Grand Canyon
Friday, May 5, 2 p.m.
This keynote, “From Rim to River,” is about Adam’s 20-year journey photographing the Grand Canyon and how what started as a simple side trip while on vacation has evolved into a passion for photographing the temple of stone and light.
The presentation will take you on a visual journey exploring the Grand Canyon, on foot and by raft, highlighting the wide-open vistas from the rim of the canyon down into the hidden wonders along the Colorado River. You will follow along as he spends countless days alone in freezing temperatures waiting for a winter storm to break, chasing monsoon storms, hiking for several miles up remote side canyons in search of rarely seen waterfalls cascading through slot canyons, and as he survives a raft flipping over and trapping him beneath it in one of the Colorado River’s most deadly rapids.
Adam will also provide a behind-the-scenes look into the challenges he has faced in making his photographs and his creative process behind the camera. Through this journey, you will see that Grand Canyon is a complex and diverse environment with opportunities sure to fill a lifetime of photographic adventure.
Dave Showalter – Living River: Promise of the Mighty Colorado
Friday, May 5, 3 p.m.
The Colorado River is undergoing an extreme stress test 23 years into a mega drought, exacerbated by climate change. Yet, a vibrant living river flows from the Rocky Mountain headwaters, carrying abundant life wherever the mighty Colorado flows. Living River is a story of life in current and our relationship to water in the American West where 40 million people depend on the Colorado River, the river we have 100 years after the Colorado River Compact.
Greg Johnson – I am Just a Tornado Hunter
Saturday, May 6, 6:30 p.m.
This presentation is focused on the tools, skills, and techniques of photographing severe weather. So much of photography is based on trying to achieve the most technically perfect shot. I throw all of that out the window, focusing instead on the moment. Capturing the moment from a moving vehicle with debris falling from the sky requires a different skill set than landscape or wildlife photography.
My goal is always the same, get as many focused, non-blurry, and dramatic images as I can from an event that lasts, at times, only a few minutes. Preparation is key, as is navigation, as is understanding weather. Different situations require different camera skills and this presentation will highlight some of my favorite techniques.
I love questions and being challenged on how an image is created. Lifelong learning and modesty are the best tools in a photographer’s arsenal. I keep the process simple so that when things go sideways, it is easy to recover and make the next shot count. Hopefully, you will be blown away.