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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Future Of Nature Photography

The Next Generation • Show Me The Money • The Crystal Ball • Too Much Of A Good Thing

Labels: How-ToColumnTech Tips

This Article Features Photo Zoom

These are two great examples of images captured by this year’s participants in the NANPA high-school scholarship program during their field sessions near Reno, Nev., in February 2010. Above: Detail of Fly Geyser, located on private property north of Pyramid Lake, Nev. Canon EOS 7D with 17-40mm lens at 18mm, 4 sec. at ƒ/22, ISO 200. Photo by Adam Brobjorg.

Photographer at Fly Geyser, located on private property north of Pyramid Lake, Nev. Canon EOS 7D with 17-40mm lens at 21mm, 1⁄25 sec. at ƒ/9, ISO 100. Photo by Stephanie Wollmann.
The Next Generation
We’ve just returned from the 16th Annual Summit of NANPA, the North American Nature Photography Association (www.nanpa.org), an organization that promotes responsible and creative photography of wildlife and the landscape. The Annual Summit always is an occasion to reconnect with old friends and colleagues and to be inspired and renewed by the amazing work shared by professionals and skilled amateurs in this field.

One of NANPA’s best efforts is its focus on developing young photographers through scholarship and mentoring opportunities for talented high-school students, a program funded by members through the NANPA Foundation and carried out with the support of partnering corporations, including Canon USA, Apple, Bogen, Delkin, Wimberley, Hunt’s Photo and Photoflex. In addition to professional classroom instruction, the students are able to work in the field with professional Canon gear, Canon’s dedicated tech guru Michael Nadler and pro coaches affiliated with NANPA, such as Raymond Klass (once a student in the program), Ellen Anon, Darrell Gulin, Arthur Morris, yours truly and visiting guest speakers. It’s a great experience for everyone involved.

Spending time with “the kids” is our favorite part of any NANPA meeting. In this column, we write a lot about the next generation of this or that photographic technology, but in this case, we’re talking about the next generation of the users and movers of that technology. The high-school “nature scholars” at the 16th Annual Summit really get it, and they can teach us some new ways to see, interpret and capture nature, as illustrated by the extraordinary “guest photographer” images gracing this column. And they have the same concerns as experienced photographers who want to make a difference in the world and be successful in the nature photography field. For the answers to three great questions posed by the teens we met at the 2010 NANPA Summit, read on.


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