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Highlights from the Nature Photography Convention

March 15, 2011 Photography Events 9 Comments

Written by: Charlie Borland

The Nature Photography Summit sponsored by the North American Nature Photographers Association just wrapped up in McAllen, TX and once again, it was an event rich in inspiration, motivation, phenomenal photography, and wonderful photographers.

The convention center is packed with like minded people; those who share a passion for nature photography. And many have come from all over the world like: Australia, Mexico, Holland, and elsewhere.

There have been some fabulously enjoyable informative and educational breakout sessions covering a wide range of subjects covering more subjects and sadly for me, I could attend them all. But here is a list to give you an idea:

Keynote Presentation

1)Common mistakes photographers make
2)Guide to songbird photography
3)Wildlife filmmaking for photographers
4)How to get your first book published
5)Pros Meeting
6)Nature needs half: using images locally to make changes globally
7)Social media for photographers
8)The joys of macro photography
9)Color managed workflow

And then there were workshops and field trips:

Field trips to Javelina-Martin Wildlife Refuge, Estero Llano Grande State Park, Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, and elsewhere.
Photoshop CS5 with Adobe Gurus Julieanne Kost
HDR with Jay Goodrich
Social Media with Doug Otto
dSLR Video: Creating Dynamic Multimedia Stories with Raymond Klass and Ian Shive

Daniel Beltra

and so much more…..

The first session I attended was the Pros Meeting where John Nuhn, Photography Director for the National Wildlife Federation, and he spoke on how to work with magazines and editors. His points were informative and enlightening and offered plenty of good advice for those photographers working in the editorial markets.

Daniel Beltra is a conservation photographer from Spain who lives in Seattle and is a member of the International League of ConservationPhotographers. His photography has taken him on expeditions to the Amazon Basin, the Arctic, the Southern Oceans and the Patagonian ice fields. In 2009 he was awarded the Prince’s Rainforest Project from the Sony World Photography Awards. It’s a  project granted by Prince Charles and he was sent to the Congo, Amazon and Indonesian rain forests to create photos for a book, website and traveling exhibition about the condition and fate of the  world’s rain forests. His keynote presentation on these projects featured beautiful photography combined with a clear message about our planets health.

Michelle Westmorland

Michelle Westmorland, an underwater and  cultural photographer also from Seattle, presented a keynote presentation on her photography work from Melanesia in the South Pacific. Her multimedia presentation featured stunning photography of underwater species both common and uncommon to many of us and was a rich experience in the colorful underwater world. Her book, Ocean Duets, focuses on the beauty of the underwater world. A documentary film andbook project, Headhunt Revisited, is currently in post production and features her cultural work with native Pacific Islanders.

Photographer Paul Hassell is no doubt a passionate person and his energetic presentation on Social Media shows why. He showed how effective social media can be for photographers. He not only presented examples of how simple and easy social media it is to setup, but presented excellent examples of photographers on the web who have successfully used social media to

Evening at Quinta Mazatlan

promote their projects and adventures from obscurity to viral.

Kathy Adams Clark, a native Texan, provided a wonderful view of the Rio Grande region in her presentation: El Rio Grande: Exploring the Great River. Her images created a nice presentation highlight the diverse features, wildlife, andculture throughout the Rio Grande region.

Patricio Robles Gil is a conservation photographer from Mexico and author of over 35 books on the landscape and wilderness. He has founded two conservation groups, worked with scientists and biologists, and published the work of other photographers dedicated to conservation photography. His evening presentation focused on those decades of work and his dedication to the environment.

Jack Dykinga is a familiar name to most nature photographers and like many others attending the summit, he is dedicated to conservation photography as well. Jack is a widely published photographer and photographer of many books. For many years he was one of Arizona Highwayswidely published photographers and the work presented during the evening presentation shows why. Stunning landscapes from Arizona, the Sonoran Desert, and other areas of the world shows Jacks commitment to photography, the earth, and conservation. I am so pleased to have scene this presentation.

There was a wonderful event on a warm South Texas evening at Quinta Mazatlan, a local nature center, where the Summit Photo Show was presented along with the awards ceremony.

Trade Show

The Summit Trade Show also attracted a wide variety of vendors with the latest and greatest in gear, software, and travel options.

The groundwork is being laid out for a new NANPA program called the Ambassador program and this will be a local grass roots effort to bring nature photographers together in local communities, like your own. The program will be  casual with the idea to organize nature photographers with like minded interests to gather form time to time and share ideas, go photograph together, and simply enjoy photography. If you are interested in joining other nature photographers in your local area then you will want to be on the NANPA email list to receive information and then join.

If you have a passion for nature photography, there is no better place to hang out with nature photographers and learn from others, many the best of the best, than the annual NANPA Nature Photography Summit.

If you are not a member consider joining the best organization for Nature Photographers!

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Currently there are "9 comments" on this Article:

  1. Greg Vaughn says:

    Thanks for the write-up! Sure wish I could have been there. Did they announce the location for next year’s Summit? NANPA is a very worthwhile organization and I wish more pros would actively participate.

  2. Doug Otto says:

    Thanks for the mention Charlie.

    @Greg – Stay tuned to NANPA’s website and social media outlets for the very latest information on the next Summit.

  3. You should correct ‘Paul Hassing’ to Paul Hassell – http://www.PaulHassell.com

    Your glowing review has me wondering if I was at the same Summit. I’m hopeful that the year off will give NANPA the time to reorganize the summit and get back to providing the great information and opportunities it has in the past.

  4. admin says:

    OMG-Paul if you are out there: sorry for the mis-spell man!

    Rebecca- I went to as many breakouts as I could and all keynotes and I thought they were all great, unlike past Summits when I have felt a few breakouts were weak subjects with weak speakers. But I am in total agreement that it’s time for a total review of the event and a new strategy on content as well.

  5. admin says:

    Yea, no summit next year. NANPA like many photographers and other organizations has found itself in a challenging situation, so the next year and a half is a re-evaluation and rebuild time and based on meetings it will be bigger and better.

  6. Great write-up Charlie. Sorry I missed it this year. Where is next years conference?

    I really wished I could have seen Patricio Robles Gil’s presentation. I’ve been aware of his work since early in my days with Galen.


  7. admin says:

    We missed you to Gary. Patricio was really good and Michelle Westmorland’s presentation was a very good multi media mix, not just a slide show, so it was really well done.

  8. soad says:

    hello! my regards to you all – soad from libya .

  9. soad says:

    hello! because i like nature i send my regards to you all – soad from libya .

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