Started out the day with a fabulous presentation on a European nature conservation program starting this year called Wild Wonders of Europe. The sub-theme is Unseen, Unexpected and Unforgettable; the sponsors found that citizens of Europe are significantly unaware of the natural beauty around them. Their program has been to enlist 30-40 professional photographers across the continent to create beautiful images showing the success stories of natural recovery as well as the still threatened habitats and animals. To see the images and learn more about the program click on the link above.
Our next session was all about digital photography after dark: tricks, techniques, tools and methods. The photographer showed us images created using light-painting, time-lapse, star trails, moonlight and car headlights. Pretty simple techniques that deliver very interesting and beautiful photographs, without a great investment in equipment.
After lunch enjoyed a session with Darrell Gulin on five critical aspects of successful photography. Darrell makes wonderful and creative images for stock, travel, editorial and landscape, and he’s a fun motivating speaker. As a Canon Explorer of Light he’s very knowledgeable about their range of products and how to use them effectively. Visit Darrell’s site here to experience some of his work.
Last event of the day was the closing presentation and it was fitting to end a meeting of a group with so much potential to influence change. Joel Sartore was named NANPA’s outstanding nature photographer of the year today and tonight he shared his career story. You can read about him and see his work here. Starting as a graduate of the University of Nebraska, to a Kansas newspaper, onto a National Geographic photographer and all the stories he’s worked on to tell their stories. He’s seen a lot of the results of man’s impact on the environment and it’s obviously had an impact on how he thinks about his work, now and in the future. Appropriately, he challenged a group of nature photographers to use their craft to aid conservation where they live, echoing several speakers’ words that the time for powerful visual images in support of global change has never been more apropos. This has been a very satisfying meeting, my first with this organization. I’ve enjoyed the smaller, more collegial size of the gathering and especially the approachability of the stars of nature photography. In a profession full of individuals exploring their own paths to story telling, it’s reassuring to find a forum for collective learning, encouragement, and relationship building.