8th Annual Nature Photography Day

8th Annual Nature Photography Day

The North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) is a membership organization dedicated to promoting nature photography “as a medium of communication, nature appreciation, and environmental protection.”  I’ve been a member of this organization for a decade, taking advantage of its membership by attending annual seminars, enjoying inexpensive equipment insurance, and receiving guidance on ethical field practices.

One of the things that NANPA promotes is an annual Nature Photography Day on June 15.  It began Nature Photography Day to “promote the enjoyment of nature photography, and to explain how images have been used to advance the cause of conservation and protect plants, wildlife, and landscapes locally and worldwide.”  Rather than calling upon people to go to great lengths to fly or drive great distances to some dramatic, iconic location, the idea behind Nature Photography Day is to go someplace close, some place within walking, hiking or biking distance and examine the wonders of nature in our own backyard.  Fresh air and less carbon footprint that way!

Since the snow finally went away just a few weeks ago, I have been enjoying getting out and exploring the trails near my new hillside home above Rabbit Creek. The other morning, when doing my usual hour-long circuit, I noticed that the wildflowers were in crazy bloom.  Arctic lupine, bluebells, Western columbine, Narcissus-flowered anemone, forget-me-not, dwarf dogwood; all were bursting from the grasses, alders, aspen, cow parsnip, and just about every aspect of hillside and trail.  Knowing that I would be going for a hike this morning along the same route, I decided to take my camera long for the first time and capture some of this fleeting beauty.  Of course, with all of the stopping and composing, the usual hour turned into two.  But what a way to start a day.

The day is still young.  If you have a trail, park, stream, lake, coast, woods, or anything not made entirely of concrete and steel nearby you, I encourage you to get out and explore it with your camera.  Don’t be in a rush, either; take your time.  You may be surprised as to the many wonders you can discover if you give nature a chance to reveal herself to you.

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