June 15th National Nature Photography Day

Nature provides us with more beautiful scenes than we could ever create on our own.  It also provides humor and awe and in an attempt to capture some of that we take pictures so that we can remember.

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Nature photographers don’t often get the glory that other photographers get. After all, they are just capturing something that is already there… but there is an art to it, just like any other kind of photography. Actually, there may even be more of an art to capture Mother Nature than in any other form of photography.  While nature provides the subject, it often requires a lot of effort to get the shot.

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It can  require traveling and planning, having to be at the right spot at just the right time with the right equipment exactly when nature provides the opportunity. It also takes more observation, the photographer seeing things most of us just take for granted.

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Anybody can create a shot in a studio. It’s a totally controlled environment using material set up by set decorators and lighting that can be adjusted to make the shot look, natural. Nature does not offer those same opportunities.

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And occasionally, even the nature photographer is surprised by the results. The day was created by the North American Nature Photography Association in 2006. (NANPA was created 1994.)

How to celebrate – Grab you camera and become a nature photographer yourself. Go to an art exhibition featuring photography taken in nature. Make a picture say a thousand words.

June 29th National Camera Day

In the late 1700s, Thomas Wedgwood created shadow image photograms making him the first photographer in history. In 1822, Nicephore Niepce, took the first picture that could be recognized but his process was not fast or easy – the subject was required to remain still for several hours while the picture “took”. Unfortunately he broke the plate while trying to make copies and literally destroyed his work.

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Niepce joined with Louis Daguerre who began work more as a chemist than a photographer. With Nicephore’s process the image was required to remain still for several hours while the picture “took”.  When Nicephore died in 1833, Daguerre was forced to move on by himself. In 1838, he took a picture that required the image remaining still for only 10 minutes and the art of modern photography had begun.

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Many others helped bring the art up to the standards it is today. Hercules Florence, John Herschel, Frederick Scott Archer, and Gabriel Lippman are among a few of those names.

Anthony-Phantom-CameraProbably the most recognized is George Eastman. He invented the use of modern ‘film’ in 1885.

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How to celebrate: Go out and take some pictures, Buy a new camera, Find a place where you can get an old-time photo made, Make “sunprints”.