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From the President

From the President

Photo by Bill White

Website Improvements On The Way

 

Bill White
GNPA President

It’s 2023, and our GNPA website is getting a makeover.

Based on feedback from members, last May we began researching ways to improve our site. Since then, we’ve identified problem areas and explored ways to make the web site more helpful and easier to use.

Here are some key improvements you’ll find when the web site is updated in February:

  1. Many members had difficulties making changes to their memberships, billing and payments. The new membership management system allows you to quickly and easily upgrade, downgrade and renew, while allowing you to instantly update billing information and your personal profile.

 

  1. Entering photo competitions was also an issue for some members, and the software required separate payments for each image submitted. Our new system is a specialized, purpose-built photo competition service. It’s simple to use, highly intuitive and provides features to help you submit and manage your entries. We could literally run a worldwide competition with this system!

 

  1. Beginning in February, all chapter meetings and events will appear on our website in both list and calendar views. Gone will be the problematic use of MeetUp to manage our meetings, register for events and coordinate with our web site. Events, meetings and field trips will be easy to find, and sign up for, with this integrated system.

 

  1. Previously, members needed to switch between the GNPA site and MemberClicks to find information on events, sign up, locate resources or fill out forms. Now, all the information will be linked together on one site.

In February, your current GNPA registration information will be imported to the new system, simplifying and minimizing the one-time steps when you log in for the first time. Much of the website will look the same as it does now, but there will be some important changes to enhance your experience.

Stand by for emails from GNPA in the next 30 days that will provide more details and sneak previews.

Here are some other items of note this month:

  • January is a great time of year to take photographs of woodpeckers, sandhill cranes in Tennessee, and bald eagles at Berry College in Rome and at West Point Lake Dam. Move quickly on those sandhill cranes, though – they will be gone by late January.
  • I’m happy to report that GNPA continues to grow and add new members. Our organization is also in a good position financially.
  • The annual GNPA elections for board members are coming up in March. If you are interested in serving our membership, please let us know as soon as possible. You can contact the nominating committee through Vice President Doug Flor.
  • Would you like the opportunity to display one or two of your best nature photographs at the Chattahoochee Nature Center or the Hudgins Center in Gwinnett? Watch for announcements soon for your chance to submit photographs for consideration.
  • Our Programs Committee continues to provide us with great Zoom programs, featuring some of the top outdoor photographers in the Southeast and beyond. Members can access past programs at gnpa.org, where you can also sign up for new monthly presentations throughout 2023. These are a great way to learn new photographic techniques that can help you elevate your own photography.

We’re in the midst of planning our annual Expo event, scheduled for April 2023. This year, it will feature virtual speakers along with guided outdoor field trips across the state. We will have more details in late January.

See you in the field.

— Bill

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From the President

From the President

Photo by Bill White

What’s Happening in GNPA

 

Bill White
GNPA President

Our chapters are conducting in-person meetings again, and offering some excellent speakers.  If you cannot make it to your local chapter meeting for whatever reason, our Programs Committee has been producing monthly programs with outstanding photographers on Zoom. To learn about upcoming programs, join the statewide GNPA Meetup Group for updates. As a GNPA member, you can also watch recorded versions of all these programs, at your conveneience, via our website. One of the benefits of GNPA membership is the ability to learn from outstanding phgoraphers, and our webinars and chapter meetings are great opportuities to do that.

Our annual weekend in the Smokies will have concluded by the time you read this. If you couldn’t attend this year, be sure to take part in 2023. It’s a terrific trip that you don’t want to miss.

The 2023 GNPA Expo will be held in the Atlanta area. Plans are being finalized now, and will be announced once all the details are completed.

The nominating committee is looking for new GNPA board members for next year. If you want to throw your hat in the ring, please let me know. Plus, every chapter needs a few more good folks to help out with the meetings and events. It’s a great way to get involved, meet other photographers and contribute to our volunteer organization.

See you in the field.

— Bill

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From the President

From the President

Photo by Bill White

Exploring Fall With GNPA

 

Bill White
GNPA President

Fall is approaching and photographic opportunities will be everywhere. One of the best will occur around the end of this month and into early October, when bull elk enter the rut in Cherokee, North Carolina, and Cataloochee. If you haven’t witnessed that, it’s worth the trip. (Editor’s note: see Horace Hamilton’s article “Photographing Elk in the Smokies” here:

Local chapters are holding live meetings again. These meetings, of course, are a great way to meet new friends and learn about all aspects of nature photography. You can find a list of upcoming meetings on Meetup. Our Smyrna Chapter has conducted two in-person meetings lately with outstanding speakers, and we have another coming up this month, when Tom Wilson will speak about dragonflies.

Using Lightroom was the topic at the recent chapter meeting in Gwinnett. Thanks to that presentation, I learned several valuable tips that I’m now putting into practice. I encourage everyone to attend chapter meetings, and hope to see you there soon.

The annual GNPA fall trip to the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee will be November 3-6, 2022. At past events, I’ve photographed sunrises at the Okonaluftee Overlook, sunsets at Clingman’s Dome, and bears, coyotes, deer and turkeys in Cades Cove. This is definitely one of my favorites.

Don’t forget to sign up for the statewide GNPA Meetup Group. Your local chapter has its own Meetup Group, but following the state group allows you to keep abreast of all our programs and upcoming events.

Meanwhile, the Programs Committee is still presenting statewide webinars, usually on the third Wednesday of the month. We’ve had some terrific presentations recently, with more on the way. GNPA members can watch them live, or view the recorded webinars on our website.  

Our organization is operated by, and for, our members. The more people who participate and volunteer, the more we can offer. If you can help out with field trips or events, please let me know. It’s a great way to learn new things and meet some very interesting people.

See you in the field.

— Bill

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From the President

From the President

Photo by Bill White

Summertime for GNPA

 

Bill White
GNPA President

Summer is here, and it’s hot. But there are good opportunities for photography in the Atlanta area, including the Atlanta Zoo, Gibbs Gardens, the Chattahoochee Nature Center and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. If you can’t find wildlife to photograph, this is a great time to create images of flowers, butterflies and dragonflies.

In-person meetings are beginning to ramp up for our Atlanta-area chapters, and you should be able to attend those meetings in July or August. Our chapter coordinators, by the way, could always use more help. As meetings resume, this is a great time to get involved in your local chapter and provide a helping hand, or if you know a good location for photography, perhaps you could lead a field trip for fellow members.

Meanwhile, be sure to check out all of the GNPA field trips, like the recent one to Gibbs Gardens. You can join each chapter’s Meetup page to learn about the trips, and you can sign up for any chapter’s field trips as long as you are a GNPA member. There is no cost for these trips unless the location charges an entry fee.

If you cannot make it to a meeting, our Programs Committee is offering monthly speakers via Zoom. Join the GNPA statewide Meetup page to be alerted to the upcoming programs. Please remember that you have to sign up for those programs in the members’ section of the GNPA website. You will not receive the Zoom links from  Meetup.

Our annual fall trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee will be November 3–6 this year. It is an excellent opportunity for wildlife, macro and landscape photography in the Smokies, and one of our most popular events. Registration will open in the fall.

GNPA is a volunteer organization, and we need volunteers like you as chapter coordinators, field trip leaders and committee members. It’s a great way to meet other members,  learn more and improve GNPA for all our members. Please let us know how you can help.

See you in the field.

— Bill

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From the President

From the President

Photo by Bill White

In-Person EXPO Returns to Jekyll

 

Bill White
GNPA President

The annual GNPA Expo, held this year at Jekyll Island, was a great success! We had terrific  speakers, including keynote presenter Arthur Morris. In addition, attending members enjoyed guided field trips to the Okefenokee Swamp, sunrise and sunset photography, bird photo trips on Jekyll and at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, and Milky Way photography on the island at Clam Creek and Driftwood Beach. While a big storm caused us to miss the sunrise on the Prairie in the Okefenokee, we still had a great encounter with some barred owls in the swamp.

Membership has increased by more than 110 members since last year. We also ended 2021 with a $12,206 increase in our surplus over the previous year, primarily due to covid-based cost savings in 2021. Those savings were the result of not paying rent for our chapter meetings, minimal fees for speakers, and minimal costs for canceling the 2021 in-person Expo.

Our Communications Committee is continuing to manage the Facebook page, the Instagram feed, the website and the digital newsletter. A complete redo of the website was unveiled earlier this year and looks great. Six newsletters were published and distributed to members in 2021, with another six set for 2022. The most popular item overall in the newsletters are the  “Where To Shoot Now” columns (you can find those, and all the newsletter articles, on our website).

The Conservation Committee, meanwhile, has also been busy. We have 62 volunteer photographers involved with the committee, and they have donated photographs to four metro Atlanta and three state-wide organizations.

Last year, the Board formed a Programs Committee and began hosting monthly outside speakers on Zoom. We will continue to bring even more speaker programs to our members for the remainder of this year. Be sure to check the GNPA Meetup page for the programs and webinars being offered in 2022. Please remember that you have to sign up for those programs in the members’ section of the website – you won’t receive Zoom links from signing up on Meetup.

We hope to have all chapters meeting in person again by this summer. Watch Meetup for news on each chapter.

Also, don’t miss our annual Fall Smokies Trip on November 3–6, 2022. It is an excellent opportunity to photograph wildlife, macro and landscapes in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and one of our most popular events.

Looking ahead, the 2023 Expo will be held in the Atlanta area. GNPA will offer field trips at many locations, including but not limited to Zoo Atlanta, Stone Mountain, the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, the Georgia Aquarium and Gibbs Gardens. We’ll have more details later.

See you in the field.

— Bill

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From the President

From the President

Photo by Bill White

A Time for Opportunities

Bill White
GNPA President

Spring is in the air, and you can find opportunities for great nature photographs everywhere.

I have a bird feeder in the backyard, which I use for a bird studio. I’ve been able to photograph cardinals, titmouses, wrens, bluebirds, woodpeckers and owls outside my door, and most people can do the same in their yards. Meanwhile, Gibbs Gardens is opening in early March (check their website), and you should not miss the Daffodil Colorfest this spring. At Berry College in Rome, the bald eagles are still nesting, but their the chick will fledge soon. So if you want to photograph the eagles, time is short. And diamorpha will soon be in bloom at Arabia Mountain.

Things are also happening at GNPA. The annual elections of the GNPA Board of Directors and officers will be conducted later this month. Watch for the ballot in your email, and don’t forget to vote.

Due to the unpredictability of Covid, the Programs Committee has been planning its events monthly for the rest of 2022. We’re hopeful that all of the local chapters will be meeting in person again soon.

Registration for the 2022 Annual Expo at Villas by the Sea on Jekyll Island is now open, and you can register at the members’ section of the GNPA website. This year’s Expo, which begins April 7, will include great speakers, programs, field trips and critiques, so be sure to check out the schedule and sign up right away. Jekyll itself offers many different kinds of nature photo opportunities, so it is well worth the trip. I hope to see you there.

As usual, GNPA plans to field a team in the North Georgia Shootout, scheduled for Saturday, April 30, 2022. This has been a fun event for GNPA teams in the past. Check out the website at https://northgeorgiacameraclubcouncil.org/ for more information.

See you in the field.

— Bill

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From the President

From the President

Photo by Bill White

New Photographic Opportunities

Bill White
GNPA President

As we head into January, the weather is changing, and so are your photo opportunities. I will be photographing the eagles at Berry College this month, as well as sandhill cranes at the Hiwassee Refuge Overlook in Tennessee. If you’re interested in seeing the cranes, make sure you get there before they depart by the end of this month. (Check Jerry Black’s GNPA article here).

There is also a lot happening within GNPA right now:

  • Our annual election of officers is coming up in March. If you are interested in serving your organization, please let me know.
  • The Seventh Annual “Stand in Ansel Adams’s Footsteps” photography competition will open soon. Make sure you go online and join Meetup for Gwinnett to learn how to submit photographs.
  • We anticipate regular in-person meetings for all chapters beginning in 2022, depending on new variants of Covid-19 and access to our meeting sites. We do not have any set times yet, although some chapters are meeting now.
  • The Programs Committee will continue to bring various webinars and programs to our members through Zoom. Stay tuned for the announcements of upcoming events.
  • Mark your calendars for the 2022 Annual Expo at Jekyll Island, from April 8-11. We anticipate that registration will open in mid-to-late January. We are planning on having some great speakers, including a keynote talk from renowned photographer Arthur Morris. I hope to see you there.
  • The annual North Georgia Shootout competition is scheduled for Saturday, April 30, 2022, so long as Covid does not postpone it. Once again, the GNPA will be putting together a team to compete for fun and prizes. Be sure to check out the website for more information about this event: https://northgeorgiacameraclubcouncil.org/

See you in the field.

— Bill

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From the President

From the President

Photo by Bill White

Get Ready for 2022

Bill White
GNPA President

Several of our GNPA chapters are once again scheduling group field trips. I joined one in October, and had a great time photographing waterfalls. I encourage you to do the same when you have the opportunity. It’s a great way to get outdoors, enjoy the company of fellow photographers, learn about new locations and shoot new images. You can sign up for field trips sponsored by any of our chapters. You’ll find all of those field trip opportunities on the chapters’ Meetup pages.

Along with the return of field trips, we also anticipate the resumption of regular in-person chapter meetings next year.

Meanwhile, the Programs Committee is continuing to develop more webinar programs for everyone, available through Zoom. Stay tuned for announcements of upcoming events. Plus, if you attended the GNPA Virtual Expo in September, the videos from those events are now available for viewing.

The 2022 Expo will be held at Jekyll Island April 8-10, with optional field trips on April 7. We are scheduling some great speakers for the event, including Arthur Morris. I hope to see you there.

The North Georgia Shootout will be Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Dallas, Georgia. The GNPA will once again be putting together a team to compete for fun and prizes. Check out their website for more information at www.northgeorgiacameraclubcouncil.org.

With these activities and more on the horizon, the GNPA is looking for a few good men and women to assist with programs, field trips and other events. We’re also seeking candidates for officer positions. If you are interested in getting involved, please let me know.

See you in the field.

— Bill

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From the President

From the President

Photo by Bill White

Up Next: EXPO and Smokies Trip

Bill White
GNPA President

In September, GNPA members will have some great opportunities to learn new techniques and visit statewide photo hotspots as part of Virtual Expo 2021. This year’s event will feature a terrific lineup of keynote speakers and special seminars covering a wide range of nature photography topics. The 21 in-person guided photo trips will be held across Georgia from Sept. 10-17. The virtual programs, with two keynote speakers and 12 webinars, will be offered over Zoom Sept. 18 and 19.

The cost is only $95, and members who register (at GNPA.org) will be able to review all of the program recordings whenever they wish, at their convenience. But hurry; registration ends at 11 p.m. on Sept. 3.

Those seminars and field trips will offer opportunities to learn new photo skills that can be put to use during GNPA’s annual Fall Smokies Trip. This year’s event will be November 4-7, and is a trip you should not miss if you have never visited Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You’ll have opportunities to photograph landscapes, macro subjects, sunrises, sunsets and animals such as bears, coyote and turkeys. More information is available on the GNPA website.

Meanwhile, make sure you sign up for the statewide GNPA Meetup Group. Each chapter has its own Meetup Group, but the state group allows you to keep abreast of all our programs and upcoming events.

The annual North Georgia Shootout will be Saturday Oct. 30, 2021, in Dallas, GA. Each participating club, including GNPA, puts together a team to compete for fun and prizes. Check out their website (northgeorgiacameraclubcouncil.org) for more information.

Remember that GNPA is always looking for a few good men and women to assist with programs, field trips and other events. If you are interested in getting involved, let me know.

See you in the field.

— Bill

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From the President

From the President

Photo by Bill White

 

A Busy Second Half of 2021

 

Bill White
GNPA President

After a challenging year, things are looking up. Not only are our local chapters beginning to resume in-person meetings, but other events are being planned for the rest of the year. Here is quick update of what’s going on in GNPA:

We now have our own statewide Meetup page, listed as the Georgia Nature Photographers Association (GNPA) Group. This is a great group to join, because it will allow you to stay abreast of all GNPA programs and events. (If you’re not signed up for Meetup, you can join by opening a free account at Meetup.com). Some GNPA programs may be listed in both the local and our state Meetup groups.

GNPA also is hosting a brand-new Instagram feed, administered by member Jenny Burdette. Just search for gnpa_pix on Instagram to see photos from our members and learn more about the site. Be sure to read Jenny’s article, elsewhere in this newsletter, on how (and why) photographers should get started on Instagram.

Meanwhile, our group’s Facebook page has recently switched from a public page to a private one. This move, prompted by changes in Facebook’s rules, will allow us much better control of our page and help reduce spam. Our members aren’t likely to notice any changes, but let us know if you encounter any issues.

More good news for 2021: After having to cancel our 2020 Expo due to Covid, a new virtual Expo is being scheduled for September. This year’s event will feature in-person field trips across the state, as well as virtual speakers and webinars. Be on the lookout for more details coming soon.

Later this year, the GNPA will be hosting its fall trip to the Smokies on November 4-7. This event is a great opportunity to explore a wide range of locations around Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. One of the biggest benefits of visiting the Smokies as part of this event is the chance to discover new shooting locations with knowledgeable trip leaders, who can show you exactly where to go and provide advice on getting the best photos. Plus, this trip is a good way to make connections with other photographers.

Our new Programs Committee has been putting together monthly programs with interesting speakers that supplement your local chapter meetings. Keep sending your suggestions for speakers to Lee Friedman. His email address is listed on the officer’s page at gnpa.org (as are those of all our officers) if you want to get in touch.

Of course, without volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to provide the programs, chapter meetings, field trips and other events that GNPA offers its members every month. If you are interested in learning more or getting involved, please let me know.

See you in the field.

—Bill

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