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By: Bill White. Image by John Heinhold.

Join the GNPA team on Saturday, April 30, 2022, as photographers from Georgia and Tennessee will descend on Dallas in Paulding County to participate in the North Georgia Camera Club Council (NG3C) Thirteenth Annual Shootout photography competition.

The event will be held at the Chattahoochee Tech Paulding Campus location on Nathan Dean Boulevard in Dallas, GA starting at 8:00 a.m. Participants will be tasked with photographing subject matter illustrating randomly chosen topics from five photographic categories: Technique, Composition, Nature, Architecture, and Conceptual Photography. Following the assignment of topics, photographers will spread out into the community to create images for the competition.

Each club will submit its best entries to NG3C by 2:00 p.m. There will be lectures and door prizes through the afternoon whilst the images are being judged and ranked. The winning photographs and the photographers along with their clubs will be announced at an awards program held at 5:00 p.m.

Email to join the team.


Bear Island WMA / Donnelley WMA / Old Sheldon Church Ruins

Bear Island WMA / Donnelley WMA / Old Sheldon Church Ruins

Join the Coastal Chapter on April 23rd for their field trip to tour Bear Island WMA, Donnelley WMA, and the Old Sheldon Church Ruins (pictured above). The group size is limited to 20. To learn more and register, click here.

“Bear Island Wildlife Management Area, owned by the SC Department of Natural Resources, is managed to provide quality habitat for wintering waterfowl and other wetland wildlife including threatened and endangered species such as woodstorks and bald eagles.”

“Donnelley WMA is named in honor of the late Gaylord Donnelley and his wife Dorothy for the contributions they made to the ACE Basin Project and conservation across the continent. Donnelley WMA is owned and managed by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Ducks Unlimited, The National Wild Turkey Federation, US Army Corps of Engineers, The Nature Conservancy and other conservation interests participated in establishing the property.”

“Sheldon Church, formerly known as the Prince William Parish Church, has a tumultuous and eventful history. From its first service in 1757 to its present peaceful setting, the church has followed the travails of our nation’s history. It is one, if not the first church built in temple form in the United States.”

Bring your preferred lenses. Suggestions: A long lens for photographing the wildlife, a shorter lens or wide angle lens for landscapes, and a macro lens for macro. Tripods are also helpful. Use filters if you know why (what effect) you are trying to achieve with them.

There are no fees for Bear Island, Donnelley, or the Sheldon Church Ruins. GNPA Field Trips are for Paid GNPA Members only. Not a GNPA member? Visit:

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge

By: Jamie Anderson.  Images by: Jamie Anderson

If you like photographing birds in a rookery during breeding season, Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge is a must-see place to visit. Paid GNPA Members can join the Coastal Chapter on March 26th at 7:30am for an opportunity to experience this rookery and photograph these beautiful birds displaying their breeding plumage and building their nests for the season. Click here to RSVP for the meetup.

The name “Pinckney” comes from some of the original owners of the land. Charles Pinckney purchased the island in 1734. At the time the land was used for rice plantations. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney inherited the island in 1758. A two-story home with ornamental gardens was developed by Charles Cotesworth Pinckney but was destroyed by hurricane in 1824. A daughter, Harriet, inherited the island in 1825 and managed it and 349 slaves until 1860. The plantations were destroyed by the union during the Civil War and Harriet died in 1866. In 1869 the land was confiscated briefly for back taxes before heirs regained the land. Freed slaves lived on the land after 1862. Some were drafted in the army and served in the 21st Company, US Infantry. Some grew cotton as tenant farmers until the boll weevil killed the crops. In 1937 heirs sold the property to James Bruce, a New York sportsman and millionaire. He and his wife maintained the property as a hunting preserve. In 1954 Edward Starr and James Barker became co-owners of the island. In 1975 Barker deeded his half of the island to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 1982, Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge was opened for public visits and today the refuge receives nearly 250,000 visits a year.

The best time for the breeding season is between March and July. In March the birds will be building their nests, displaying breeding plumage and rituals, breeding, and laying eggs. In April and May the chicks will be hatching and adult birds will be feeding the chicks. In June and July, the chicks will be fledging the nest. Once the birds leave the nest and learn to hunt food on their own, there is really no need to come back to the nest. They don’t need a nest to sleep in overnight and the nest really doesn’t provide shelter from the elements. So, what birds can be found here? Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Little Blue Herons, Tricolored Herons, Green Herons, Night Herons, Ibis, and even Anhinga are commonly found nesting here. I’ve also seen adult Great Blue Herons here, but have not seen them nesting yet.


Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge is located on a spit of land in South Carolina between Hilton Head Island and the town of Bluffton on the mainland. It is accessible from US278. On US278 going toward Hilton Head Island, there are two bridges. The first bridge connects from the mainland to Pinckney Island. Turn left here following the signs before crossing the second bridge which connects Pinckney Island to Hilton Head Island. Follow the signs to the parking lot and trail head entrance. There are no restrooms or port-o-johns in the parking lot or anywhere on Pinckney Island. Travel is by hiking or biking from this point forward with one exception. There are free shuttle tours on Tuesdays from 10am-11:30am the require pre-registration. (See: Otherwise, it’s about a ¾ mile hike to the Ibis Pond which is the first pond you come to. Here the main rookery is located. There is also a beautiful butterfly garden on the north side of the Ibis Pond. There are over 14 miles of hiking trails in the refuge altogether. If you can handle more hiking, the next pond up is the Starr Pond. Ibis and ducks are more common in this pond. Here’s a link to a complete trail map if you would like to plan out more hiking or biking: .


When planning a photography trip here, plan to use a long lens for bird photography. You can get very close to the rookery in the Ibis Pond but you are still separated from the rookery by water. So, for closeups, a long lens is preferred. Also, in bright sunlight, it is very easy to blow out all the detail in the feathers on white birds e.g. the Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets. For best results, use spot metering on the white feathers and make sure the meter is just under the +2 stop mark.

As always, keep safety in mind. Check the weather and plan for rain, bugs, and beware of snakes and alligators near the water’s edge.

Jamie Anderson is a nature landscape and wildlife photographer of the Coastal Georgia and the low country area. For more information about Jamie, visit: .



GNPA 2021

Register now for this year’s Smokies Photo Weekend:
November 4th through 7th, 2021.

Don’t Miss Out!

This year’s Smokies Photo Weekend will be very much like last year’s, due to COVID-19 Safety Concerns.  We want everyone to feel welcome and comfortable during this pandemic.  This year’s registration will prompt you to review and accept GNPA’s updated COVID-19 policy.

We’ll feature field trips ONLY again this year—beginning with a sunset shoot on Thursday evening, followed by 1/2 day field trips Friday and Saturday.

COVID-19 safety guidelines will once again limit field trip participation to a maximum of 12 people per trip:

  • we will practice social distancing at all times (even when asking field trip leaders for advice or help)
  • there will be no touching or sharing other photographer’s equipment
  • carpooling is not encouraged

There will be NO Thursday night welcome, pizza dinner or speaker again this year.

David Foster is our Sunday morning speaker. 

Photo Competition

Our Smokies Weekend photo competition will once again be online. That means you’ll have Saturday evening through Monday evening to prepare your images for the competition.

  • online competition categories will be Wildlife, Landscapes and Macros/Close Up.
  • Competition rules will be shared after registration.
  • Images must be submitted by 9:00 P.M. on Monday, November 8.
  • Winners will be announced by email, no later than Saturday, November 13, on our GNPA webpage and GNPA Facebook page.

This year there will be cash/gift card prizes!

  • 1st place ($100), 2nd place ($75), and 3rd place ($50) in each category
  • Honorable mention photos will be recognized
  • Best in Show will be selected from the winners in each of the three categories. A $125 cash/gift card will be awarded for the overall winner.
  • Prizes will be mailed to the winners.

Come Photograph Fall in the Smokies!

Join us to photograph landscapes, water, wildlife, flora, the historic structures and buildings that all have been preserved to reveal the rich tapestry of the region.

The Smokies is well known for its wonderful fall colors, but in November, the crowds thin out, the leaves are still colorful, and the forests reveal old growth trees, old structures, feeding bears & other wildlife, waterfalls, reflections, etc.  In years past we have still had good color in early November.  We have the privilege of GNPA members who have agreed to be field trip leaders and who will share their knowledge and love of both the Smokies and Photography!

As we get closer to the dates of our Fall Smokies Photo Weekend we will send out additional information regarding the Townsend and Great Smoky National Park area, including info on restaurants that are open (and whether dine in or take out, or take out only), and updated guidelines regarding COVID-19 safety measures. In the event of travel restrictions, National Park closing, or stay at home requirements, GNPA will make a decision on whether to cancel the event.  Also, our normal guidelines for cancellations will be in place for this event.

Schedule at a Glance

Nov 4, 4:00 pm       Sunset Field Trips to various locations

Sunset will be around 5:30 P.M.

Dinner will be on your own.

Friday & Sat.
Nov. 6, 7                Field trips as detailed in the Field Trip schedule.

Nov 7, 9:00am        Speaker – David Foster, Capturing the Essence of Photography

11:00am Check out – return home, process images for photo competition.

Register EARLY

How Much?          
GNPA members only. $65 registration fee.

All meals will be on your own.

Beverages or incidentals are not included.

NOTE: Wine is not available for purchase in Townsend, so BYO. Some restaurants allow you to “Brown Bag” wine into the restaurant.  There may be a ‘corkage fee’ charged to serve the wine.

Where?                  Highland Manor Inn & Conference Center, Townsend, TN.

This is the SAME LOCATION as last year.

Room rates will be $113.35 per night (plus 14.25% taxes = $129.50).

When?                   Call Highland Manor Inn at 800-213-9462 or (local number) 865-448-2211.  Mention GNPA when you register to get the discount.

Room Reservations can be made now. 

Room Reservations CLOSES Saturday, Oct. 15.


Sign up SOON – Rooms are blocked only until Oct. 15.

Event registration CLOSES Friday, Oct. 29.


Mike Thornton – email –; phone 678-362-2144, leave voice mail if no answer.

Travis Rhoads – email; phone 770-356-2935, leave voice mail if no answer.