Show and Tell! – Nature Photography Day

In terms of fake holidays, Nature Photography Day is one of our favorites! It does not have the same mass appeal as Talk Like A Pirate Day or Take Your Plant To Work Day, but if you like photos of the natural world…this is your jam. With that said, happy Nature Photography Day!

Over the last few years I’ve had the opportunity to take part in a lot of interesting projects from a myriad of interesting settings. Since today’s the day to celebrate what shutterbugs collect in the natural world, I thought we’d put a few of our favorite snaps from around the globe.

Happy Nature Photography day, shutterbugs!

NORRIS GLACIER:

The Norris Glacier is located in Alaska…for now. Like all the other hunks of ice on Earth, this one too is slowly melting away. Some folks say it’s a natural process while the majority of others understand this is a result of our use of fossil fuels which put heat trapping gases into our atmosphere. Once these heat trapping gases are in our atmosphere they get to work doing what they do best, trapping heat. As you may recall, heat melts ice. This particular photo was taken when the team’s helicopter had landed on the glacier before we began a three mile hike to the snout of this mass of ice. I had a few short moments to wander off and get lost in the beauty of it all. As I turned around I noticed the helicopter and people looked so tiny compared to immense landscape of ice and the snow capped mountains popping up in the back. This remains one of my favorite memories from Alaska and serves as a reminder that we humans continue to be both very small and very impactful in the natural world.

Norris Glacier landing.JPG

NORRIS GLACIER FLOW:

The glacier is long and flows through these mountains. This is a still photo, but if we had a camera that could create a time lapse over centuries we would be able to see the motion of the glacier as it makes its way down into the waters below. This photo was taken from the helicopter as we approached our landing area (photo above). The trees here stand out as a brilliant green and contracts well against the pale blue sky and cream colors of the slow-flow of ice.

norrisflow.jpg

RAJAJI NATIONAL PARK:

While in India be sure to visit Rajaji National Park. There’s no place on Earth like the hilly jungles at the foothills of the Himalayas. The flora and fauna here is just as dense as the populations in the cities near by. Nearly 1.4 billion people call India their home including in this jungle. Nomadic groups still wander and follow the rains in some areas here. Poorer communities have set up permanent residents in some parts of the jungle here and have become on with mother nature by using all natural and now antiquated ways of agriculture, hunting, architecture, and beyond. This particular trek through the jungle lasted two entire days and at the end of day 1, as the sun was setting, as parakeets flew across the sky, as the trees stood beautifully still, this photo was taken.

Rajaji National Park India Nature.jpg

VIRGINIA IS FOR NATURE LOVERS:

Here in our home state of Virginia we have many opportunities to get lost in the beauty of the natural world. The Bearfence Mountain rock scramble would be high atop that list for me. This rock scramble only takes about a half hour to get to the top, but once you’re up there the view does all the talking!

13.jpg

ORCA! :

While on a boat in the Pacific Ocean a few people started making a lot of noise and pointing into what looked like an empty patch of water. Seconds later this beautiful creature came up for air and quickly dove back down. I stood leaning up against the railing with my eye in the view finder scanning the surface of the ocean for another appearance from the killer whale. I waited…and waited…nothing. I put my camera down and it came right up. The big creature went back under water and then shortly after a much smaller one popped out. That’s when I was able to hit the shutter and captured my first and only photo ever taken of this amazing animal.

Killer Whale Orca Pacific Alaska.jpg

THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE:

While animals, trees, mountains, and other Earthly aspects of nature are beautiful, there’s way more out there in the vastness of reality. Our known universe is much larger than we can even truly wrap our heads around, but occasionally we get a reminder of this fact. I was taking photos off the coast of Florida at New Smyrna Beach a few years ago. One of my favorite things to do while traveling is to get a time lapse of the night sky from wherever I am. There’s something truly calming about seeing the motions of the stars sped up and also serves as a great reminder for the fact that regardless of where we are, what we believe, what rules we live by, or what judgments we have…we’re all still under the same sky. This fireball was caught on camera as a part of the time lapse. This meteor may have traveled billions of miles in its time as a hunk of rock and ultimately would burn up in our atmosphere and be captured in a photo from my camera. Who knows, perhaps I was the only person from this vantage point to get this particular photo of this particular meteor. This photo is what I share with this rock that has potentially traveled from the furthest reaches of our solar system to ultimately end its existence in a beautiful display and a reminder to me that there’s so much more to know about. We all live on one planet, under one sky. We’re just as fleeting as the second and a half of this distant traveler’s fiery display.

meteor space eclipse astronomy .jpg

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