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Audubon Magazine Special Issue ‘The Big Picture’
First-Ever Photo Awards.
The Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival report
NEW DATES & LOCATIONS for FLORIDA JOURNEYS (Pontoon
Putt, A Stroll with the Pro, Fotoboat Photography)
The Pantanal, Brazil Tour deadline for signup is fast
approaching!! Don’t miss this fabulous experience—I’m not!!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
A truly ‘seasoned’ professional
photographer’s walls are lined with rejection slips from hundreds of
submissions to various publications of all levels of importance whether
it is National Geographic all the way down to the local newspaper. I
don’t think any photographer gets tired of, or ‘used to’, having their
work appear in a publication of any stature. I am no exception.
It’s our ego trip, and I’m on a ‘lu-lu’ of an ego trip right now, which
I’m not afraid or embarrassed to admit! When Audubon issued the challenge
for its “First-Ever” Photo Awards contest, I got on board immediately
fully aware that there was not going to be any prize money, certificate,
or plaque given to those who were chosen…just the simple honor of being
recognized by one of the world’s most prestigious organizations & publications.
Most every artist of any medium lives with the old adage that “money
isn’t everything” and this quotation is certainly true for most
published, professional wildlife and nature photographers! There are
exceptions but not many.
Audubon received 16,500 images submitted by
2500 photographers-amateur & professional, young & old. They had
the awesome task of selecting only 100 images, and then they only
published 32 images in their January 2010 issue. I am prouder than most
as I can boast that the Audubon judges selected two of my images! The
Little Bee-eater with a bee in its beak, and the Yellow-billed Oxpecker
& zebra butt! This moment of pride in my work has only been equaled
once before, and that was a number of years ago when I walked into the
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC (with the
awesome, huge prehistoric Mammoth in the center of the Rotunda) and
proudly walked to where I could see the large print of my image, The
Least Bittern & Chicks, hanging on the wall of one of the world’s
most famous museums!! The moment was enhanced as a gentleman came up
& stood beside me & quietly complimented me on the picture. I
looked over and was floored to see the world famous, world traveled
photographer, Art Wolfe, smiling at me, as we both looked at his image
hanging next to mine. It just doesn’t get much better than that!! Never,
ever be afraid to try, and be active in showing your work to anyone and
everyone who will look. Most of us in this field love to view all of it!!
If you are in doubt and want a little encouragement or critique or an
honest answer, always feel free to contact me and let me take a look-see!
And, no charge either!!
Space Coast 13th
Annual Wildlife Festival:
From my vantage point, this event was a
roaring success. It seemed as if hundreds & hundreds of people passed
by the booth, which is always well received boosting the ‘ol’ ego’ more
with many kind words about my work—even a few little sales too!! Many old
friends stopped by and, I like to think, I made a number of new ones. The
weather was gorgeous for my two in-the-field workshops, the wildlife was
abundant at Viera Wetlands and very active. There were Caracara &
their chicks, Eagle, oodles of Anhingas, Coots, Cormorants, Teals, Wood
Storks, a variety of Egrets, the darn King Fisher (which is a story in
itself for another newsletter!) and much more. I hope my attendees made
some nice images. Please share with me if you did or if you need more
The Masked Duck was the star of the Wetland
and much sought after by many birders and photographers alike. I
personally intentionally steered clear of him in an effort to be able to
give my two groups more personal instructional attention, plus my
continuing concern when I see so many people converge on the wildlife
en-masse. It just isn’t healthy for the critters, especially if people
insist on wading into the water to flush them out, which happened last
year with the Least Bittern, and I was told it happened again this year
with the Masked Duck. Another disturbing issue is the use of
audio-calling equipment, which definitely stresses the birds if
over-done, and certainly offends, and irritates bystanders who have to
listen to the artificial calling noise over and over. I have heard the
rumor that such wonderful places as Viera Wetlands would decide to close
down if some restraint doesn’t get put into place. On two separate &
unrelated incidences, I’ve been called by private landowners asking my
help to try and deter fellow photographers & birders from trespassing
on their lands and/or over-use & volume of the audio equipment. We
must “police” each other and curb such conduct or we all may
suffer the consequences brought on by a few self-serving, selfish,
uncontrolled souls. There is just no need for it. Try being patient, sit
quietly and the wildlife will eventually come to you as it has for
years--long before all this fancy equipment came into being. A truly
good, educated, professional wildlife photographer/birder-leader or guide
knows how to get you to the subject and set you up without infringing on
the wildlife or any of our human neighbors. Think about it. This is sad
but true, and most of us in the industry have recently heard about the
two photographers who won national and/or international awards only to
have it discovered that they falsified their submissions and continued to
deny & lie about it. Not only are their careers ruined—forever (I
hope)—but they’ve shed a bad light of doubt and mistrust to the whole
industry. Shame on them, and that isn’t enough from my way of thinking.
If anyone plans to conduct themselves in such a manner, think twice &
look around and make sure I’m not lurking in the shadows!! And, yes, that
is a threat. I take great pride in my profession, and what I have been
able to accomplish to help the wildlife and environment through my photography,
speaking engagements, teaching, and love and care of all of it. I do not
take too kindly when anyone does anything to besmirch all these
efforts—mine or anyone else’s.
A huge thank you, and congratulations to
Neta & Barb and all the staff and volunteers for a “JOB WELL
DONE”—again. This was my twelfth year, and it has just gotten better and
better with every passing year. I look forward to next year’s event (if
I’m invited back, that is!).
New dates for Florida Journeys and/or
In-the-field Instructional tours now can be customized to your schedule.
The week of March 8 th thru the 14 th, (and maybe longer), I will be in
the area of Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and/or Kennedy Space
Center area, New Smyrna Beach, Deland (St. Johns River), Viera Wetlands
and other wonderful wildlife and nature “hot spots”.
I’ve received numerous requests for ½ day,
and full-day programs for a “Stroll with the Pro” tours, as well as same
for the “Pontoon Putt” & possibly a Fotoboat Adventure in those
areas. In order not to make this newsletter too lengthy, please visit my
website for description of each adventure at: www.joannewilliamsphoto.com. Then scroll
to tours/safaris etc.
Since I will already be in the area, costs
will more reasonable than my Normally Reasonable
prices, and a wonderful opportunity for you to experience the wildlife,
and learn some of my tips and tricks of photographing in the wild at very
If you (and your friends----the more the
merrier) have a specific time you are free, call me and we will work out
times & dates designed just for you. You can reach me at (954)
914-5884 (cell) or (954) 941-7901 (office). Perhaps you have a special,
double-secret spot you want to share me.
Pantanal Tour Info:
June 12th - 26th, 2010
$7950 - Double Occupancy
$2400 - Single Supplement $1500 deposit required to
save your spot!
Please contact us if you're interested!
$1000 due now
$3000 due March 31st
Balance due April 30th
book your spot now!
All drivers & guides
Tips for all services rendered
Full-board (rooms & meals)
One night drive at each Pantanal lodge
Pontoon boat trips
Bottled water per day
Professional photographic assistance available
Tour Does Not Include:
Does not include visas & any airport taxes etc.
Wine & other extra beverages
All the detailed information and many
pictures are on the website: ww.joannewilliamsphoto.com under Safari
If you are interested in any of my tours, click on
their corresponding link below:
Researchers, Editors, and Publishers:
As stated in previous newsletters, at no
obligation to you, send me a want list of images you are looking for that
may coincide with a trip Im about to take, or have recently taken, and Ill
do my very best to seek out that subject and shoot it with your request
in mind. This may save you some expense, give me a specific mission and
possibly a sale of that image. Its a win, win situation!
A quick reminder that my library of 35mm
original slides houses approximately 75,000 images, and my digital
library presently holds over 100,000 (and growing-hourly)!
My website holds an in-depth Stock Shop for your quick review: www.joannewilliamsphoto.com