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February 12-15, 2015
Spartanburg Marriott, Spartanburg SC

Welcome to the 2015 CNPA Annual Meeting and our host city of Spartanburg, South Carolina.  Spartanburg has, throughout its history, been a fruitful home to a creative community.   Spartanburg is the sixth largest city by population in the state, is part of a 10-county region of northwestern South Carolina known as "The Upstate" and is located 98 miles northwest of Columbia and 80 miles west of Charlotte, North Carolina.

For three days in February 2015, you will be part of one of the best photographic gatherings where you will meet up with old friends, make new friends and share stories, plus you’ll learn how to choose the best perspective, how to capture images that depict behavior and action, how to see and catch the absolute perfect moment or pose, and how to choose the right lens for the job plus much, much more.

We welcome our Keynote Speaker, Arthur Morris and our Guest Speakers, Adam Jones and Denise Ippolito.  We are also excited to announce CNPA Members Jim Ruff, Kate Silvia and Kevin FitzPatrick will be joining the Guest Speaker lineup.  Click over to the “Speakers” page to read their full bio.

Have we sparked your interest in joining us for the 2015 CNPA Annual Meeting? Then be sure to click over to the Registration page and fill out the form and be sure to check out the Hotel page to register your stay at the Spartanburg Marriott.

Have any questions? Send an email to:

See you in Spartanburg in 2015!

Host Hotel:
Spartanburg Marriott
299 North Church Street
Spartanburg, South Carolina 29306

The host hotel is now full! However, the Courtyard Spartanburg, just 3 miles from our host hotel, is offering a special rate of $99.00 per night for Annual Meeting attendees since our host hotel is now booked. Here is a link to the reservation page if you are interested:

Alternate Hotel:

Courtyard Spartanburg
110 Mobile Drive, Spartanburg, SC
Carolinas Nature Photographers Association Overflow Room Block
Contracted rate of $99.00 per night (does not include breakfast)
Start date: 2/12/15 - End date: 2/15/15 Last day to book by: 1/22/15

Make reservations at alternate hotel

Early Bird Price: $145.00 October 1 - December 31, 2014
Extended Early Bird Price: $145.00 January 1 - February 5, 2015
At the Door Price: $160.00 In effect February 12, 2015

Registration Information:

  • Registration will be handled completely online.
  • Each CNPA member must login with their own username and password to register.
  • Online Registration closes:  February 5, 2015
  • Click here to register.

After online registration closes, the only way to register will be at the door.

Cancellation Policy:
If you must cancel your registration, full refunds may be requested until February 5, 2015.  The request must be in writing to:

There will be no registration refunds (partial or full) after February 6, 2015 including due to weather-related conditions.

Audio-Visual Policy:
Audio or visual recording of any portion of the CNPA Annual Meeting is strictly prohibited.  This includes speaker presentations, business meeting presentations, etc.

Keynote Speaker - Arthur Morris

Arthur Morris is a freelance nature photographer, teacher, and writer specializing in birds. He is widely recognized as one of the world’s premier bird photographers, photographic educators, and tour leaders. His images, published the world over, are noted for both their artistic design and technical excellence. His fitting credit line: BIRDS AS ART. Eight of his images have been honored in various BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competitions.  His book, “The Art of Bird Photography,” is the classic How-to work on the subject.  The all-new follow-up, “The Art of Bird Photography II” (916 pages on CD only), which concentrates on the digital aspects of nature photography, was released in 2006 to rave reviews.  Arthur, one of the original “Explorers of Light,” was a Canon contract photographer for the past eighteen years and currently enjoys the title, Canon Explorer of Light Emeritus.  He is a co-founding publisher of BirdPhotographers.Net: honest critiques done gently.

A popular speaker, Arthur has conducted more than 475 slide programs and seminars over the past 30 years.  He currently travels, photographs, teaches, and speaks his way across North America and the world while leading more than a dozen BIRDS AS ART/Instructional Photo-Tours and Photo-Cruises each year.

Educational Blog:
Birds as Art Online store:

Guest Speaker - Adam Jones

This internationally recognized photographer explores the world through his nature, travel, and wildlife images.  Jones’s award-winning photography is widely published in magazines, posters, calendars, books, and in national advertising campaigns for clients such as Canon, Ford, Eddie Bauer, Miller Beer and Honda.

Adam is recognized worldwide as an outstanding stock photographer with his images represented by Getty Images, Corbis, Visuals Unlimited, Photo Researchers, and Danita Delimont Stock Photography.  His work has sold for editorial and commercial uses in over 30 countries.

Adam’s publication credits also include: National Geographic Books, Time, Life Magazine, National Wildlife Federation, Audubon, Sierra Club, Disney and hundreds of textbooks.  In 1995 the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Contest honored Adam by selecting one of his images from over 19, 000 entries, as the winner in the “In Praise of Plants” category.

Adam has published eight coffee-table books.

In early 2006, Adam was selected to be one of Canon USA’s elite group of acclaimed photographers, “The Explorers of Light.” Canon describes the Explorer of Light program as such:  The Explorers of Light program is a group of 50 of the World’s best photographers united in their love and passion for photographic excellence.  They share a common desire to contribute back to the industry with a willingness to share their vision and passion with others.

Adam is a popular and respected workshop instructor and lecturer.  Adam teaches photography workshops around the world helping students reach their full potential in the exciting world of digital photography. He has taught for Canon, Popular Photography & Imaging, and Maine Photographic Workshops.  Adam is noted for his enthusiastic down to earth approach and his ability to communicate effectively with all skill levels


Guest Speaker - Denise Ippolito

Denise Ippolito is a full time professional photographer, workshop leader, and artist living in NJ.  Her most recent (of many) eBooks is “Bloomin' Ideas.”  It features 55 of her evocative flower images that represent her unique way of blending art and nature.  She is very proud of her efforts as publisher of  Creative Photography eMiniMagazine, aka The MiniMag which is dedicated entirely to creative photography.  Denise travels extensively presenting slide lectures and seminars and teaching photography and Photoshop. Her workshops feature a variety of subjects including: avian, flower, urbex and HDR photography.


Guest Speaker - Jim Ruff

Jim is an award-winning engineer who retired to North Carolina in 2010.  Most of his career was in diesel engine and off-road vehicle design and management at John Deere.

His interest in photography started in 1970 while stationed near the Korean DMZ in the U.S. Army and is now his retirement passion.  He loves nature and the great outdoors.  As a cancer survivor, Jim appreciates the natural beauty in our world and loves the opportunity to share that beauty with others through photography. With subject matter, location, lighting and composition as key ingredients, Ruff strives for uniqueness in his images even if it requires pre-dawn hikes to mountain vistas or persevering storms to catch that magic combinations of light and weather.   He “travels to photograph and photographs to travel” with recent trips to Israel/Jordan, Patagonia, the Altacama Desert, the Amazon River regions of South America, the Yukon and the Canadian Rockies. 

Jim’s images have been published in several state and regional publications and he has been a presenter at numerous CNPA Regional events and Grandfather Mountains Nature Photographer Weekend.   As a year-round resident of Blowing Rock, North Carolina, he enjoys hiking and photographing the Blue Ridge and Great Smokey Mountains.

Photo blog:
Facebook photo page: Beyond the Sunrise

Guest Speaker - Kate Silvia

Kate Silvia is an award-winning nature photographer and educator based in Charleston, South Carolina.  Kate was trained at the world’s largest and oldest photography school, the New York Institute of Photography.  Her articles and photos have been published in Nature Photographer Magazine, Aquarium Fish Magazine, Marine Fish and Reef Magazine, NANPA’s Expressions, Nature Photographers Network on-line magazine, Camera in the Wild and others.  She has served as the coordinator for the Asheville, N.C. region of the Carolinas’ Nature Photographers Association and is a member of CNPA-Charleston, The Nature Photographers Network and NANPA.   “I love teaching photography, whether it be in the field or photo editing in the classroom/home office.  Nothing makes me happier about my job than to see someone get excited about photography.”

Tutorials on YouTube:

Guest Speaker - Kevin FitzPatrick

Kevin FitzPatrick is a conservation photographer who has been working at documenting biodiversity and promoting the importance of environmental education for over 40 years.  As a member of both the North American Nature Photography Association and the International League of Conservation Photographers, Kevin continues to actively teach others about the importance of safeguarding the environment.  His youth programs through the National Forest Service and the National Park Service help young people learn to appreciate being protectors of our environment as they participate with scientists in the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI). He is currently working with National Geographic, organizing BioBlitzes across the United States.  Kevin’s photographs have appeared in publications of the North Carolina Nature Conservancy, the North and South Carolina Wildlife Federations, Nature Photography Magazine, Our State North Carolina, Southern Environmental Law Center, Massachusetts Audubon, National Geographic and GEO magazine. 



  • Arthur Morris - Birds as Art
  • Berrie Smith Camera Repair
  • Canon
  • Chas Glatzer – Shoot The Light
  • Charleston Photography Workshops
  • Datacolor
  • Distinctive Journeys
  • Hunt’s Photo & Video
  • Les Saucier Photography
  • Mark Buckler Photography
  • Mark Hilliard Atelier: The Lens Work Gallery
  • MorePhotos
  • Nikon
  • Panasonic/LUMIX
  • Red River Paper
  • Sigma Corporation of America
  • Spartan Photo Center
  • Strabo Tours
  • Swarovski Optik
  • Tamron

  • * as of 12/01/2014

Arthur Morris

What Makes a Great Natural History Image
Today's digital photography gear makes it far easier to create sharp, well exposed, technically perfect image of birds, bears, and blossoms than it was to do so with film. Arthur Morris (Artie) will talk about and illustrate the factors that contribute to making an image special: seeing, understanding, and using the light, choosing the best perspective, capturing images that depict behavior and action, seeing and catching the absolute perfect moment or pose, image design, the importance of the background and of other elements of an image motif, choosing the right lens for the job, flight photography considerations, using slow shutter speeds to simulate motion, and the use of flash among others. In addition, he will talk about ways in which photographers can develop their own creative vision. In short, you will learn how Artie consistently creates images of birds and other natural history subjects that leave folks oohing and aahing. This slide-illustrated lecture will feature hundreds of Arties spectacular images as he shares the path of his life's journey from his childhood in Brooklyn through his 23-year teaching career in New York City to the realization of his dream of becoming a full time professional nature photographer specializing in birds.

Composition, Image Design and Refining your Photographic Vision
In the first segment of this 2-part illustrated slide lecture, Artie will cover the basics of image design and composition, the importance of the background, the inclusion of other elements in the frame, compositional balance, the use of diagonals and juxtapositions, curves and leading lines, and when, why, and how to create pleasing birdscapes (among others).

In part II you will venture into the field with Artie and Denise Ippolito, see what they saw, and learn what they were thinking as they worked to come up with the very best image in a variety of situations.

Photoshop Program
In this program Artie will discuss and demonstrate live on his laptop the techniques he uses every day to process his digital captures. His approach to Photoshop is a direct one; because he has so many images to process, his choice is to make the images look as good as possible in the shortest amount of time. He will show us how to optimize a variety of digital files so as to produce a natural-looking, pleasing image.  Topics covered will include converting RAW images in both ACR and DPP, cropping, control of color and contrast, making hue/saturation and vibrance adjustments, working with Layers and Layer Masks, correcting colorcasts, saving images, and sharpening images for final use. In addition he will share his image clean-up techniques using the Patch Tool, the Spot Healing Brush, Content-Aware Fill, the Clone Stamp Tool, and Regular and Hide-all Layers Masks as well as his Digital Eye Doctor techniques and the Basics of Using NIK Color Efex Pro, among others.

Adam Jones

Through the Lens of Adam Jones
An inspirational nature program featuring a variety of images showcasing landscapes, macro, HDR and focus stacking.

Demystifying Flash
An educational program designed to help take the mystery out of using flash indoors and out.

Travel Destinations with Adam Jones
Program features various travel destinations with discussion about having fun, the pitfalls of travel today and how to get the most out of your travel destinations.

Creative Depth of Field and More
Program will illustrate side by side results of different apertures in various situations and how the settings relate to depth of field and motion.

Denise Ippolito

A Blend of Art and Nature
Artistic bird photographs and creative filter designs will inspire you to step out of the box of conformity. Denise will share some of her pleasing blur images along with some of her tack sharp flight shots. A visual experience of photographs from local hot spots to images from around the country, this slide show will have something for everyone.

A Creative Adventure - The Photographic Journey of Denise Ippolito
We all have our own levels of creativity; they sometimes need to be nurtured, developed and often times inspired. Walk with Denise on a profound journey through her lens and into the creative development of her artistic vision, while reflecting on your own photographic style. Explore new ideas to challenge yourself as a photographer and awaken the artist from within.

Jim Ruff

Time-Lapse Photography -€“ Capturing Nature's Dynamics
This presentation will provide an overview of time-lapse photography, a technique used to capture and visualize many slow movements in nature that are difficult for the human eye to perceive in real time. High shutter speeds can freeze a bird in flight but nature also operates in a slow-motion time scale of minutes or hours. In time-lapse photography, many images are taken at regular intervals of slowly changing phenomena and then rendered into a short video.

The basic elements of time lapse photography will be discussed including when to use time-lapse photography - basic camera gear and accessories and specialized time lapse equipment; shooting techniques, hints and issues; and post-processing techniques.  The use of time-lapse photography to illustrate the beauty of our natural world will be a highlight.

Kate Silvia

Creative Processing with Nik Software
From subtle adjustments and basic sharpening to painterly creations reminiscent of the great artists Monet and Degas, digital imaging has opened up a whole world of creative possibilities for the modern photographer. Kate will walk you through a simple editing session, typical of what she does on a daily basis, utilizing NIK software and Photoshop. And just for fun, we’ll enhance a few images to create something completely different and unique. We’ll see how easy and quick it is to bring out the best qualities of the images you capture.

Kevin FitzPatrick

A Bio Blitz workshop can answer your questions about the ecosystem in which you are shooting, making you a better photographer and a better Citizen Scientist. Kevin has worked as a professional photographer for 45 years, specializing in nature photography. One day, he learned about Bio Blitzes and the Citizen Science concept. This altered his perspective and he became a Conservation and Bio Blitz Photographer.

This session will include a presentation about citizen science and the Bio Blitz concept, a presentation of the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory or ATBI Project in the Smoky Mountains National Park, a presentation of a bio blitz that was conducted in Acadia National Park that focused on aquatic insects, and a look at a technique called Meet Your Neighbour that is being used by National Geographic Bio Blitzes cross the country.  Kevin will also discuss what a Bio Blitz Workshop would entail.

CNPA would like to acknowledge our 2015 Annual Meeting sponsors.