Piper MacKay | Ian Plant | Frank Smith | Bill Lea

Piper MacKay

Cultural Documentary and African Wildlife Photographer

Piper Mackay’s intrepid journey as an African wildlife and cultural photographer has taken her on adventures spanning the African continent; a land she fell in love with when she first stepped foot on its rich red soil 14 years ago. She instantly made the decision to change her life’s direction and created an exit plan to leave behind a successful career in the fashion industry.

Driven to create compelling imagery and stories that make a difference, her work breaks expectations by moving away from the beaten path, immersed in the cultures and wild environments she is photographing. Her passion for the natural world has grown into a lifelong commitment to inspire others to explore, respect and preserve the beauty of our fragile planet. Using this same passion and drive, she was able to overcome a decade of challenging obstacles and finally realize her dream of living, and thriving, in Kenya.

Piper’s photographs are licensed by Getty Images’ top collections. Featured articles of her work have been printed in national publications such as; Outdoor Photographer, Nature Photographer, National Geographic Traveler, Ranger Finder, and Selamata, as well as local travel and online magazines. Her images have graced the pages of Nature’s Best, National Geographic, National Geographic Explorer, Travel Africa, WWF calendars, birders and numerous travel publications. She has won multiple awards for her photography including winning the African wildlife category for Natures best in 2017. Her images have been exhibited at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington DC, The Museum of History and industry in Seattle Washington, The Art Wolfe gallery, The G2 Galley and are hanging in private collections around the world. She is a contributor for both the Remembering Rhino’s and Remembering Great Apes books as one of the photographers united in the Remembering Wildlife series that helps conservation organizations in the fight to protect endangered species around the world.

Piper will be leading a workshop titled ‘Unleash your creativity in Camera!’. Sign-up when registering for annual meeting, but will require a separate sign-up.
More details on the Workshops page.


Ian Plant

Whether hanging over the rim of an active volcano, braving the
 elements to photograph critically-endangered species, or trekking deep
 into the wilderness to places most people will never see, world-renowned 
professional photographer Ian Plant travels the globe seeking out amazing
 places and subjects in his never-ending quest to capture the beauty of our 
world with his camera. Known for his inspiring images and single-minded
 dedication to creating the perfect photo, Ian has reached hundreds of 
thousands of people around the world in his mission to inspire and educate
 others in the art of photography.

Ian is a frequent contributor to many
 leading photo magazines and websites, a Tamron Image Master, and the 
author of numerous books and instructional videos. His personal photographic
 project, Dreamscapes, moves beyond the literal and transforms subjects 
into something unexpected, bridging the line between the real and surreal. Ian
seeks out the hidden spaces in between the familiar, relying on long
 exposures, unique lighting conditions, non-traditional perspectives, and
 special natural events to show his subjects in a new light.

Ian will be leading a workshop titled ‘From Field to Final – Creative Post-Processing Tips’. Sign-up when registering for annual meeting, but will require a separate sign-up.
More details on the Workshops page.

Ian’s Presentations

The Ultra-Wide Landscape

In this seminar, pro photographer Ian Plant will draw lessons from his ebook “The Ultra-Wide Landscape,” teaching you exactly how to use your wide angle lens to create compelling and unique landscape photos.You’ll learn both the technical and artistic considerations unique to ultra-wide landscape photography, including composition, dealing with the distortion inherent to wide-angle lens designs, and techniques for ensuring sharp near/far focus every time.

High Concept Wildlife Photography

Great photos happen when the photographer pushes past the obvious, revealing something hidden and unique about his or her subject. In this inspiring presentation, world-renowned professional photographer Ian Plant discusses the techniques behind some of his favorite wildlife photographs taken during his travels around the world.

Unseeing: Taking Photos With Attitude

Inspiring photos are made when the photographer compels viewers to see the world in a way they never have before. Drawing lessons from his newest ebook “Unseeing,” professional photographer Ian Plant will share the techniques that are at the core of his artistic process. Join Ian for this enlightening and exciting presentation as he shares his insights about the creative use of composition, story-telling, and light to make photos that attract attention and never let go.

Chasing the Light

Light is to photography as paint is to a painter: without light, photography would never progress beyond mere blank canvasses, unrealized potential never brought to life. Professional photographer Ian Plant will share his years of field experience chasing the light and trying to find the right combination of color, light, and mood to bring his nature subjects to their fullest expression.

A sample of Ian’s Photos

Frank Smith

At an early age (3 years old+/-) I developed a curiosity with photography. My grandfather, Frank Fehn was an avid photographer, always with a camera in his hand and me by his side. He bought me a miniature replica 35 mm camera which was the beginning of my life-long passion for photography.

Photography is my passion – both in taking the pictures as well as the post processing techniques that I use. I am an experienced traveler having had the opportunity to photograph in places around the world. As a native of the northeast, I also enjoy the local scenery of the Pocono Mountains or urban decay and iconic subjects as well as historical sites such as the former Bethlehem Steel factory in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. My portfolio is diverse.

I use the Olympus Four Thirds system. My workhorses are the OM-D EM-1 and EM-5 Mark II. I use the OM-D EM-10 for road travel and family events. I use a variety of different lenses based on the camera and type of shooting I am doing. My attraction with Olympus is two-fold; first the camera and lens quality and second, the weight and size. My post processing is done with Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop CC, and various plug-ins.

I am an Olympus Visionary. Olympus Visionaries are established, award-winning professional photographers who travel the world with Olympus products to capture life’s beauty and splendor. The elite members of the program include several Pulitzer Prize–winning photographers, as well as artists whose careers have included assignments around the globe. Frank Smith Olympus Visionary

As a philanthropic photojournalist, my raw travel covers global themes, shedding light on cultural issues including regional corruption in areas including South Sudan, Haiti and Mumbai. I have traveled to many parts of the world with a focus on people, landscape and cultures, telling a story through his photographs. A large focus for me has been India. For the past decade I have traveled to all 4 corners of India. Additional raw travel includes Atacama, Cuba, Bhutan, Iceland, Central America, Germany, Norway and Mongolia.

A native Northeasterner, I often focuses my lens on national and regional scenery in the U.S. My work has been featured in the media, print, exhibits, and in philanthropic awareness campaigns.

I believe photography is a constantly changing art form and as such I try to stay current by teaching workshops & classes every year. I exhibit my work in various galleries. My work can be seen on my website at www.franksmithphotos.com or on my blog where I post my up to date work regularly at www.franktsmith.com. You can also follow me on Facebook. I was also published in Outdoor Photography (December 2013) and in International Opulence(June 2017) and presented a Ted Talk in 2013 titled Looking thru the Lens -Vocation vs. Avocation.. In November 2015, PBS did the following interview with me.

I inspire others through my workshops, classes and mentoring. My goal is to help others see the un-obvious and to instill the desire for creativity.

Frank will be leading a workshop titled ‘The Hidden Gems and Power of the Olympus System’. Sign-up when registering for annual meeting, but will require a separate sign-up.
More details on the Workshops page.

Frank’s Presentations

Global Landscapes

Nature photography is a broad term and photographer Frank Smith shares with us many different elements and aspects from his raw travel abroad capturing nature. An outdoor enthusiast, Frank has traveled around the globe with a keen focus on landscapes in every climate and will share insights on timing, lighting and travel prep that will make you want to pack your bags! Nature photography requires patience to stop and pause over and over again as the tiniest elements of a scene can change in an instant. Frank will share with us his techniques and imagery from his many photo journeys.

Outdoor Playground – My Backyard

When Frank is in town, he packs his camera bag and finds nearby hiking trails as well as destination locations that will allow him to capture every aspect of nature. When asked about his studio, Frank often comments that nature is his studio and primary focus. Research and the drive to find the best shots defines Frank’s photography. Frank typically goes into an area with a pre-conceived plan but allows himself to deviate based on what nature has to offer. Frank will share the pre trip planning and his post processing techniques which will motivate the audience to plan ahead, pack their bag and be outdoors as often as possible. A sunset or water droplets on a blade of grass can create the most pleasing imagery. If you are not outdoors, you will miss all that nature has to offer.

A sample of Frank’s Photos

Bill Lea

Nature Photographer & Black Bear Advocate

Photographing the wonder of wildlife, wildflowers, landscapes, and a variety of other natural subjects from the Canadian Rockies to the Florida Everglades has long been a passion for Bill Lea. Capturing intimate images of wildlife and landscapes in “just the right light” has long been the trademark of Bill’s photography. He has been leading photo workshops since 1992. More than 7,000 of Bill’s photos have been published. He has authored three coffee-table books and co-authored others. His most popular book Cades Cove – Window to a Secret World is in its fifth printing. The Everglades – Where Wonders Only Whisper is his most recent book. Bill may be best known for his portrayal of black bears and the Great Smoky Mountains. Photographing black bears for more than two decades has provided Bill with extraordinary opportunities to learn about bears. For nearly 20 years Bill has been presenting educational programs throughout western North Carolina and East Tennessee in an effort to dispel the many myths and un-truths about bears. He has appeared on Dateline NBC, National Public Radio, Midwest Outdoors, Animal Planet, local radio stations, news stations, and a variety of other programs. Bill lived among bears for two to three months per year for nearly a decade. He currently posts a bear photo and educational message five days a week on his Facebook Page: (www.facebook.com/BillLeaPhotography)

The enjoyment of sharing the wonder of black bears and nature with others is second only to Bill’s desire for promoting a respect for wildlife and all of God’s creation. If you would like to see more of Bill’s photography please visit his website at www.BillLea.com.

Bill’s Program on Bears: Understanding the Misunderstood Black Bear – Part I & Part II

What is it about the black bear that we humans find so fascinating?  Is it their size?  Their strength?  Or could it be OUR fear?  It is probably all of these things and much more, including the cuteness of a black bear cub and the childhood association that so many of us have with the “Teddy Bear.”   There are so many myths and misinformation about bears that few people really know the truth about black bears.  What are they really like?  Do bears have distinct personalities? How smart are bears? What kind of emotions do bears experience? Do we need to fear bears? How do we co-exist peacefully?  All of these topics will be covered and much more as we simultaneously enjoy unique photos of these most amazing animals.

A sample of Bill’s Photos

The CNPA 2024 Photo Weekend registration is now open!

Register NOW