Wildlife photographer to host nature day at Hamden
Park Rapids wildlife photographer, freelance writer and educator Steve Maanum will be leading a special wildlife photography learning session — dubbed as a “Triple Event Nature Day” — at Hamden Slough National Wildlife Refuge in rural Audubon this Saturday, June 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
As the name implies, the event will consist of three separate presentations: An adult photography workshop from 10 a.m. to noon; a youth photo safari from 1 to 3 p.m.; and a wildlife presentation from 3 to 4 p.m.
“It’s all free and open to the public,” says Maanum, though pre-registration is requested for the adult photo workshop and youth photo safari.
To register please call the Detroit Lakes Wetlands Office at 218-847-4431 or contact Steve Maanum directly, at 218-280-6659.
Through a partnership with the University of Minnesota-Crookston, Maanum has been hosting a series of these “Triple Event Nature Days” across northwestern Minnesota this spring and summer.
Saturday’s “triple event” will begin with a morning session where teachers, parents and grandparents, 4-H leaders and other youth program volunteers can learn more about the use of digital cameras in nature photography.
In addition to digital photography and photo composition tips, participants will also learn more about how they can coordinate photographic opportunities for youth, such as a service project that allows them to get out and photograph nature.
In the afternoon, children from the area will be invited to the site for a youth photo safari on the refuge grounds, where they will learn how to take their own digital photos, and possibly use those skills for a 4-H or other youth service project.
They will also have a chance to download and edit their photos, then each choose a favorite that will then be put up onscreen for a short photography critique session.
The ultimate goal, Maanum says, is to “take that next step,” where youth are “actually taking photos that benefit other people,” be it for a citizen science project,
The Triple Event will conclude with a presentation, led by Maanum, on photographing wildlife in ethical ways and how technology, through the use of trail cameras, nesting box cameras, and GPS, is being used to document animal behavior.
Ethical wildlife photography essentially means “not putting stress on the animals,” Maanum explains.
“As nature photographers, we have a responsibility to learn about our animals so we don’t cause them any problems,” he adds — such as disturbing a nest and leaving it vulnerable to attack from predators.
Maanum said that each of the “triple event” sessions has tended to “take on their own personality, depending on who comes and how many, and what (resources) we have available.”
For instance, he added, there was a photo safari at Lake Bronson where about 30 kids showed up, and another in Crookston where there were only seven participants.
“It does make a difference, who is there and what age they are.”