South Bergenite column on this weekend

The NJMC's Jim Wright wrote his latest "Nature Next Door" column for The  South Bergenite on shorebird photographer Lloyd Spitalnik, who will be co-leading a nature photography workshop with Kevin Karlson this Saturday at DeKorte. The program is part of a day of free programs with Karlson, beginning with bird walks at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. More on the event is in the column below:

Lloyd spitalnik For the second year in a row, the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission is sponsoring a day of bird walks and talks at Lyndhurst's DeKorte Park by noted nature photographer and shorebird expert Kevin Karlson. Best of all, the entire program is free.

The event, on Saturday, Aug. 21, also features an exciting new twist this year. In the afternoon, Kevin and another top nature photographer, Lloyd Spitalnik, are presenting a free workshop entitled: “How to Compose and Create a Better Digital Wildlife Photograph.”

The photography workshop offers a unique chance to learn some secrets from these two highly regarded photographers.  Spitalnik will talk about his techniques for shorebird photography, and Karlson will talk about his techniques for capturing flight and motion.

Afterward, participants are encouraged to test-drive what they learned on the mudflats of DeKorte – the water levels in the Shorebird Pool at DeKorte Park will be lowered that week to help attract more birds within easier view of the trails.

With digital technology becoming more accessible and affordable, more and more of us are able to take nifty nature photos.

And as the growing numbers of telephoto lenses and tripods at the Meadowlands Commission’s parks can attest, the District is becoming a prime destination for people who not only want to get up-close looks at egrets and ospreys and shorebirds, but they also want to get close-up photos of them as well.

That was the case with Spitalnik. “Several years ago I made my first trip to DeKorte Park to investigate and was more than pleasantly surprised,” says the New York City resident. “It’s obvious that habitat is being managed to be very bird friendly.”

Spitalnik was also struck by the variety and numbers of birds: “Shorebirds and waterfowl abound. As a long-time birder and wildlife photographer, I can tell you this is a place you must visit.”

Great birds seem to attract even more photographers to the park, and often they come laden with wide-angle lenses and macro lenses.

The wide-angle lenses help capture the scenic beauty of the region, while the macro lenses provide amazing images of flowers, butterflies and other insects.  As these photographers seem to know, the Meadowlands offers plenty of wonderful scenes from nature, from the marsh at sunrise to the mudflats in the fading light. Thanks to the digital age, you can capture these scenes and bring them home with you.

Second Annual Kevin Karlson Day, sponsored by the N.J. Meadowlands Commission and the Bergen County Audubon Society, takes place on Saturday, Aug. 21 at DeKorte Park. The free event, showcasing noted shorebird expert and nature photographer Kevin Karlson, includes 90-minute bird walks at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m.; a seminar on bird identification at 1 p.m.; a preview of Karlson’s upcoming book, “The Birds of Cape May,” at 2:20 p.m.; and the wildlife photography workshop with Karlson and Lloyd Spitalnik at 3 p.m. To rsvp, contact Don Torino of the BCAS at or 201-636-4022.

NJMC Communications Officer Jim Wright maintains the Commission’s daily nature blog, – featuring beautiful photography and the latest info on the region’s abundant natural wonders.


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