Editorial

A Time of Reflection: 10 Years of NatureScapes

by Greg Downing | August 2, 2013

Greg Downing10 years ago on August 16, 2003 I founded NatureScapes.net with E.J. Peiker and Heather Forcier. Implementing the idea for the initial website and company formation took exactly 10 days from decision to launch. The first “issue” of the website, as an online resource, was simply made up of a few articles using off-the-shelf bulletin board software. But almost immediately photographers from all over the world started posting and sharing images. NatureScapes, as a community, was alive.

Over the past decade our website grew rapidly and evolved into what has become the resource for nature photographers. Here are some highlights:

  • We started with 9 forum moderators; that number has grown to 36.
  • Initially we only had a handful of photographers contributing editorial content; as of today we’ve published over 160 authors.
  • In late 2003 we opened our online store, which only carried about 15 items. It has grown to more than 2,000+ products with new items being added regularly. Since then, many nature photographers have come to trust us as their authorized resource for buying photography gear.
  • With the launch of online portfolios in 2005 we’ve given our paid members a place to showcase and share their images on the Internet.
  • Since expanding our workshop offerings in 2010, hundreds of attendees have traveled the world with NatureScapes alongside some of the best leaders in the industry, who have graciously taught and guided them on their professional photographic journeys.
  • After more than a year of design and development, in spring of 2013 I released our own line of NatureScapes Lens Replacement Feet, joining the SkimmerSack and Ground Pod II (introduced in 2005) as our very own product inventions.
NatureScapes.net in 2003!

As you can see, our website has drastically evolved since 2003!

Today NatureScapes has earned the respect of tens of thousands of photographers worldwide as one of the most comprehensive, friendly, and respected websites of its kind. In the modern day with mega-sites such as Facebook, Instagram, 500PX, and others, NatureScapes still stands apart as a unique website that goes beyond watered-down general social media or mass image sharing. As an online community specifically for nature photographers we have maintained a high level of professionalism and grace in all our endeavors and are proud to be the benchmark by which others are measured.

With a major site overhaul in January of this year and growth in our store and workshop offerings, today we are not only a free website designed for sharing information among nature photography enthusiasts but we are also a thriving and growing small business with consistent annual growth. We employ a number of full and part time employees that develop and manage our website including our online store, workshops, membership, and community.

With my deepest gratitude I also want to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the success of NatureScapes, from my valuable employees, forum moderators (some of whom have been with us since the beginning), editorial contributors, and of course our online community, for making NatureScapes.net a success. Without all of you we would not be where we are today!

I am enthusiastically looking forward to the next decade and beyond as NatureScapes continues to grow and evolve. Technology may change over the years, but we will always stay true to our core mission of being the most valuable and comprehensive resource for nature photographers.

Greg Downing

Greg Downing
Publisher

About the Author

Greg has been traveling the world teaching professional and amateur photographers for more than 15 years hosting his instructional workshops and seminars. Instructing photographers of all experience levels Greg has earned a reputation for his gracious and generous teaching style.

Greg's images are known for their unique style, exacting composition and strict attention to detail. As an internationally recognized photographer, his numerous publishing credits include books, advertising campaigns and editorial publications such as Birding Magazine, Outdoor Photographer Magazine, Birder's World, National Geographic and many others. Especially passionate about birds, his images can also be found in printed form in several Wildbird Centers on the east coast, as well as appearing in private art exhibitions.

In 2003 Greg founded www.NatureScapes.net with E.J. Peiker and Heather Forcier. Today Greg is the Publisher, President and sole owner of the company and oversees all operations from his home base in Parkton, Maryland.

As Greg travels the world taking pictures he enjoys meeting others, teaching and sharing his passion while making new lifelong friends in the process.

To see more of Greg's work visit his website at www.gdphotography.com.

11 thoughts on “A Time of Reflection: 10 Years of NatureScapes

  1. Congratulations. Naturescapes is awesome. That’s why I’ve signed up as a lifetime member. Great community, lot’s of awesome pictures and always helpful advice.

    Markus

  2. Yes, this site is undeniably a stellar accomplishment in a fiercely competitive field. The sound advise of E.J. Peiker has helped literally millions of people in a increasingly, and often diabolically complex digital image making world. The high quality of posted images has caused many to grow as photographers and helped others to make the wise decision to give up. On the downside, in the world of photographic products, the SkimmerSack could be the worst named product in history. But even that curiosity, remains in deep shadow by the good light that has shined on so many from here.

  3. Wow Greg, I can’t believe how this 10 years has flown by. I certainly remember the first day you went online and it’s great to see how the site has grown and improved through the years. Congratulations on your first 10 and keep up the great work!!

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