The Nature Photographers' Portfolio (NPP) is a small group of specialist nature and wildlife photographers based in the U.K.
Kenneth Scott-Kilner founded the NPP in 1944 when monochrome film was the only medium available. Members did their own processing and printing in a darkroom, and they circulated prints of their recent images to other members in a postal bag so that they could view them and make written comments. An accompanying notebook also enabled members to raise and comment on issues of interest. When colour film became popular in the late 1950s, Print Folio members gradually moved to that medium and, following the introduction of colour transparency film, a separate Slide Folio was formed in 1968.
The next major advance in photo technology was the introduction around 2001 of digital cameras. Many NPP members moved from film to digital and a Digital Folio was formed in 2006 with images circulated to members on a memory stick. While the Print Folio continued with members making digital prints, the numbers in the Slide Folio declined as members changed over to digital cameras, and it was wound up in 2013.
The Print Folio continues to circulate with prints produced digitally, and the use of digital processing has stimulated much debate on the degree of manipulation that should be permitted!
In 2007, the Digital Folio was established online as a private Group on the photo-sharing site ‘Flickr’. This has proved very successful and currently has around 40 members split into 2 sections.
The overall membership of the NPP is currently limited to 62 members. Applicants for membership are expected to have a good level of photographic ability and, also, a proven interest and knowledge of natural history subjects. Examples of a potential member’s work are usually required for review prior to acceptance.
One of the main objectives of the NPP is to provide an opportunity for the exchange of ideas and techniques used in modern nature photography. While this can be done to some extent through the Print and Digital Folios, a Convention is held over a weekend every 2 years during the Autumn to provide opportunities for face-to-face discussion, and to enable members to get to know each other.