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Answering the Call of the Wild

(March 2007) posted on Wed Mar 21, 2007

Prestige Graphics helps produce the Nature's Best Photography exhibit.

click an image below to view slideshow

By Kacey King

The basic premise of Nature’s Best Photography magazine is: It’s the next best thing to being there. And it’s hard to argue with that statement-the magazine is jam packed with vivid photographs of animals in the wild as well as landscapes, all appearing so real that you can practically feel the monkey’s fur in one of the images and the desert sun warming your face in another.

When the magazine opted to turn the winners of its annual photo competition into wide-format prints for an exhibit at the Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian, it called on Mark McCall, president of Prestige Graphics, to make the fur even furrier and the sun even warmer.

This was not a new project for McCall, whose company is based in Reston, VA. He’d tackled the annual exhibit three times previously, and he regularly takes on the color proofing for the magazine itself. This year, however, brought some notable changes to the project, including new printing equipment, new media and inks, new software, and a new partnership with one of the world’s best-known conservation organizations-all of which would serve to not only move the competition to the next level, but push the output itself to new heights as well.

Inspiring a stewardship of nature
Since 2003, Nature’s Best has put out a yearly call to the world’s best nature photographers in its Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards photo competition, asking them to submit their best work. For the 2006 awards, the magazine received more than 12,000 images from photographers representing nearly 30 different countries.

The grand-prize winner along with the winners of 15 categories-such as "Endangered Species," "Landscapes," and "Animal Antics"-would have their work published in the fall issue of the magazine. In addition, as in previous years, the winning entries would be output as wide-format inkjet prints and displayed in an exhibit at the Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian.