If I could go on a fabulous spring photography trip to the national parks of my choice, with no time limit and all expenses paid, which ones would I pick? Here are my choices, grouped by state from west to east. This list includes the favorites I have been to and want to go back to again, plus the ones I haven’t seen and most want to photograph.
Are you planning a spring photography trip to some U.S. national parks? Where should you go? Which parks will provide the best photographic opportunities ?
John Muir was born April 21, 1838. He had a profound influence on how Americans viewed our wild lands and his influence led to the establishment of many of our National Parks and other protected lands. He was nicknamed The Father of our National Parks. This is National Parks week. Go explore somewhere this week, or make plans to visit sometime this year.
Here are photos from some of my favorite National Parks (and one state park) along with quotes from John Muir.
There are times when iPhones can take great photos. Lots of light and the need for a semi-wide angle lens are ideal.
Everything but time was in my favor. I was able to grab a good window seat (well ahead of the engines) with a clean, un-crazed window on the correct (right) side of the plane to photograph the Sange de Cristo Mountains.
What is the name of this mountain? Photo editors want to know. They like caption information. If you have a distinctive mountain in your photo, “Mountain in Colorado” won’t cut it with your friendly neighborhood photo editor. Here’s how to identify that mountain in Google Earth (and how to get GPS coordinates into Google Earth).
Originally posted Jan. 26, 2016. Updated and re-posted Feb. 5, 2017.
Should you join the growing number of photographers who “geotag” their photos (add GPS data). How do you do it? Are there times you shouldn’t?
Originally posted Jan. 28, 2016. Revised and re-posted Feb. 2, 2017.
Today (Mar 18, 2014) I was asked by a client where I was when I took some photos in Banff National Park. I was able to provide him with the exact locations, complete with marked satellite images. It is a good idea to known where you were when you created your most important images, and the more specific the information the better. It is good info to have for your own use and sometimes it can make the difference between whether or not one of your images is published.
Originally posted Mar. 18, 2014. Updated and re-posted Jan. 30, 2017.
Planning a trip to photograph some of our national parks? You will get better images if you visit a national park at its prime season of the year. But when is each park at its very best? And how do you figure out the best time of year for other locations that aren’t in the national parks?
I am planning a winter photography trip to some U.S. national parks, some of which I haven’t been to before. So I am narrowing down my choices to fit the time I have. My search is what led to the advice in this article. I recommend you also read The Best National Parks to Photograph in Winter.
Winter provides some wonderful photo opportunities in our national parks. So if you haven’t gone into hibernation for the winter, here are the best national parks to go photograph this winter, grouped by state from the west to the east. There are a few bonus locations thrown in too. At the end I give you my “best of the best” list.
Cold and snow can cause a lot of damage to your camera gear. Something as simple as shooting outside and taking your camera inside can cause hidden damage that won’t show up until days or weeks later. The simple steps in this article could save you hundreds of dollars in repair bills.
You can photograph the night sky year around, but winter brings an added bonus: SNOW! When you don’t have the benefit of moonlight, most of the year land forms a dark to black silhouetted skyline against the night sky. In winter you have the possibility of including the highly reflective snow. You can see both in this photo. Any place not covered with snow is very dark to black. Having reflective snow is why winter is the favorite time of year for a lot of photographers to go out and photograph the night sky.
Just like metering daytime winter scenes, the key to metering evening winter scenes is knowing what to meter and deciding how much exposure compensation to use.
Metering dark toned wildlife in the snow is a major exposure challenge. It is usually best to avoid large “burned out” areas (washed out, featureless white) in a nature or landscape photograph, but with properly exposed snow, the wildlife can be so dark as to lose all texture. On other hand, metering for the wildlife can burn out the snow. So what do you do?
One of the great things about winter is the return of the Snowy Owls. They are now back in the far northern U.S.
Fall color is sweeping the country. To make the most of it, you want to be at the right place at the right time. With some help from the internet, I will help you find the best fall color locations at the peak of the season.
Welcome to my Colorado fall color travel guide with 104 photos and 17 maps. I cover some of the best known fall color locations in Colorado, and one real gem of a road that is mostly unknown to photographers and leaf peepers. Spend anywhere from a weekend to three weeks exploring the beautiful Colorado Rockies at a gorgeous time of year.
So you wake up one morning with the crazy notion you might want to go on a road to all 47 of the U.S. national parks in the contiguous 48 states. Setting aside the sanity of such a project, how would you go about it? And what if you only want to go to some of these parks?
UPDATE: The most recent and updated version of this article is here.
Welcome to my Colorado fall color travel guide with 103 photos and 17 maps. I cover some of the best known fall color locations in Colorado, and one real gem of a road that is mostly unknown to photographers and leaf peepers. Spend anywhere from a weekend to two weeks exploring the beautiful Colorado Rockies at a gorgeous time of year.
Some days are “so so”, some days are average, and some days are amazing. This is not the best time of year to photograph birds at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, but July 14 was amazing. This photo of a feeding Snowy Egret was just one of many fine images from the morning. He stabbed at his prey and it came out of the water but not in his beak.
Located on the east side of San Francisco Bay near Fremont, California, the Don Edwards San Fransisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge is one of my favorite places to go when I am in the Bay Area.
The National Park Service turns 100 this year. Go out and celebrate by going to one of our national parks. Take your camera and create images at some of the most spectacular locations in North America.
When I left home headed for Northern California I had no intentions of being in Southern Utah. By the time I reached Denver, snow in the forecast for N. Utah, Nevada, and the mountain passes in N. California made a detour much more appealing than fighting snow on I-80, especially since I have never been to the spectacular parks and monuments in Southern Utah.
After a week of clouds and rain, our last morning in Fremont California was the only morning that started out bright and sunny. I needed to pack for our flight home but I made one last quick trip to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. It is one of my favorite places to go early in the morning when we are visiting family in the Bay Area.
To most wildlife, humans on foot look like predators. Cars do not. Staying in your car and driving through a photo rich environment is the start of great plan, but there are some other things you need to do for this plan to work.
It is poppy season in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Weather can have a lot to do with finding wildlife. After several days of rain and very few shorebirds to be seen, the rain stopped, the weather began to clear and the San Francisco Bay exploded with shorebirds.
“Live View” mode is a huge boon to digital photographers and magnified focus is one of the reasons why. Focusing this way is more accurate than the camera’s autofocus modes, at least with non-moving subjects, and you will have sharper images. Landscape photography is the usual time to use this technique but sometimes it works for wildlife.
The same photographic area can give you several very different kinds of images in different kinds of light. The morning light had turned cloudy in Rocky Mountain National Park so Bob, my brother-in-law, and I were in the forest doing small scale landscapes and closeups of little forest details.