Two Photographers and Eleven Outdoor/Travel Writers Pick the Best National Parks for Fall

Long’s Peak and Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

Fall is a fabulous time of year to visit the national parks. Crowds are usually smaller than in the summer, temperatures are cooler, and some of our national parks have glorious fall colors. With so many to choose from, where should you go? Which national parks will provide the best photographic opportunities in the fall?

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The Best National Parks for Fall Photography

Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

What are the best national parks to photograph in the fall? Here are my choices, grouped by state and province from west to east. This list includes the favorites I have been to, plus the ones I most want to see based on the recommendations of the photographers I trust, like Tim Fitzharris and QT Luong. More about them later.

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Colorado Fall Color Photography and Travel Guide

Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake. Mid-morning. September 24, 2015.

Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake. Mid-morning. September 24, 2015.

Headed for Colorado this fall? Welcome to my Colorado fall color photography and travel guide with 131 photos, 18 maps, and over 100 pages of information (if you print it all out). 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 few days to two weeks (or more) exploring the beautiful Colorado Rockies at a gorgeous time of year.

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9/11 – Let Us Pray

“Towers of Light”

LET US PRAY

On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, four planes were hijacked and ultimately crashed.  Two crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City and one crashed into the Pentagon. The fourth crashed in Pennsylvania.

Dozens of people in each of four airplanes living in terror as their hijacked planes are flown to destinations unknown to them. Each ends in a terrible fiery crash.

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Chip East Reflects on the Last Photos of His Friend, Bill Biggart, Taken on 9/11

Photographer Chip East was staring intensely at his laptop screen.

It was two weeks after two jetliners had plowed into the towers of the World Trade Center. His good friend, photojournalist Bill Biggart’s body had been recovered from the rubble. His personal effects, including his cameras had been released by authorities to his widow, Wendy.

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Remembering 9/11


Photo by James Nachtwey for TIME magazine.

I will never forget staring at the screen. I was stunned. It was just a few moments after I got the phone call to turn on the TV. Then the second plane hit.

On this date, nineteen years ago, we experienced a great national tragedy in the United States. 2,977 lives that were lost in the terrorist attacks. So many  families were torn asunder. The way we view ourselves and our world changed. Emergency responders continue to suffer terrible health problems as a result of working at the scene. The way we view ourselves and our world changed too. Over 2,000 first responders have died of health issues related to 9/11.

In remembrance of that day, and to honor the lives that were lost, I am posting some tributes.

How to See and Photograph the Perseid Meteor Shower Tonight

Perseid Meteor photographed from Rose Hill Cemetery west of Lamoni, Iowa. 4:55 am CDT, August 13, 2018. Cropped from the original image.

The night of August 11-12 is the predicted peak night of the Peresid Meteor Shower this year. That is tonight. But you can look for the next few nights. This article will tell you what you need to know to see and photograph the most popular meteor shower of the year.

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Protect Your Camera Gear in the Rain

Photographers keeping thier cameras dry in a drizzle.

Photographers in a drizzle using coats, jackets, sweaters, hoodies, and anything else to keep their cameras and lenses dry. Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rain is not good for your camera. Some professional level cameras are “weather sealed”. So are some professional level lenses. They even have gaskets for where the lens contacts the camera. But weather sealed is not waterproof. My rule of thumb is weather sealed gear can easily handle a bit of drizzle or a light rain for a short period of time, but it will not handle a light rain for a long period of time, or a heavy downpour. A few drops of rain on weather sealed gear is ok. Much more than that and you need to protect your gear. In this article I provide you with some simple to professional suggestions to protect your gear.

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Another Chinese Lens Rip-Off

Super Zoom Chinese Telescope (Lens)

We have been down this road before. The last time around, people paid from $60 to $200 for a cheap Chinese lens they could have bought for $12. The lens was touted as a German product and the ads used fake quotes from a fake German engineer. They created fake test results and used fake testimonials. They grabbed professionally created photographs taken with professionally photo equipment and passed them off as iPhone photos created with the fake German lens.

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Space Calendar for 2020

Perseverance Launch, Mars Rover, Atlas V Rocket, July 30, 2020.

Keep up to date with all things space at the 2020 Space Calendar at Space.com. Updated on a regular basis, the Space Calendar lets you know about meteor shower, planetary conjunctions, rocket launches and more. Some dates change, like rocket launches, so the calendar is updated accordingly.

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The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale, 1800Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale, 1800

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

From the Declaration of Independence, signed July 4, 1776. Written by Thomas Jefferson (1762-1826). 3rd US President (1801-09).

More images (including Thomas Jefferson’s original draft and George Washington’s personal copy) and the complete text follows the break.

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How to Shoot and Protect Your Camera Gear in Hot Weather

Covered camera during a shooting break.

Summer is here and that means hot weather. So it is time for a “save your camera gear” reminder. Camera gear has a temperature and humidity rating. A top of the line Canon camera body has a limit of 115°F and 85% or less humidity. A black camera on a hot day can easily exceed that limit. Less expensive cameras of any brand have lower limits so it is important to protect your gear.

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One Photographer and Eleven Outdoor/Travel Writers Pick the Best National Parks for Summer

Royal Arches, North Dome, and Washington Column from Stoneman Meadow. Yosemite National Park. California.

Summer is the most popular time to visit the national parks. With so many to choose from, where should you go? Which national parks will provide the best photographic opportunities in the summer?

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The Clueless Chef: Signature Skillet Spaghetti

My “signature skillet spaghetti”.

Welcome to the first (and maybe only) episode of “The Clueless Chef”. Clueless Chef is tongue-in-cheek. I am no where near being a chef. The kitchen is not my forte. But I have been able to take recipes I have found, switch out and add ingredients, and come up with something tasty that my family and friends like that does not involve using all kinds of ingredients from scratch. And if you are a bit clueless in the kitchen, this easy to prepare recipe is pretty simple to do.

Allow about 45 minutes for prep time and cooking.

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I Did It! I Bought It!

Leonard Nimoy’s Shekhina

In addition to being an actor who is best know for playing Spock on Star Trek, Leonard Nimoy is also known for being a fine photographer. One of his best known photography exhibits was “Shekhina”, which also became a best selling book. You can learn more about the exhibit and book here and at the links below.

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