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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How to See and Photograph the Perseid Meteor Shower

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 12-13 is the predicted peak night of the Peresid Meteor Shower. But you can look for the next few nights after the peak night. 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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Favorite Photo, July 21

Meteor, Sagittarius; Scorpius, and Saturn over St. Joseph and Kansas City, Missouri. July 21, 2016

You shouldn’t be able to photograph stars from a plane. At least that is the conventional wisdom and the conventional wisdom, and in this case it almost always right. I have tried to photograph stars from a plane in flight numerous times but without success. But this flight was different.

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Favorite Photo, July 15

Doris and Family, Fremont California. July 15, 2012.

The big day arrived, the celebration for Doris’ 90th birthday. Doris in the middle of the seated row, along with her four daughters. Gathered around are her sons-in-law, all of her grandchildren and some of her great-grand grandchildren. This is a favorite family portrait and one of my two most favorite images for this date.

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Favorite Photo, July 7

Kirtland Temple at Dusk, Kirtland Ohio. July 7, 2003.

The Kirtland Temple is a fascinating 1830s era building on the National Register of Historic Places. The walls of the Temple are white, but you wouldn’t know from this photo. The late evening light, combined with a nearby street light created this unusual color mix. This is my favorite photo for July 7.

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Colorado Fall Color Travel and Photography Guide

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

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

Welcome to my Colorado fall color travel and photography guide with over 100 pages of information (if you print it all out), 120 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 few days to three weeks exploring the beautiful Colorado Rockies at a gorgeous time of year.

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Favorite Photo, July 1

Showy Ladyslipper in sunlight
Sunlit Showy Ladyslipper, Northern Michigan. July 1, 2004.

I have quite a few favorite images for July 1 in my “favorite photos” folder. When I spotted this orchid at Thorne Swift Nature Preserve, the sunlight coming through the white petals was perfect. This is one of my two most favorite images for this date. Thorne Swift near Harbor Springs is a great place to do nature photography.

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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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Favorite Photo, June 29

Sunny in the moonlight, Columbus Ohio. June 29, 2012.

There was a power outage in our part of town, so it was a perfect night to do moonlit photos without the intrusion of city lights. The three lights in the yard run on batteries that are charged by small solar panels during the day. The remarkable thing about this photo is how little our dog Sunny moved during the 30 second exposure. He was patiently waiting for me to finish what I was doing so we could get on with our night walk. This is my favorite photo for this date.

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Favorite Photo, June 24

Melissa, Columbus Ohio. June 24, 2017.

My lovely wife Melissa wanted a portrait, so we picked a nice location and went there on a day with nice, soft light – ideal for doing portraits. This is one of her favorite images, and a favorite of mine too. This is my favorite photo for June 24.

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Favorite Photo, June 10

Orange Poppies, Nederland, Colorado. Tuesday, June 10, 1997.
Orange Poppies, Nederland, Colorado. Tuesday, June 10, 1997.

Bob, my brother-in-law and photo buddy, were driving through Nederland Colorado when we spotted these orange colored poppies in front of the Presbyterian church. We stopped and took pictures. This is my favorite photo for June 10. If this feels a bit like deja vu, I also drove through Netherland June 9, 1997 on my way to take what ended up being three of my favorite photos for that date.

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Dewitt Jones: Celebrate What’s Right with the World!

CWR Website The Film from Shervin Communications on Vimeo.

Life (and great photography) is about inspiration as much as it is about information. Whatever it is that moves you to do things is just as important as knowing how to do it. If you aren’t inspired, all the information in the world won’t help you very much. But if you are sufficiently inspired, you will move heaven and earth to find the information you need. It is about vision! This 22 minute video is about finding the kind of vision that inspires your life and your photography.

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Video of Ronald Reagan’s Speech On the 40th Anniversary of D-Day

President Reagan’s 13 minute speech at the U.S. Ranger Monument at Pointe du Hoc is considered to be one of the great speeches in American History. In addition to President Reagan, these world leaders were present: Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands, King Olav V of Norway, King Baudouin I of Belgium, Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, and Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau of Canada.

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The Text of Ronald Reagan’s Speech On the 40th Anniversary of D-Day

Ronald Reagan, 40th Anniversary of D-Day

President Reagan’s 13 minute speech at the U.S. Ranger Monument at Pointe du Hoc is considered to be one of the great speeches in American History. In addition to President Reagan, these world leaders were present: Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands, King Olav V of Norway, King Baudouin I of Belgium, Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, and Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau of Canada.

The text of Reagan’s speech follows.

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Favorite Photo, May 29

Blue Jay, Whitefish Point, Michigan's U.P.
Blue Jay, Whitefish Point, Michigan’s U.P. May 29, 2017.

It was a rainy, drizzly day at Whitefish Point in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, but photographers and bird watchers were everywhere. I was leading as photography field trip. This curious Blue Jay got closer and closer and was eyeing me carefully. I kept clicking the shutter as the jay got closer. This is one of my two most favorite photos for this date.

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Favorite Photo, May 22

Danielle, Columbus Ohio
Danielle, Portrait, Columbus Ohio. May 22, 2008.

Danielle and I were creating portraits in my studio for both of our portfolios. In this image I was going for a classic look with minimal contrast. As you can see from the catchlights in her eyes, I used two studio lights aimed at her face. The main light was up and to camera left and the fill light, which was only dialed down a bit, was up and to camera right. A third studio light is behind her and high to the right, putting a highlight on her hair. This is my favorite images for this date, and one of my all time favorite portraits. I made display prints of this image in several sizes from wallet size up to 16×20 inches.

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