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Reader Participation Day: Which National Park Brings the Best Out In Your Camera?

Redrock and Snow, copyright Kurt Repanshek

Redrock and snow. There aren't too many parks where you can capture both in the same frame, but Arches National Park is one of them. Kurt Repanshek photo.

It's a given: national parks are great places to take photographs. And yet, there are some parks that seem to produce better photos from my camera than others.

Arches and Canyonlands national parks have both gorgeous structure and dazzling colors in their red-rock ramparts. Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Olympic National Park are lush and leafy, and if you look close enough in either you can find photogenic critters, such as the salamanders in Great Smoky or the banana slugs in Olympic.

Traveler's steadily growing flickr site is evidence that those behind the lens go in search of different perspectives and subjects. So, tell us, which national parks do you find the most photogenic, and why?


The bottom of the Grand Canyon. During a rafting trip and seeing all the small side canyons and waterfalls. Hiking up out of the inner canyon so you have the outer canyon towering above and the inner canyon down below. Pictures of rafts going through the rapids with the towering walls behind them. North Canyon, Redwall Cavarn, Saddle Canyon, Ribbon Falls, Clear Creek Overlook, Elves Chasm, and on on

Which? As in which one?

Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Canyon (especially, but not exclusively, down at the bottom of the canyon), Big Bend, Haleakala (both units because they feature entirely different scenery), and Hawaiian Volcanoes.

If you're including other components of the NPS and not just those with National Park as part of the name: Buffalo National River, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Pu'uhonua o Honauau National Historic Park.

You're asking me to pick a favorite child. Can't do it.

I am partial to Yellowstone, to the point where I've set my as-yet-unpublished historical novel there, and "my" park is Mt. Rainier, just down the road, but--

I've taken pictures I'm proud of in dozens of units of the national parks, and there's no way I could choose just one.

Grand Canyon is certain great in person, but I had problems trying to do justice to it on camera. One of the problems is the pollution haze. I understand they have maybe 3 days a year where it's "postcard clear". Another problem is that the average photographer doesn't have the ultra wide-angle lenses that can capture the vastness of the canyon.

I have NEVER seen a bad photograph of Yellowstone Falls in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The pictures always turn out great, regardless of the photographer's skill level.

I almost said Yellowstone because of the points made by Connie Hopkins. But, for me, the winner is The Grand Canyon. If only a camera could really capture it's breathtaking beauty.

I thought a lot of people commented that GSMNP is too difficult to photograph well. Ansel Adams didn't think he'd be that successful.


Grand Teton National Park gets my vote. Every turn has another breath taking view. I have spent hundreds of rolls of film there and all the pictures are keepers. I love it there.

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