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PRESS RELEASE: 2007 'Top Ten' Places to Take Great Outdoor Photos!
The National Park Foundation and Ford Motor Company encourage amateur photographers to capture the beauty of America’s National Parks and Public Lands
WASHINGTON (August 22, 2007) – As the Summer travel season winds down, the National Park Foundation is proud to release their annual ‘Top 10’ list, a photography guide highlighting the very best Fall photo experiences in America’s national parks and public lands.
With Americans beginning to plan their fall trips, the “2007 Top Ten Parks and Public Lands Photo Tips” outlines 10 unique fall photography experiences that you can only find in America’s parks and public lands. This list was developed by experts from The National Park Foundation and Ford Motor Company to serve as a travel and how-to guide for shutterbugs to share the experience of visiting national parks and recreation areas.
“More than 100 years ago, private citizens were so moved by the natural gifts of our continent that they urged Congress to set aside the first National Park land for the enjoyment and benefit of future generations,” said Vin Cipolla, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “Today we witness the same thing–millions of Americans visiting the Parks with camera in hand hoping to personally capture the vibrant wildlife, historic monuments and magnificent scenery to share with future generations of friends and family.”
The “Top Ten Parks and Public Lands Photo Tips” range from capturing the rich history of Jamestowne, Virginia, to watching alligators glide through the swamps of Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. These tips invite amateur photographers to examine some of the hidden gems that get overlooked within the nation’s diverse parks and public lands system.
This year, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation teamed with Ford Motor Company for the official “Share the Experience” photo contest. Amateur photographers are encouraged to enter their favorite photos taken in America’s national parks and public lands. Winners are eligible for a variety of prizes, including a 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid and vacations to federal recreation areas. The “Share the Experience” photo contest benefits America’s Federal Recreational Lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service.
“Ford Motor Company is proud to be part of this contest, and we encourage all Americans to grab a camera and head out to our nation’s parks and public lands this fall,” said Karen Shaughnessy, Governmental Relations manager, Ford Motor Company. “We’re looking forward to seeing our nation’s scenic and historical wonders through the lenses of all those who experience and enjoy our public lands.”
TOP 10 PHOTO TIPS:
- Historic Streetscape
Historic Jamestowne, Virginia
Recently celebrating its 400th Anniversary, Historic Jamestowne offers visitors the rare opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Captain John Smith and Pocahontas as they explore our nation’s early beginnings.
Today at Jamestowne, the story of the people who founded the colony is told through film, gallery exhibits and living history. Costumed interpreters lead tours through the winding streets of Historic Jamestowne, tracing the colony’s beginnings in England and describing the cultures of the Powhatan Indians, Europeans and Africans who converged there in the 1600s.
With visually inspiring streetscapes depicting the stories of our ancestors, it is no wonder that Jamestowne is a haven for photographers. Among the highlights are, The State House, The Meeting House, The Statue of John Smith and The Glasshouse and Loop Drive.
FORD PHOTO TIP: Historic Jamestowne is a very popular destination for tourists. As a result, the park is photographed frequently, making it more difficult to capture a truly original picture. The best advice for photographing Jamestowne is to consider variety. Include people shots, close ups and wide angles. Try taking photographs in good weather as well as bad. An interesting photo of a street lamp could have greater impact than a picture of a building.
- Spectacular Rock Formation
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Bryce Canyon National Park, famous for its unique geology, consists of a series of horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters carved from the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau in southern Utah. The vast and austere landscape is one of the world’s most scenic backdrops. Its awe-inspiring canyons and cliffs embrace a spectacular array of geological wonders. This high, rugged, and remote region has bold plateaus and multi-hued cliffs running for distances that defy human perspective.
The park’s diverse landscape makes Bryce Canyon National Park an ideal site for photographers to explore the rich color and texture of rock formations.
FORD PHOTO TIP: Search for details. It is easy to use a wide angle lens. Unfortunately, these kinds of photos often end up looking staged. Instead of shooting an entire rock formation, try zooming in on one small part of it. A shot of the base, indentation, or curve of a rock can be a more powerful image.
- Picturesque Forest
Olympic National Forest, Washington
Spanning 633,677 acres across the Olympic Peninsula in northwest Washington State, Olympic National Forest is a unique geographic providence consisting of a temperate rain forest, rugged mountain terrain, large lowland lakes, cascading rivers, and saltwater beaches. The forest is a tapestry of biological diversity and home to a wide variety of plants and animals, many of which live nowhere else in the world.
Offering various points of interest, including Lake Cushman, Quinault Rain Forest, Wynoochee Dam, Seal Rock and eight well-marked nature trails, the Forest is a wonderful place to spend a day exploring with your camera.
NOTE: Olympic National Forest surrounds much of Olympic National Park and the Olympic Mountain range. Both make wonderful travel extensions.
FORD PHOTO TIP: Nice weather doesn’t always equal good photos. For a different perspective, try snapping a few shots in the rain forest. The dramatic skies above, the mist and the raindrops can add a naturally unique, romantic and even mysterious mood to the picture.
- Underground Adventure
Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota
American Indians have many stories about a hole in the Black Hills of South Dakota that emits powerful gusts of wind. The fourth largest cave in the world,” Wind Cave” is a 125 mile long complex maze of geological wonder.
Once entirely submerged under water, Wind Cave is one of the oldest caves in the world, with portions dating back over 300 million years. Its outstanding display of boxwork, an unusual cave formation composed of thin calcite fins resembling honeycombs is rare and found in few other caves.
Geologists believe that the water began slowly draining from the cave 40 to 50 million years ago. Today the water level is about 500 feet below the surface at an area named "the Lakes." Water, however, is still changing the cave. Geologists have many questions yet to answer before they can fully understand the rich, incredible resources found within Wind Cave.
Despite dark conditions, with the correct flash, photos of Wind Cave illustrate a rare geological experience down into the very “bowels of the earth.”
NOTE: If you decide to make the trek, be sure to bring a jacket. The cave temperature is 53 degrees all times of the year.
FORD PHOTO TIP: Depth is an important aspect of any good photograph. This is especially true for shooting in caves. It may help to add a tree or person in the foreground to enhance the visual perspective.
- Dazzling Sunset
Point Reyes National Seashore, California
Can there be a more perfect display of natural wonder than watching the sun slide behind the horizon and dip slowly into the sparkling ocean waters? At Point Reyes National Seashore that breathtaking phenomenon takes place nearly every night.
From its thunderous ocean breakers crashing against rocky headlands and expansive sand beaches through its open grasslands to its brushy hillsides and forested ridges, visitors can discover spectacular panoramas, a tapestry of cultural experiences and over 1000 species of plants and animals.
But one of Point Reyes National Seashore’s most sought after attractions is its world famous sunsets. Captured with a photographer’s lens, the magic and romance of a Point Reyes sunset is an image that visitors will no doubt want to take home.
FORD PHOTO TIP: Sunset photos can be a bit challenging. The most important factor to consider is the placement of the horizon. Where you place the horizon in your picture dictates what aspect of the sunset will be emphasized. Is it the sky that you want to focus on or the sun’s reflection across the rocks? This is a key consideration.
- Fall Foliage
Acadia National Park, Maine
The North Eastern U.S. has always been famous for its autumn foliage and Acadia National Park does not disappoint.
Situated on the rugged coast of Maine, Acadia National Park was set aside by early Americans as the first National Park East of the Mississippi River. The park contains more than 120 miles of historic hiking trails and is home to many plants and animals, and the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast.
Each autumn, as the seasons change, the woodlands of Acadia transform into a diverse palate of color that defies the imagination. A scenic journey down the 27-mile Park Loop Road system offers outstanding views of the fall foliage, ocean shoreline and mountain silhouettes. It is no surprise that these picturesque settings are ones that park visitors want to capture with their camera.
FORD PHOTO TIP: Fall colors pop best in early morning or early evening light. Try shooting at dawn and dusk for contrast.
- Diverse Wildlife
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia
Encompassing nearly 402,000 acres, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is a vast bog inside an immense, saucer-shaped depression that was once part of the ocean floor. The swamp now lies 103 to 128 feet above mean sea level. Native Americans named the area "Okefenokee" meaning "Land of the Trembling Earth," referring to the peat deposits, up to 15 feet thick, cover much of the swamp floor, so unstable in some areas that trees and bushes tremble from above-ground disruptions.
A journey down Swamp Island Drive, a 9-mile driving, biking and walking loop, will lead visitors through a diverse ecosystem that is home to many animals including, white-tailed deer, black bears, gophers, snakes, alligators, turtles, woodpeckers, wild turkeys, egrets and dragonflies.
This makes Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge a world class setting for photography enthusiasts to capture the beauty and immensity of wildlife within the area.
FORD PHOTO TIP: The best way to take a great wildlife photograph is to be as patient as possible with your subjects. Animals move at their own pace so take the time to really examine your subject in its natural habitat before you click.
- Prehistoric Wonder
Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Alaska
Far from the hustle and bustle of other Alaskan destinations, Cape Krusenstern National Monument is a remote, coastal plain dotted with sparkling lagoons and backed by gently rolling limestone hills. Nearly 5000 years of prehistory are represented on the 114 well-preserved beach ridges and some sites on the bluff behind the ridges may date as early as 9,000 years, older than many well-known remains of ancient Egyptian civilizations.
The monument’s rich history, unusual geography and feeling of seclusion makes Cape Krusenstern National Monument a spectacular site for photographers to explore and experience. Whether you’re kayaking along the coast and through lagoons, thrilling your senses on a scenic flight, camping, or charting your own backcountry trek, the land is ready to experience for those willing and prepared to enter it.
NOTE: An airplane ride away to the nearest town (Kotzebue, Alaska), Cape Krusenstern National Monument is not an ideal destination for inexperienced hikers or families with young children. Access and services within the monument are limited compared with other National Parks in Alaska. But for the skilled outdoor explorer, the rich history, magnificent scenery and untamed nature of this national monument allows you to experience genuine “Wild Alaska” on its own terms.
FORD PHOTO TIP: One of the best ways to capture the vibrancy of a prehistoric landmark is to include people in the photographs. An image of a friend or spouse standing in the same place that their ancestors did more than 5000 years ago, will give the photo greater impact.
- Volcanic Formation
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, Idaho
The seemingly lunar landscape of Craters of the Moon National Monument has been described as "The strangest 75 square miles on the North American Continent.”
Virtually unknown before 1921, Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is a geologic wonder cast in a wild and remote landscape. Its central focus is the Great Rift, a 62-mile long crack in the earth's crust, the source of a remarkably preserved volcanic landscape with an array of exceptional features. Craters, cinder cones, lava tubes, deep cracks, and vast lava fields form a strangely beautiful volcanic sea on central Idaho's Snake River Plain.
The most recent volcanic eruption at Craters of the Moon ended about 2,100 years ago but many geologists believe that it will erupt again. For now, the rugged, undisturbed landscape is an ideal place for photographers to capture a rare image of our geological past.
FORD PHOTO TIP: When photographing an “unearthly” landscape, try including a person or identifiable object to give your picture perspective.
- Family Photo
Hoover Dam, Arizona and Colorado
Often referred to as one of the “seven wonders of the industrial world,” it is no surprise that Hoover Dam, located in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River is one of the world’s most visited man-made attractions. This concrete structure named after President Herbert Hoover who was instrumental in its construction, stands tall as a great triumph of America’s industrial age.
Construction of Hoover Dam began in 1931 with the tedious process of digging diversion tunnels through canyon walls to redirect the Colorado River. After four years of hard labor and 3,250,000 cubic yards of poured concrete, Hoover Dam was completed in 1935, over two years ahead of schedule.
Aside from the fascinating history of Hoover Dam, its view of the canyon is incomparable. Offering a seemingly infinite number of awe-inspiring panoramas, a snapshot in front of, or on top of Hoover Dam is the perfect photo to end any family vacation.
FORD PHOTO TIP: During your lifetime, you will probably take more photographs of family and friends than any other subjects. It is for this reason that original family photos are so difficult to capture. The best way to take a great family photo is to be original. From the way that your family is posed in the picture to the angle that you point your camera, an atypical format can turn a common family photograph into an extraordinary one.
About Ford Motor Company
A long-time Proud Partner of America’s National Parks, Ford Motor Company is committed to helping preserve and protect America's National Parks. Ford and its philanthropic arm, Ford Motor Company Fund, have worked closely with the National Park Foundation and National Park Service through wide-ranging transportation initiatives, including placing more than 200 "interpreters" and 27 Master's and PhD-level "scholars" in parks to promote the use of environmentally friendly vehicles. Ford has also donated hundreds of environmentally responsible vehicles to the National Park System.
About National Park Foundation
The National Park Foundation (www.nationalparks.org) is a 501(c)(3) organization chartered by Congress in 1967 to continue a century-long tradition of private philanthropy ensuring funding to preserve and enhance the legacy of our National Parks. As the official non-profit partner of America’s National Parks, the National Park Foundation does not receive federal appropriations for their support. The National Park Foundation serves to strengthen the connection between the American people and their national parks by raising private funds, making strategic grants, creating innovative partnerships and increasing public awareness. Support of the National Park Foundation ensures that the evolving history and rich heritage of our Nation remains vital and relevant.
(First posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 at 10:28 EDT)