My Itchy Travel Feet | The Baby Boomer's Guide To Travel

Tips for Photographing in U.S. National Parks

2009/07/15by Donna Hull

Updated 09.15.2013

national park photography tips

Photographing the sunset at Arches National Park

If  you’re looking for outdoor photography opportunities, then visit a U.S. national park. I remember the first time Alan and I saw Oxbow Bend in the Grand Tetons for the first time. “Let’s come back for a sunset shoot,” Alan said. We did, along with about 50 other photographers. I had never seen such an array of lenses, tripods and cameras in my life. The photo shoot at sunrise? The same.

If you need help on where to go and how to take the best national park photos, check out the national park photography tips books on Amazon and you’ll find plenty of valuable information, including the popular The Photographer’s Guide series. But we have a little advice of our own to share:

National Park Photography Tips

When photographing iconic scenes in the National Parks, expect the company of other photographers. But don’t let that stop you from taking your perfect picture. We’ve found the photography crowd to be respectful and helpful to other camera buffs. Here are a few tips to ensure success:

  • Arrive early to stake out a prime spot.
  • Don’t walk in front of another photographer’s shot.
  • Find a new perspective on a familiar scene by shifting positions, shooting high, low or at an angle.
  • Strike up a conversation. You might learn a valuable new technique or insider info on another photogenic location.
  • Look around you. Don’t miss a photographic opportunity because you’re shooting the same scene as everyone else.
  • Go with a pro. A photography expert leading a workshop knows where to go and when to be there for that perfect shot.
moab-utah-canyonlands-sunrise-photographer

Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park

 Want to know what the experts say?

  • Kodak offers national park photography tips.
  • Profession photographer, Michael Melford offers tips for photographing in national parks on the National Geographic site.

Do you have any national park photography tips? Please post them in our comments section. Alan and I are always looking for new boomer photo opportunities.


A boomer travel and lifestyle authority who is exploring the world one activity at a time. Besides writing and publishing My Itchy Travel Feet, she also writes about boomer travel for My Well-Being Powered by Humana, Make It Missoula and is the author of My Itchy Travel Feet: Breathtaking Adventure Vacation Ideas.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Geogypsy July 15, 2009 at 11:35 am

One of the most asked questions at the North Rim of Grand Canyon NP is, “where's the best place for sunrise/set?” There are several places I enjoy and suggest like, Cape Royal with its 270 degree view; or Bright Angel Point with only a half mile round trip walk; or better yet, enjoy a beverage on the Lodge veranda.

What always amazes me is how many people leave as soon as the firey globe disapears below the horizon. They miss the best part.

We have two volunteers that regularly give talks about photographing the canyon.

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
July 17, 2009 at 8:51 am

Thanks for the North Rim photo tips, Geogypsy. You are right about many people missing the best part of sunsets. We’ve learned on our photography workshops that the best photos occur after the sun dips below the horizon. Of course you really need to be using a tripod to capture the scene.

Reply

articlesaday July 16, 2009 at 1:22 am

Thanks for sharing. Nice article and very educational.

Thanks a lot.

Reply

ottsworld
Twitter:
September 23, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Good tips and great advice for free photo workshops. One of my favorite things to do at big sites that everyone is photographing is to try to get an angle where there is no other people in the shot – then turn around and take the next shot of everyone behind you!

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
September 23, 2009 at 6:24 pm

What a great photo tip! I'll be trying this trick. Thanks.

Reply

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