Tips for Photographing in U.S. National Parks

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Updated: 12.01.2014

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.
Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park

 Want to know what the experts say?

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

Do you have any national park photography tips? Join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook or send us an email.

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