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Understanding light to improve your photography.
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Organizing Your Photos, Part 2: Using Keywords
In part two of a four-part series on organizing your photo library, we talk about the importance of using keywords to find photos instantly.
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California’s Eastern Sierra
Explore the many opportunities for dramatic landscape photography on the sunrise side of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
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Favorite Places: From Readers & Pros
Jeff Ross, Mt. Rainier, Washington
This photo was taken of Mt. Rainier at dusk. Mt. Rainier National Park is located in the Cascade Mountain Range in Washington, about 50 miles southeast of Seattle. Mt. Rainier can be accessed from numerous entrances, including U.S. Highway 410, which runs through the northeastern side of the park, as well as U.S. Highway 165, which takes you to the lesser-visited northwestern corner of the park. The mountain often is hidden in the clouds associated with western Washington weather, but when the mountain is “out,” as we say around here, it’s still and always has been a head-turner for me. The national park is a photographer’s dream with its diversity of subjects to photograph, including alpine meadows with wildflowers as far as the eye can see, moss-covered rain forests, thousand-year-old evergreens, icy blue glaciers and abundant waterfalls, as well as the volcano itself. Pentax Optio S4
Randy A. Baumhover, Gardiner River,
Yellowstone National Park, Montana
The Gardiner River in Yellowstone National Park is located about two miles south of the town of Gardiner, Mont. The river makes many twists and turns as it tumbles over boulders in the five-mile stretch between Gardiner and Mammoth. I shoot this location at least a couple of times each year, usually in daylight. This shot was taken on a very clear and cold morning by the light of a full moon. I usually don’t give my photos a title, but I couldn’t help but call this “Moon River.” Nikon D40x, Nikon 18-35mm ƒ/3.5-4.5D
Eric Plante, Hidden Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana
Hidden Lake is a mountain-goat paradise and a nature photographer’s wonderland. At an elevation of 7,000 feet and well out of view from the road, Hidden Lake sits nearly on top of the Continental Divide. Herds of mountain goats frequent the lake, and they often use the trail to move about. Be sure to yield because some ornery males and protective mothers won’t. The picturesque lake also is a haven for the regal bighorn sheep, hoary marmots and deer. I spent a day photographing the serene scene because Hidden Lake is the epitome of mountain beauty. I photographed the two goat kids as they frolicked on a grassy and rocky slope just off the Hidden Lake Trail. Canon EOS-1V, Canon 300mm ƒ/2.8L
* Art Wolfe, Hoh River Valley, Washington
I’ve always lived in Seattle, and for most of that time, I’ve been able to see the Olympic Mountains across the Sound from my bedroom, weather permitting. While I love all the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest—the mountains, the water, the rolling fields of wheat—for me, the Hoh River Valley of Olympic National Park embodies the essence of the region. It’s a temperate rain forest, absorbing 200 inches of rain each year—a green mosaic of conifers, maples and undergrowth draped in moss. I like to shoot in the spring when the forest is fully leafed-out and in fall when bright oranges and reds stand out against the predominant greens. As with any forest photography, overcast light suppresses contrast and brings out color, while bright sun creates harsh shadows and more contrast than any film or sensor can record. Given the moist conditions, a polarizer is essential to tamp down reflections and reveal underlying color.
Shooting amid the complexity of any forest is a challenge. In the Hoh, look for opportunities to isolate a strong shape within the chaos. Sometimes patterns reveal themselves—parallel lines of moss, a cross-hatch of fallen trees against vertical trunks or macro images that look like aerials. An elk or deer may pose for a moment, framed in foliage.
Essential Gear: If you venture out to the Hoh, bring good rain gear. They don’t call it a rain forest for no reason. Muddy trails require water-resistant footwear. I opt for lightweight, Gore-Tex® low-top boots. There’s no reason to clomp around in heavy boots on the flats where support isn’t needed.
Getting There: Located in the middle of Olympic National Park, the Hoh River Valley can be accessed by car and ferry. U.S. Highway 101 circumnavigates the Olympic Peninsula where Olympic National Park can be found, and the Hoh Rain Forest can be accessed by car.
* Bob Krist, Magnolia Plantation, South Carolina
I have several places in coastal South Carolina and Georgia that I particularly enjoy shooting. I love the plantations and gardens outside of Charleston, places like Middleton Place and the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. Although Magnolia Plantation and Gardens might seem a little touristy at first, once you wander through the ponds when the azaleas are in bloom, you feel like you have the place to yourself. Magnolia Plantation was founded in 1676, so
some of those swamp gardens are 300-plus years old. The Audubon Swamp Garden is filled with cypress and tupelo gum trees and surrounded by blackwater. It’s a great photo op because herons, egrets and waterfowl nest here and are really accessible.
Spring is king in this area, when the azaleas are in bloom. But I’ve been down there in spring, fall and winter, and there’s always something to shoot. If you go in summer, be prepared for withering heat and high humidity.
Essential Gear: The birdlife calls for long lenses—I have an old 500mm ƒ/4 Nikkor P that I always bring. I also like to do aerials of the ACE Basin and the coastal areas, so I try to bring some fast prime lenses, a Nikkor 85mm ƒ/1.4 and the like, for working from small aircraft. A macro helps for the flowers. Insect repellent and sunscreen round out my list of must-haves.
Getting There: The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens can be found from the north via Interstate 26, by taking Interstate 526 west at North Charleston. Drive about five miles to the Ashley River Road/U.S. Highway 61 North exit. Follow the parkway two miles until it dead-ends into Bee’s Ferry Road. Bear right onto Bee’s Ferry Road and drive about two miles until it dead-ends into U.S. Highway 61. Turn left. Watch for the Magnolia Plantation signs. Magnolia Plantation is three miles up U.S. Highway 61 on the right.
John K. Webb, Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, Jones Gap State Park, South Carolina
Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area in northern Greenville County, South Carolina, is my favorite place for outdoor photography. The Mountain Bridge Wilderness is approximately 10,000 acres consisting of Caesars Head State Park, Jones Gap State Park and all of the land in between. Nestled at the base of the Carolina foothills, this area contains a phenomenal variety of terrain, flora and fauna. The sudden variations in elevation account for the many waterfalls, and there’s a distinct look to the area for every season. The entire region is laced with a great trail system. Nikon D70s, Sigma 10-20mm ƒ/4-5.6
Davis Goodman, Thunder Hill Overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway,
Thunder Hill Overlook always has been one of my favorite places to photograph. From this location, around 4,000 feet above sea level, a photographer has the opportunity to capture spectacular panoramic views of the mountains and countryside. The parkway and surrounding area is a wonderful place for photographers to test their skills all year long. My favorite times are the spring and fall. Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF-S 18-55mm ƒ/3.5-5.6
Thomas Biggs, Dog Slaughter Falls, Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky
One of my favorite places in Kentucky has to be the Daniel Boone National Forest. The waterfall is a big reason for that and was enough to grab my attention—“Dog Slaughter Falls” is a curious name for such a beautiful place. The isolation and beauty of these falls are what drew me back. Almost unknown, the human element hasn’t tainted this wonderful area. This particular morning was perfect for this type of photography. Fog provided great atmosphere, and a light rain made the color deep and saturated. Canon EOS 5D, Canon EF 17-40mm ƒ/4
Geoffrey Wittig, Genesee River Gorge, Letchworth State Park, New York
Letchworth State Park includes more than 14,000 acres and three major waterfalls, with hiking trails up to 20 miles long. The southern portion includes the Big Bend, where the Genesee River, redirected by glaciers, carved a meandering gorge nearly 600 feet deep into the shale and limestone bedrock. It’s a more dramatic landscape than the typical gentle hills in the Northeast. Fog frequently fills the gorge before dawn, and photographic opportunities abound as the azimuth of the rising sun migrates with the seasons. The park is so lightly visited in winter that you may have the entire area to yourself. Pentax MZ-S, Pentax 80-200mm ƒ/4.7-5.6
Jay O’Brien, Raquette Lake, Adirondack State Park, New York
I consider fall to be the best time to photograph Raquette Lake in the Adirondacks. The evenings and early mornings are chilly, so dress in layers, but as the day goes on, it warms up. Peak season in the fall usually is around the last weekend of September or the first week of October. The photo opportunities here during the fall are truly outstanding, and it makes this a favorite place for me. No matter how many times I’ve photographed this area at sunrise, it never disappoints. After the sun comes up, there are numerous opportunities to capture first light for many different subjects. Nikon D200, Nikkor 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-5.6
* Rob Sheppard, Acadia National Park, Maine
With relatives in Maine, I frequently visit the state, and Acadia National Park is a stop that’s always a favorite. The Park Loop Road on the east side is a popular road, and with good reason, as there’s so much to see there. But what I love about it as a photographer is that this road gives you a quick trip through areas that depict all of Maine. Maine’s rocky coast is well-represented on the east part of the road. Dawn is the best time to be there, but go during the week and see fewer people. However, there are a few bays on the way to Jenny’s Pond that are good at sunset and rarely have many people.
The western part of the road goes away from the coast and takes you to some lakes surrounded by forest typical of “ponds,” as they’re called, throughout Maine. Bubble Pond is a terrific location both at sunrise and sunset. When there’s no wind, you get outstanding reflections. Plus, the woods along the lake have a variety of wildflowers in the spring and colorful displays in autumn.
Farther up is Cadillac Mountain. This can have severe weather, so be prepared. On clear days, there’s no better place for sunrise or sunset. A telephoto lens is needed. If clouds are in and the wind calm, this also is a great place for fog.
Essential Gear: Maine coastal weather is extremely variable. It rarely gets hot, and rain is common, so be prepared for cool temps and wet weather.
Getting There: Park Loop Road is accessed from Bar Harbor, Maine, where you’ll also find the excellent park visitor center. Be sure to stop and check for what’s new and interesting. Bar Harbor is more than halfway up the coast of Maine, southeast of Bangor off of Route 3.
* David Muench, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Shenandoah National Park is one of my favorite eastern places to photograph. I enjoy the foggy quality of both autumn and spring. After a rain, I watch for the grand entrance of fog, the stillness of the forest. I like photographing here because it seems to me a mysterious place holding the secrets of the ancient forest, revealing them only through veils. Fog provides my favorite ambient wet light. This image requires a short hike to Dark Hollow Falls. Hiking is an important way to physically connect with the presence of this place that draws me.
There’s a lesson in photographing this area. In a more recent visit, the hemlocks seemed to be losing all their needles, the trees becoming just sticks rising through fog. It was disappointing for me, but reinforced my awareness of how so many of our forests are dying—hemlocks, dogwood, Fraser and balsam fir in the East; whitebark pine in the Rockies; spruce in Alaska and the Rockies; piñon and ponderosa in the Southwest. The current wave of losses in our forests keeps me aware how fragile nature is. Perhaps fragility is the photographer’s subject. We need to pay attention. We need to bear witness to the changes happening in our environment.
Essential Gear: This image was made with a 4×5 Linhof Technika. Film exposure was long, leaning toward a lighter, high-key quality with a slight warming filtration. The most essential equipment here, however, is rain gear, including an umbrella to shield the camera.
Getting There: Dark Hollow Falls can be found near the Byrd Visitor Center just off Skyline Drive, via a hiking trail. After a nice hike for about three-quarters of a mile, you’ll find yourself right in the thick of this great national park.
Christopher Hwang, Old Bridge, New Jersey
This image was taken in the summer during sunrise at Sandy Hook, N.J. A designated National Recreation Area and part of the National Parks of New York Harbor, Sandy Hook is a beautiful, 1,665-acre barrier peninsula, with a Coast Guard base, a lighthouse and a seven-mile stretch of beach. You’ll also find 300-plus species of migratory birds and a pristine holly forest. Sandy Hook is located on the northern part of the Jersey Shore, on Route 36 near Atlantic Highlands. The entrance fee is $10 per car between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Nikon D200, AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED, Manfrotto tripod
Anita Filson, Goshen Pass, Rockbridge County, Virginia
This view is taken from the bank of the Maury River as it wends its way through Goshen Pass in Rockbridge County, Va. The Maury River parallels Scenic Route 39 about 15 miles west of Lexington, Va., in the southernmost part of the Shenandoah Valley. The drive through the pass is beautiful in every season, with rhododendron and native azalea abundant and, as seen in this photo, plenty of red maple, spicebush and sycamore. The Maury River is named for Matthew Fontaine Maury, the Pathfinder of the Seas, and the pass is marked with an anchor to honor him. The Maury River and Goshen Pass have some of the best hiking trails, fly-fishing, birding and whitewater boating (canoeing and kayaking) in the entire mid-Atlantic region. Kodak EasyShare C340
West & Southwest
* George D. Lepp, Mono Lake, California
I’ve been photographing in California’s Eastern Sierras for more than 25 years. Some of the highest mountains in the country surround the unique, highly saline Mono Lake, an important link on the Pacific Flyway. Eerie mineral formations, called tufas, rise from the lake and adorn its sandy shores, hosting nesting birds and inviting photography at sunrise and sunset. In spring (June), wildflowers cover the slopes above the lake, and cavity-nesting birds claim the aspen groves. Summer offers opportunities for landscapes and waterscapes, with ponds, waterfalls and even glaciers in the high country, which display abundant wildflowers well into August. The cloud formations from summer thunderstorms over ice-capped peaks make for dramatic scenes. Fall is colorful in the watershed canyons and beaver ponds above the lake, with abundant displays of aspen, willow and cottonwood. Winter brings occasional snow to the Eastern Sierras and adds a sparkling dressing to the tufa formations in the lake. With this great diversity of subjects and moods, the Mono Basin offers more opportunities for nature photographers than any other place in California.
Essential Gear: The whole bag, from wide-angles for landscapes to telephotos for birds. Don’t forget your tripod!
Getting There: Mono Lake is located on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada along U.S. Highway 395, 138 miles (three hours) south of Reno, Nev. During the summer and until about October, Mono Lake can be reached by driving on U.S. Highway 120 through Yosemite National Park. This route through Yosemite and over Tioga Pass is always worth some images. Lodging for your Mono Lake expedition is available in Lee Vining, June Lake or Mammoth Lakes, Calif.
Brent Coulter, Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico
This image of a lone sandhill crane silhouetted against a glorious sunrise was captured at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in central New Mexico. With more than 340 species of birds and the winter home to more than 10,000 cranes and up to 40,000 snow geese, Bosque del Apache is one of the premier birding refuges in the United States. Located near the small town of San Antonio, N.M., “the Bosque” is about a 90-mile drive south of Albuquerque on I-25. The best photography of the cranes and geese is during the “fly-out” at sunrise, as well as during the late-afternoon “fly-in.” At sunrise, the 30,000 to 40,000 snow geese take off “en masse,” providing one of nature’s finest shows. Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF 100-400mm ƒ/4.5-5.6L
Michael Just, Sequoia National Park, California
Moro Rock is an excellent place to photograph the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Great Western Divide at sunrise and sunset during any time of the year. I personally prefer the peace and solitude during the winter months. You have a 360-degree view of the mountains, forests and valley below. Along the way, you’ll see many groves of giant sequoias, which look especially impressive against the snow. When snow is present, you’ll have to snowshoe or cross-country ski the two miles to get there. Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF 100-400mm ƒ/4.5-5.6L
Mark Wetters, Guadalupe Peak, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas
I’m a hiking/backcountry enthusiast, so I decided to take the hike up to Guadalupe Peak, the highest mountain in Texas, and take some pictures at sunset. This image was taken from the summit, with El Capitan just below in the foreground. It’s about a four-mile hike with about 3,000 feet of elevation gain. That did require use of a headlamp on the way down. Desert views are endless from the top of Texas, though it can be very windy; winds howl all the time in the Guadalupes. Late fall is a good time to go to see the incredible foliage display in McKittrick Canyon, near the western edge of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT, Canon EF-S 18-55mm ƒ/3.5-5.6
* James Kay, Hole-in-the-Rock Road, Utah
Over the ages, the Escalante River has carved a labyrinth of intricate canyons deep into thick layers of sandstone along its 100-mile journey to the Colorado River. Hole-in-the-Rock Road provides the main access to this region as it parallels the west side of the Escalante canyon system. Beginning southeast of the town of Escalante, Utah, this well-graded, 50-mile-long gravel road traverses an expansive bench beneath Fifty-Mile Mountain, and sweeping views will fill your windshield as you head south toward the Escalante’s most famous features, such as Coyote Gulch, Spooky Gulch and Devil’s Garden/Metate Arch. The road crosses countless dry washes, each of which flows east into the labyrinth of canyons draining into the Escalante. Most have hidden slots and other secrets that would take a lifetime to explore. This wide variety of geologic features, from expansive panoramas to narrow slot canyons, is precisely what makes this my favorite location to shoot in southern Utah.
Essential Gear: You could use every lens and camera body in your gear bag to shoot along Hole-in-the-Rock Road. A panorama camera would be great to capture sunrise illuminating the cliffs of Fifty-Mile Mountain. Also, a wide-angle lens is mandatory to achieve maximum depth of field in the narrow slits of Spooky Gulch and Brimstone Gulch. A telephoto is required to pull in the 10,000-foot dome of Navajo Mountain to the south, and a tripod is a must for all serious landscape photography. In addition to camera gear, since it’s a long way back to the nearest hotel in Escalante, you’ll need to bring all your food, water and camping gear if you hope to capture sunrise and sunset along the route.
Getting There: From the town of Escalante, follow SR-12 southeast for 12 miles to the well-marked turnoff. Four-wheel drive is a must during wet periods when the road can turn into a mucky mess, and also is necessary to cover the last five miles from Davis Gulch to Hole-in-the-Rock above Lake Powell. Visit the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Visitor Center in Escalante to check on road conditions and any other special information. The road is well-marked, with small signs leading to access points for all the major canyons and points of interest. There are no facilities along this dry stretch of desert road, so be sure to carry all your provisions.
James H. Egbert, Great Sand Dunes National Park And Preserve, Colorado
The Great Sand Dunes National Park and the southwestern part of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range within are, in my mind, the most opportune locations in Colorado for landscape photography. Seeming totally out of place at the edge of the snow-covered Rocky Mountains, these dunes of pure golden sand cover an area of about 35 square miles and reach heights of 700 feet above the floor of the flat San Luis Valley, making them the tallest dunes in the United States. The valley below, which is over 7,500 feet in elevation, extends for more than 100 miles south into New Mexico and is bordered by the San Juan Mountains to the west and the lower Sangre de Cristo Range to the east, hills that mark the edge of the Rockies and continue southward toward Santa Fe. I’ve observed wide varieties of flora and fauna throughout the area. Wildlife sightings are common. Recent observations include mule deer, elk, coyotes, golden and bald eagles, ravens, magpies and, just outside park boundaries, American bison. Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro, Tamron 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-6.3
Douglas Dietiker, White Rim Overlook Trail, Canyonlands National Park, Utah
This particular shot was taken in Canyonlands National Park, Moab, Utah, at the White Rim Overlook in the Island in the Sky district, which is about a mile from the end of the main road. This was my first visit to this area and it’s now one of my favorites. With great early-morning light, this special place is one of the most photogenic areas I’ve been to. The shot captured exactly how I felt standing there looking at this beautiful view. The area is so majestic, I spent a good deal of my time not thinking about getting “the shot” and just enjoying the scenery. Nikon D200, Tokina 12-24mm ƒ/4 DX
Mike Cavaroc, Havasu Falls, Arizona
Havasu Falls is located in a side canyon of the Grand Canyon, roughly 35 miles west of the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Havasu Falls leaves an impression like no other place on earth—a tropical, turquoise creek (that flows more like a river) pouring over red, desert cliffs. It lives up to every bit of hype it gets and is the absolute definition of a desert oasis. For this night shot, I used my Canon 17-40mm lens to catch the main waterfall, as well as some of the cascading falls in the foreground, and opened everything up to get as much light as possible since there was no moon out. I used a headlamp to paint the background. I lit the scene for roughly two minutes while the exposure lasted for roughly eight. Needless to say, I was very happy with the result. Canon EOS 5D, Canon EF 17-40mm ƒ/4L
Armando Mendoza, Wind Point, Wisconsin
The shore of Lake Michigan is an amazing place to shoot during winter nights, even with the subzero temperatures. It exudes an irresistible pull because of its beautiful scenery, making me want to come back again and again. Looking over Lake Michigan gives you an endless expanse of water stretching out past the horizon, almost seeming as big as an ocean. The feeling of calmness makes it perfect to meditate and enjoy the winter scenery, making patterns and textures along the frozen shoreline a joy to photograph during the winter months. Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF-S 18-55mm ƒ/3.5-5.6
Rochelle Ann Cardinale, Saylorville Lake, Iowa
Saylorville Lake is my favorite spot because it’s magical and close to home. When most people are still sleeping, I sneak out here well before the sun rises, set up my gear and wait. The calm waters in this backwater area allow you to bring color into the foreground of your image, which adds to the overall impact. When the moment is right, the skies seem aflame for a few minutes, or just seconds. In the golden hours of the day, this place feels like the heavens opened up to give you a special glimpse inside. Nikon D70, Nikkor 70-300mm ƒ/4.5-5.6
Chris DeWan, Juniper Island, Superior National Forest, Minnesota
Although Juniper Island is privately owned, there are several islands in Frazer Bay within the Superior National Forest. Juniper Island has been in my wife’s family for 35 years. Not only is this a place for summer relaxation and family get-togethers, but it’s also where my wife and I were married and where my passion for photographing landscapes began. I’ve been capturing images here for 10-plus years—everything from colorful water and skies to plants, textures and wildlife. Nikon N80, Tamron 24-135mm ƒ/3.5-5.6
* Layne Kennedy, Apostle Islands, Wisconsin
My favorite place is Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands. These archipelagos have 22 islands, 21 of which are part of the National Park Service, and can be accessed primarily by boat. Anytime you photograph around Lake Superior, the lake changes personality almost daily. Storms roll in, and you get fog or calm waters that offer a wide variety of visual moments to capture. Images of sailboats, kayaks, rock formations and pristine, sandy beaches push one toward the shore in the mornings and evenings. Striking rock formations are prevalent everywhere, and the color of Lake Superior changes as one moves about the islands. It’s a crystal-clear body of water that commands the respect of visitors. Wildlife often can be seen near the shoreline in the early-morning hours, and early-morning dew always gives the photographer numerous options. The beaches are sandy, the nights black, and Superior offers as many personalities as the Thanksgiving Day dinner table.
Essential Gear: First and foremost, bring a tripod. You’ll find lots of use for it in the gorgeous low light in the Apostles. Because I’m around water, I pack all my lenses and cameras inside dry bags when paddling. I use the Lowepro Nature Trekker AW II photo backpack because it holds lots of gear. It’s waterproof and wears comfortably, but don’t forget to bring some dry bags for packing gear when you’re on the water.
Getting There: A good way to travel is to ferry your kayak and gear on one of the shuttles based in Bayfield and get dropped off, and Stockton Island is the perfect spot. My usual form of travel here is by sea kayak. If you choose not to kayak, the shuttle service also can take you and the camping gear to Stockton Island and pick you up, too.
Alaska & Hawaii
* Carr Clifton, Denali National Park And Preserve, Alaska
Home to Mount McKinley, North America’s highest peak, Denali National Park boasts one of the most spectacular mountain ranges in the world. With limited access to the park’s interior by way of a 91-mile gravel road, photographers with special-use permits are allowed access to the road in their private vehicles and a wide range of photo opportunities. From scenic iconic views of the Alaska Range and Wonder Lake to wildlife photos of caribou, bears and wolves, the extra effort to travel to this park is well worth it.
Essential Gear: Fall (late August to early September) is the favored season with its lack of insects, improved weather patterns and colorful tundra. With unpredictable weather, photographers should outfit with extreme, foul-weather gear, including the famed Alaska Ketchikan sneakers (rubber boots), a superb wet-weather tent and an umbrella for keeping yourself and your camera somewhat dry. Bring a minimal amount of gear for hiking in tundra, pepper spray for repelling grizzly bear and lots of patience for sitting out bad weather.
Getting There: If you’re lucky enough to receive a photographer’s special-use permit, you’ll need a reliable vehicle to travel the Denali road. The easiest way to accomplish this is to fly to Anchorage, rent a vehicle and drive north to the park (you always could drive to Alaska from the Lower 48 via the Alcan Highway or take the ferry with vehicle from Bellingham, Wash., to Haines, Alaska, and drive from there). Another option is to fly to Anchorage and take the train from there to the park. There’s a regular bus schedule for the shuttle into the park (check with Denali National Park and Preserve).
Jerry Hunter, Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska
The Mendenhall Glacier is located in the Tongass National Forest about 12 miles from downtown Juneau. This image was taken in May 2006 during a cruise of the Inland Passage in southeastern Alaska. The glacier is easily accessible, with developed visitor facilities including a campground, interpretation center and trails. The glacier has receded 1.75 miles since 1910, when Mendenhall Lake was created, and over 2.5 miles since 1700. With increasing temperatures, scientists expect that Mendenhall will continue to retreat in the foreseeable future. Olympus Stylus 300 Digital
Scott Heffelfinger, Wahikuli Beach, Maui, Hawaii
This image was taken at Wahikuli Beach near Lahaina on the island of Maui at dusk. The beach is located on the western side of the island just outside of the city. Wahikuli Beach can be accessed from the main drag and has numerous entrances off of the Honoapiilani Highway. On any given day, clouds will cover the channel between the islands of Lanai and Molokai, but they help create a stunning array of colors at sunset. The western side of Maui is great for time exposures and experimenting with different light sources. Each day is a unique experience. Nikon D80, AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED
Note: * denotes pro photographer