National Parks

NATIONAL PARKS: Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Story and photographs by Jerry Ginsberg

Lovely Bridalveil Falls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio.

Lovely Bridalveil Falls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio.

Now that our long languorous summer is beginning to wane, particularly in the northern states, it is time to start thinking about fall photography. Let’s try something a little different.

Cuyahoga Valley, wedged between the urban areas of Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, is not your typical national park. Carved out of multiple semi-urban areas, several great tracts of land are now protected within the boundary of this relatively compact 33,000 acre park. Just two of the many highlights included here are wonderfully restored stretches of the historic Ohio & Erie Canal and the Cuyahoga River, once so badly polluted by chemical waste that it regularly caught fire.

Having been cobbled together from several disparate elements, when this park was established in 2000 it was part of an effort to bring the national park experience to more people. Located within a day’s drive of perhaps 40% of the American population, Cuyahoga Valley offers a wide variety of fun and great photography. This is particularly true around early-mid October when the woods are ablaze with brilliant autumn color. Read the rest of this entry »

National Parks: Great Smoky Mountains, Story and photographs by Jerry Ginsberg

 

Rich Mtn Rd. looking down into Cade's Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN.

Rich Mountain Road, looking down into Cade’s Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN.

While summer is still with us, it’s not too early to start thinking about good spots for fall photography, particularly if you happen to live in a northerly latitude. Luckily, one of the best in America is within a day’s drive of more than one-third of the nation’s population: Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Popularly called “The Smokies,” this big park is split equally between Tennessee and North Carolina. Three gateway towns provide access: Cherokee, North Carolina, in the south; the combined area of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, on the northern edge; and the small, quiet village of Townsend, Tennessee, bordering the northwest corner of the Smokies. All offer a wide variety of lodgings and restaurants to suit every budget and taste with Gatlinburg being a bustling tourist mecca. Read the rest of this entry »

National Parks: Olympic National Park, Story and photographs by Jerry Ginsberg

Sunset over the Pacific Ocean at Second Beach in Olympic National Park, WA.

Sunset over the Pacific Ocean at Second Beach in Olympic National Park, WA.

Seattle, Washington, is surrounded by a necklace of three national parks, each wonderful in its own right: Mt. Rainier, Olympic and North Cascades.

Of these, aptly named Olympic is located in the most northwestern corner of the contiguous United States on the remote Olympic Peninsula.

 

Olympic National Park is high up on my list of favorites. It has earned this spot because of its abundant variety of subjects. Besides the dramatic Olympic Mountains from which this big park takes its name, there are sparkling lakes, lovely waterfalls, at least three gloriously green rainforests and, perhaps best of all, Olympic’s numerous and deservedly famous beaches. Read the rest of this entry »

NATIONAL PARKS: Katmai National Park, story and photo © Jerry Ginsberg

Alaskan brown bear (grizzly) with a salmon at the Brooks River, Katmai National Park, Alaska.

Alaskan brown bear (grizzly) with a salmon at the Brooks River, Katmai National Park, Alaska.

Katmai National Park is best-known for its three prime attractions: bears, bears and more bears. Within Katmai’s borders lie several spectacular mountains, such as Mt. Douglas volcano and Four-Peak Mountain, as well as scenic creeks, rivers and lakes that are seasonally teeming with salmon. While brown bears draw the majority of visitors, salmon draw the bears. Read the rest of this entry »

NATIONAL PARKS: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park by Jerry Ginsberg

Hale Maumau Crater before dawn, Kiluea Volcano, Hawaii Volcanoes, National park. © Jerry Ginsberg

Hale Maumau Crater before dawn, Kiluea Volcano, Hawaii Volcanoes, National park.
© Jerry Ginsberg

Story and photograph by Jerry Ginsberg ©

Hawaii. Just saying the name conjures up visions of a tropical paradise–palm trees, trade winds, sunsets and hula dancers gyrating to the rhythms of the eight major islands that make up the archipelago. Our fiftieth state boasts two national parks. There’s mighty Haleakala on the island of Maui and, the subject of this article, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island.

Did you know that all of the Hawaiian Islands were formed from volcanoes over millions of years? Molten lava bubbling up through vents of a well-known hot spot on the floor of the Pacific Ocean is responsible for their creation. As the entire archipelago moves northwest in conveyor belt fashion, Hawaii is presently the island directly over the hot spot. Read the rest of this entry »

NATIONAL PARKS: Kenai Fjords NP by Jerry Ginsberg

Story and photographs by Jerry Ginsberg

Three Hole Point, a unique rock formation in Aialik Bay in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. © Jerry Ginsberg

Three Hole Point, a unique rock formation in Aialik Bay in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. © Jerry Ginsberg

In 1980, seven Alaska parks were created in one fell swoop. Specifically, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (or ANILCA) was passed by Congress on November 12, 1980 and signed into law a couple of weeks later. Among other things, the act provided for more than 43 million acres of new national parklands in Alaska. Kenai Fjords National Park is one of them.

Giving birth to Kenai Fjords came with some really sharp labor pains. The local citizenry was initially opposed to setting aside these lands, but they came to enthusiastically support their expansion as they experienced the injection of tourist dollars into their local economies. Read the rest of this entry »

Denali National Park by Jerry Ginsberg

Story and photographs by Jerry Ginsberg

Enormous Denali / Mt. McKinley and its mirror image in Reflection Pond..At over 20,000 feet high, it is the tallest mountain in North America. © Jerry Ginsberg

Enormous Denali / Mt. McKinley and its mirror image in Reflection Pond..At over 20,000 feet high, it is the tallest mountain in North America. © Jerry Ginsberg

Once you get past the Anchorage city limits, the rest of Alaska is nearly as wild and untamed as the old West was in the late nineteenth century. Denali National Park and Preserve, for example, encompasses more than six million acres of mountains, glaciers, valleys, rivers, wilderness and hills.The premier national park in all of Alaska is renowned for its unparalleled scenic splendor and array of wildlife. Within Denali’s borders is a good chunk of the magnificent Alaska Range. As the North American tectonic plate continues to slowly ride up and over the Pacific plate, the Alaska Range is thrust ever upward in growing scenic majesty. Tallest among these rugged peaks is Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley). At 20,340 feet, towering Denali is far and away the highest mountain in all of North America. Read the rest of this entry »

NATIONAL PARKS: Death Valley NP

Sultry patterns of light and shadow on Mesquite Flat dunes in Death Valley National Park, CA., (c) Jerry Ginsberg

Sultry patterns of light and shadow on Mesquite Flat dunes in Death Valley National Park, CA., (c) Jerry Ginsberg

Story and photographs by Jerry Ginsberg

For those of us old enough to remember, there was once a TV series called “Death Valley Days.” The show used the vast Death Valley National Park as a backdrop for its slice of life vignettes. It greatly romanticized the harsh desert environment made commercially viable by its borax deposits. Twenty mule teams pulled heavy wagons laden with the stuff out of the valley and off to market. Today this valley encompasses the biggest U.S. national park outside of Alaska. With 3.3 million acres, it is half again the size of Yellowstone. Read the rest of this entry »

NATIONAL PARKS: Acadia

Story and photos by Jerry Ginsberg

Bass Harbor Lighthouse v 9

Bass Harbor Lighthouse v 9

 

While the national parks of the American West feature scenery that is stunningly dramatic, those East of the Mississippi possess a scenic charm that is more subtle. This is only partially true of the compact jewel that is Acadia National Park.

Lying mostly on Mt. Desert Island on the central coast of Maine, this meeting of land and sea provides more than enough drama for just about any photographer. Surf crashing against yellow granite cliffs and colorful lakes as flat as glass are just two of the many highlights.

Easily the best time to visit Acadia is the first half of October. Autumn color is at its peak and the road-clogging traffic of summer is gone. The park offers several opportunities for great sunrise photography. Allow enough time to drive to your chosen sunrise location and get set up at least 15 to 30 minutes before the rising sun actually cracks that horizon. Read the rest of this entry »

NANPA PHOTOGRAPHER PROJECT: Guardians of the Everglades

Turtle Hatchling 8'x4' Sheer Panels at Audubon Gala ©ConnieBransilver   Human Being 8'x4' Sheer Panel at Audubon Gala ©Connie Bransilver Ghost Orchid Essence 8'x4' Sheer Panel ©ConnieBransilver

Endangered Species Sheer Panels

by Connie Bransilver

I have always been a conservationist and one who photographs to share the beauty and importance of nature and the place humans have in it. Because I also believe that carrots are more effective than sticks, I focus on the allure of nature.

For 25 years I have documented conservation. My passions have been primates—lemurs of Madagascar, chimpanzees of Africa and orangutans of Indonesia. Commissioned by a variety of NGOs, what was always critical for me was the human factor. My last assignment was for UNESCO-Asia covering World Heritage Sites. Beyond the iconic images, I was to understand and expose the effect of the local population on the site and the effect of the site and its visitors on the local population. Read the rest of this entry »

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