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America's Most Photogenic Places

After several months long road trips across the varied landscape of America, here are a few of the most photogenic places in the nation with a few photography tips to get you photographs worth traveling for!

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America's Most Photogenic Places

  • 26 Pins

One of the most accessible national parks in the country, the Everglades is located just outside of Miami. While many people think the Everglades is a swamp, it is actually a very slow moving river. Here you can see a variety of aquatic birds as well as Florida alligators

Everglades National Park - Gary Arndt (EverythingEverywhere)

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Yosemite is a great place to visit any time of year. However, I find the best time to visit is in the late spring, around early to mid May. At time time you will avoid the crowds of summer, but will still see the waterfalls at their peak. Come October many of the waterfalls are dry until the snow starts to melt again in the spring.

Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park, California

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In most places, you want to avoid midday for taking photos as the sun is too harsh. In Antelope Canyon however, you want to be there when the sun is at its highest so you can see beams of light streaming down through the slot canyon.

Light beams in Antelope Canyon, Arizona

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The Rocky Mountains are the most spectacular mountains in US outside of Alaska. The best place to photograph them is in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. The best time of year would be in the fall to capture the full colors of the aspen trees.

Finding flowing lava in the park is very hit or miss. While Kilauea has been erupting for decades, lava isn't always at the surface. Sometimes it goes directly into the ocean and creates a giant steam plume. If you get lucky, you might even get to see a rare lavalfall!

Top 10 experiences on Hawaii's Big Island - Lonely Planet

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The most unique part of the park is the western side which faces the Pacific. There you will find the lush mosses that cover the trees. This part of the park is actually a temperate rainforest, one of the few in the world.

Daily Travel Photo - Olympic National Park, Washington

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There is no city in America quite like New Orleans. Its French history gives it a culture and flavor unlike any other city in the country. The time around Mardi Gras is fantastic time to visit, but you can capture the essence of the city almost any time of year.

A little known national park, this is probably one of the best places to photograph bison and deer from the comfort of your car. Roosevelt also has a large population of wild horses in the park as well.

Probably the most beautiful cave in the United States, the stalagmites and stalactites are lit up to enhance their beauty. Unlike most other caves in the National Park System, you are allowed to bring a tripod into Carlsbad Caverns. Make sure you do so, to take the best photos possible in low light.

North American National Park #14: Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

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Chicago has a very different photographic quality than New York. The buildings are large, but spaced farther apart which actually makes them look larger. Keep an eye out for public works of art such as "the Bean" and the "Batcolumn".

"The Bean" in Millennium Park, Chicago

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Countless visitors have left their hearts in San Francisco. The hills, cable cars, Fisherman's Wharf and even the Golden Gate Bridge offer excellent photographic opportunities. Just a few minutes over the bridge you can find Muir Woods, which is a redwood forest and the where the United Nations was created.

Sunset on the Golden Gate Bridge

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I think the most photogenic parts of New York isn't the skyline or the buildings, but the small things you can see walking around almost any neighborhood.

Daily Travel Photo - New York City

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There is nothing on Earth like the giant redwood trees. Photographing them can be difficult as it is hard to get an entire tree in your camera. Try to take photos of the trees, or the base of the tree with something in the image to show a sense of scale. A person, a vehicle or something people can relate to will show just how large the trees are.

Redwood National Park, California

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The north woods of Minnesota, along the Canadian border is the home of Voyageurs National Park. The boundary water area is home to some of the best canoeing and fishing in the country. Here one of the best spots in the US to photograph bald eagles and capture lake sunsets.

The world's oldest national park, Yellowstone is the crown jewel in the US National Park System. Located on top of an ancient volcanic caldera, it has the world's largest concentration of geysers and hot springs. It is also one of the best places in the country to see wildlife such as bison and elk.

Photo Essay : Yellowstone National Park

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Death Valley is a place of extremes. It is the lowest point in North America and it is also the hottest place on Earth. As you can guess, the middle of summer is probably not the best time to visit. Make sure to bring plenty of extra water with you if you drive through the park. You might also want to avoid the middle of the day, when temperatures are at their highest.

The Hot, Flat Road of Death Valley, California

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Acadia National Park in Maine is the greatest national park in the eastern United States. Located on the shores of the Atlantic, here you can get a feel for life on the east coast and capture one of the nation's first sunrises.

Home to North America's highest peak, Mount McKinley, Denali one of the great national parks. There is an annual lottery which allows the winners to drive private vehicles on roads inside the park. It takes place in September and is probably the best way to explore Denali.

Most people think this is part of the National Parks System, but it isn't. It is actually a Navajo park. Monument Valley was the backdrop to dozens of western movies. In fact, director John Ford use it so often, there is a place named after him call John Ford point. I highly recommend getting out of parking lot and taking a road tour of the area which has dozens of stunning features.

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

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Located just south of Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming offers some of the most photogenic mountains in North America. The mountains can be photographed from roadside if you drive along highway 26.

On of the wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon should be on everyone's list of places to visit. It is hard to take a bad photo of the Grand Canyon. Most people visit the South Rim of the canyon, but consider visiting the North or East rims as well. For the more adventurous, also consider rafting down the Colorado River or hiking to the canyon floor.

The most popular national park in the United States, Great Smoky Mountains National Park attracts over 8,000,000 visitors annually. The park covers parts of Tennessee and North Carolina, so access is quite easy. In addition to the mountains which give the park its name, you can also find history in the park dating back to the Civil War era.

Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Bryson City, NC

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Glacier National Park in Montana lies on the border of Canada and forms half of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta. The primary attraction is the Going-To-The-Sun Highway which crosses the park from East to West. Make sure to stop at Lake MacDonald and the Lake MacDonald lodge, which is one of the great national park lodges.

Reflections on Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park, Montana

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Isle Royale is the least visited National Park in the lower 48 states. Because it is an island which can only be accessed from northern Minnesota or Michigan, it gets few tourists. However, if you want to see real wilderness, it should be on everyone's list of places to see.

Rock of Ages Lighthouse in Isle Royale, Michigan

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This is only a few miles from Antelope Canyon. It is just a small parking lot off the road with little to indicate the amazing site which is down the end of trail. This singular amazing view is pretty much all there is, but it is well worth the extra effort to see it. There is nothing quite like it in country.

2012: A Year in Photography

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A frequent stop for cruise ships in the summer months, Skagway was the starting point for klondike gold rush. White Pass Railway allows you to follow the same route prospectors took over the mountains to get to the Yukon. It also offers opportunities for great photography.