The National Park Service Turns 100 Today!

Celebrating 100 Years of the National Park Service

Deremer Studios Fine Art Photography - Out West

Sunset from Cape Royal on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Way back in the summer of 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed an act that created the National Park Service – a federal bureau designed to protect the 35 existing national parks and monuments (the first national park, Yellowstone, was founded by congress in 1872, with the remaining added in the next 40 years).  Fast forward 100 years, and America’s parks system encompasses 413 areas (with Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument being added just yesterday!).  Of these, there are  59 national parks, 84 national monuments, and 78 national historic sites.  In total, the Parks Service oversees over 84 million acres, with land in every state.

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A Bull Bison crossing Geyser Hill in Yellowstone

Over the past year, we’ve had the pleasure of visiting many of the national parks, from Cape Cod to Bryce Canyon.  This past autumn, we took a grand circle tour of 6 of the great western national parks: Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Arches and Mesa Verde.  In total, we covered over 3,600 miles in just 10 days, but we packed those days plum full of adventure.  Each park was spectacular in its own right, but if we had to choose a favorite, it would be the granddaddy of them all – Yellowstone.  We spent four days in that park, two in and around Mammoth and two days around Old Faithful.  We even had the great honor and luck of staying in the original 1903 portion of the Old Faithful Inn.

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Spruce House dwellings at Mesa Verde

Since then, we’ve been on a few other national parks as business trips have brought us nearby.  This past winter, I visited the Grand Canyon and Arches again, and for the first time, visited the Colorado National Monument and its epic Rim Rock Road.  Just a few weeks ago, we took our family to explore another first for us, the Cape Cod National Seashore.  All in all, we were blessed with spectacular weather throughout – including more than one sky-on-fire-gorgeous sunset.  This year may have marked our first big foray into the national parks, but rest assured, Lord willing, it will not be our last! Happy birthday National Park Service – and here’s to many, many more centuries of success and joy!

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Glowing Aspens and Vibrant Blue Skies in the Grand Tetons

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Please note all photos on this site are the copyrighted property of Deremer Studios LLC unless otherwise noted.  We share many of our photos for use as personal desktop wallpaper, but any other uses, including but not limited to printing, modifying, and any commercial use are strictly prohibited without prior written consent.
Summer Wanderings Part 3: Massachusetts

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The Western Expanse – Winter Glories in the Western United States

Exploring the Winter Glories of the West on an Epic 5,600 Mile Road Trip

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Late this past winter, I had the opportunity to embark on a rather epic road trip from Jacksonville, FL to Scottsdale, AZ and then back again.  Not wanting to waste a winter trip so close (relatively speaking) to some amazing national parks and scenic areas, I decided to take an extra two days on the return drive to see if I couldn’t find something a bit less monotonous than the 2,500 miles of I-10 I drove on the way out.  I wasn’t disappointed.  At times, it was as if every turn presented another vista of winter glories to behold!

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So, where did I go to find all these “winter glories”, you ask?  Well, I started off at the Grand Canyon (photos in the gallery below) and spent an afternoon and evening exploring and photographing the snow-spattered canyon’s southern rim.  From there I toured the slot canyon of Lower Antelope Canyon (top) and it’s flowing red sandstone formations.  Later that day, I stumbled upon a sign for Monument Valley and opted to take the detour.  It proved to be a perfect diversion, with the sun setting between two layers of clouds and lighting the entire sky and the eerie formations on fire for a glorious, though fleeting moment.  Early the next morning, I attempted to check out the winter glories of Canyonlands, but upon discovering the road from Moab to the park was dirt and wound through a steep mountain pass, I opted to return to Arches National Park for a sunrise that would be less likely to ruin the car I was photographing for AVIS.   Talk about winter glories!  The sunrise over the snow-capped mountain range provided a stunning backdrop to the other-worldly formations found in Arches, like the scene above.

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My last stop was the fabled Rim Rock Drive, a scenic extravaganza of a drive up to the top of Colorado National Monument.  With the latitude and altitude increasing, this is where I saw the most snow, but even still I had been hoping for considerably more snow for this “winter glories” trip.  Yet, I have to say, even without quite as much of a winter landscape, the scenery certainly didn’t disappoint.  I even stumbled upon the remains of the old Vulcan Mine (and discovered it’s fascinating and tragic story) as I drove through New Castle, CO.

As always, please feel free to download as many photos as you like – they are full HD images, 1080P, and perfect for your computer, tablet or television – and if you enjoy our photos, please follow us – and for extra bonus points, share this blog with your friends to help us get the word out!

Purchase Fine Art Prints

Interested in buying some of our fine art photography or just want to see some more of our work? Check out our Out West collection at our site: http://fineart.deremerstudios.com
Please note all photos on this site are the copyrighted property of Deremer Studios LLC unless otherwise noted.  We share many of our photos for use as personal desktop wallpaper, but any other uses, including but not limited to printing, modifying, and any commercial use are strictly prohibited without prior written consent.  
The Western Expanse – Winter Glories in the Western United States

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Our Drop-Top Chariot on the Roads Out West

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While out west, we had the pleasure of receiving a very special upgrade from the folks at Hertz – the perfect vehicle for our Autumn in the National Parks Adventure.  Over the course of ten days, we drove this 2015 Mustang V6 Convertible some 3,000 miles, from hot arid desert (above) to snowy mountain passes (bel0w), from 10,000 foot mountains to endless prairie, from densely populated cities to long stretches of lonely back roads – we even manged to become part of a buffalo herd in Yellowstone!  Needless to say, we got to know the car pretty well.

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So, what’s it like compared to other Mustang variants we’ve driven (we’ve now driven the V6, the Ecoboost inline 4, the V8 GT, and the Fisker-Galpin Rocket versions of the car)?  This year, we’ve logged some 4,000 miles in these cars and I have to say, we’ve been impressed across the whole spectrum.  Unlike the Ecoboost Mustang we shot in California, our V6 Mustang wasn’t a premium edition – meaning no heated or cooled seats, no big touch screen, no sporty toggle buttons, no leather…  But to be honest, apart from the odd occasion, it was rare that we missed those upgrades.  The V6 engine, the base offering for the Mustang, seemed to perform about on par with the turbocharged four cylinder EcoBoost engine, though I will say the V6 sounded quite a bit more throaty than it’s more expensive inline-4 brother.  But, while performance wasn’t notably different, fuel economy was – with the V6 eking out 28.6 MPG on our mostly 65MPH route.  The Ecoboost under similar conditions was returning closer to 34 MPG.  But, in the grand scheme of things, getting almost 20 MPG from a 300 HP sports car isn’t too shabby, even for today’s standards.

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All in all, the V6 was a pleasant surprise.  Even with the convertible, there was just enough room for one quite large checked suitcase, a carry-on suitcase, a camera bag, and all the fixins’.  And speaking of the convertible, it was a true joy to be able to have the top down as we explored the amazing natural wonders of the parks.  Of course, going from park to park at highway speeds, we kept the top up and found that the road noise, though elevated from the coupe, wasn’t overly loud or distracting.  So, you might ask, would I buy a Mustang?  You bet I would – we’re actually planning to down the road- but which one would I buy?  That’s a harder question – a harder question than I thought it would be…

As always, please feel free to download as many photos as you like – we have sized the photos to 1080P HD wallpaper, perfect for your desktop, laptop, tablet or TV – and if you enjoy our photos, please share this blog with your friends and help us get the word out!

Looking to have a car or collection photographed? Feel free to peruse the automotive section of our website: pro.deremerstudios.com/automotive_aviation.html
Our Drop-Top Chariot on the Roads Out West

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Autumn in the National Parks – In Panorama

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After 10 days of travel, 3,000 miles, 4,200 photos and over a month of editing, we’ve finally arrived at our last post from our Autumn in the National Parks Collection.  Over the course of our trip, we also photographed 142 ultra-high resolution panoramas – most in excess of 100 megapixels.  The national parks, with their wide open vistas and expansive views lend themselves perfectly to the medium of panorama – offering a unique perspective on the parks that better represents the true scale of the subject in a way that even the best conventional photos can seldom do.  So, without further adieu, here’s about 40 of our favorite Panoramas, offering a sort of summary of an amazing, breathtaking, glorious tour of our nation’s crown jewels!

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Here in Florida, without towering mountains, but replete with tall trees, it’s hard to get a panoramic sense of distance, yet out west the opposite is true, and vistas such as Bryce Canyon (top) and the Grand Tetons (above) lend themselves perfectly to the medium.  Below, I tried my hand at some panoramic astrophotography in Arches – that’s the aptly named Ham Rock in the foreground.  Over the last decade, stitching software has come a long way.  When we first got started, I stitched everything manually in Photoshop.  I took forever and the amount of airbrushing required to bring it to a professional level was rather tedious and slow.  But today, with the built-in panorama capabilities of Adobe Lightroom, I am able to stitch even wide angle images with ease, all while maintaining their raw characteristics.   There’s still some tweaking in Photoshop, but nothing like when we first got started.

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As always, please feel free to download as many photos as you like – they are full HD images, 1080P, and perfect for your computer, tablet or television – and if you enjoy our photos, please follow us – and for extra bonus points, share this blog with your friends to help us get the word out!

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Autumn in the National Parks – In Panorama

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Autumn in the National Parks – Arches

Deremer Studios Fine Art Photography - Out West

After a long day of driving and exploring on Day 8, we arrived at Arches National Park about an hour before sunset (and 15 minutes after the visitor’s center closed…ugh!).  You enter the park in the valley near Moab, but within a few hundred feet, you find yourself climbing the steep switch-backed road, lined by soaring red sandstone formations.  Interestingly, it doesn’t take too long to begin seeing objects and shapes in these rocks, and so it should come as no surprise that many of these formations have fanciful names, from Ham Rock and Parade of Elephants, to Park Avenue and the rock above which I have nicknamed Gnome Rock.  In total, we spent about 5 hours exploring Arches, most of the time under the stars, but I wish we had had another day – as with many of the parks we sampled – we really only had the chance to explore the tip of the iceberg.

Deremer Studios Fine Art Photography - Out West

So, with limited time to explore, we did our best to be strategic and headed first to the cluster of formations in and around Double Arch (above) to make the most of the quickly setting sun.  We arrived just before sunset and were just amazed by the scale of these formations.  The photos really don’t do the scale justice, but for example, Double Arch has a span of 148 feet and a height of 104 feet (the height of a 10 story building).  In the gallery below, be sure to look at the dots that are cars and people in  several of the images.  With literally moments until sunset, we hiked up to Double Arch – about a half mile hike – and climbed up the nearly vertical embankment to the second opening (proving once again that I am out of shape).  As day slowly gave way to night, we snapped a few more shots, then headed down whilst there was still sufficient light to not result in a trip to the emergency room.  As we walked on, I turned back to the arch and noticed the subtle kiss of the fading light illuminating the rocks and had to snap the above photo.  For the rest of the evening, we worked on some simple astrophotography.  The moon again proved limiting in the angles we could shoot, but even with the bright moon, we could just make out the Milky Way.

As always, please feel free to download as many photos as you like – they are full HD images, 1080P, and perfect for your computer, tablet or television – and if you enjoy our photos, please follow us – and for extra bonus points, share this blog with your friends to help us get the word out!

Purchase Fine Art Prints

Interested in buying some of our fine art photography or just want to see some more of our work? Check out our Out West collection at our site: http://fineart.deremerstudios.com
Autumn in the National Parks – Arches

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Copyright 2015 Deremer Studios LLC – Jacksonville, FL
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