The National Park Service Turns 100 Today!

Celebrating 100 Years of the National Park Service

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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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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 – The Grand Canyon

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So, continuing on with the grand adventure trip – day 7 began with our visit to Bryce Canyon (our previous post) and concluded with an overnight in the Grand Canyon.  As we approached the North Rim of the world’s most famous hole in the ground, things looked pretty ominous and gray, with a light mist hanging over our approach.  Just inside the park (and the only time we actually got even a hint of rain while shooting) we found a small herd of bison.  Their great, great, great, great grandparents were actually brought to the park from Yellowstone in some sort of breeding experiment – it didn’t work, but the herd remains – albeit oddly smaller and more springy than their more northern counterparts.  It took us another 30 minutes or so to arrive at the North Rim Lodge, where we had fortuitously booked a cabin to spend the night.  The Lodge, though considerably smaller than Old Faithful Inn has a similar ambiance and one whopper of a view.  But, with the clouds dissipating and the prospect of an actual sunset, we grabbed a pizza (affordable and tasty!) from the lodge’s cafe, hopped in the Mustang, dropped the top, and headed to Cape Royal, about 40 minutes down the road.  We arrived with just minutes to spare and were greeted with the view above.

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As the sun passed through the sliver of daylight between the clouds and canyon, Bryn and I photographed at a bit of a fever pitch to make the most of the momentary appearance of the sun.  As it dipped below the horizon, we brought out the tripod and captured the cliffs and canyon around us in the dwindling light (above).  As night drew in around us, we walked the half mile path back to the car and headed to our little cabin on the rim.   It had been a long day, but before we called it a night, we went out to the observation deck of the lodge and shot a few night photos.  Far from ideal with the bright moon obscuring the stars and producing a fair bit of lens flare, I was still able to get a few shots that I enjoyed.  Had we another day, I would have ventured to the south rim to take advantage of the moonlight on the canyon below – but as it was, we were on a tight schedule on Day 8 as we headed East toward the Vermilion Cliffs, Horseshoe Bend and a sunset appointment with Arches.

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 – The Grand Canyon

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Copyright 2015 Deremer Studios LLC – Jacksonville, FL
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