Unique landscapes and captivating vistas draw millions of visitors to America’s national parks each year. Here at MapQuest, we asked our featured photographer, QT Luong, of Terra Galleria Photography, if he would select a few favorites from the photos he shot while exploring all 58 national parks, as well as share some of the stories behind what he captured. Enjoy!
Fog in valley and peaks lighted by sunset in winter – Yosemite National Park, California
Yosemite National Park is the place that drew me to California and the national park that I visited first and most often. Yet, it was more than a decade later that I eventually captured, on a winter sunset evening, the image that best sums up, for me, the valley’s magic and majesty. The Tunnel View is one of my favorite places to view Yosemite Valley, one to which I have returned dozens of times. Although the location is always stunning, it was on that cold winter evening that I happened to be in the right place at the right time, when the sun appeared from under the storm clouds to set the tops of the cliffs on fire for a brief moment.
Hiker looking down into Yosemite Valley from Taft Point at sunset, Yosemite National Park, California
I came to this location for a landscape shot. Since it was so hazy, I asked my friend Tom to move over to the brink to make this image instead. Since most of the time I work alone, I was lucky to have a friend along that day – a friend not afraid of heights. The silhouette may be small, but I feel that its perfect placement makes the picture. It focuses the interest, invites the viewer to imagine him or herself there and reflect on their place in the world.
Photos © QT Luong, http://www.terragalleria.com