A complete presentationIf you are curious about National Parks Portfolio and its significance, please read my post the first national parks photography book. The publication aimed to be “the first really representative presentation of American scenery of grandeur ever published”. Each of its nine booklets strived to provide a complete picture of each park. For instance, for Yellowstone, we see not only Old Faithful as the cover image, but also a multitude of other thermal features, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and its waterfalls, Mount Washburn and Yellowstone Lake, and the park’s wildlife.
In the same spirit, Treasured Lands aims to be the most complete coffee-table book about the national parks published in the interleaving century. Having studied and collected many national parks photography books, I am pretty sure that the goal is met if you go by the numbers – 456 pages, 500+ photos, 130,000+ words, depicting 410 locations. However, what really matters is that not only the book includes all 59 national parks, but also the coverage of each park is deeper than any other coffee-table book. I tried to photograph each significant area of each national park, for example:
- the five islands that make up Channel Islands National Park,
- the three islands that make up National Park of American Samoa,
- the three main keys of Dry Tortugas National Park,
- the five districts in Canyonlands National Park,
- the three units of Theodore Roosevelt NP, including Elkhorn Ranch.
It is often said that the National Parks are “loved to death” – the first such utterance may have been in Conrad Wirth’s Mission 66 introduction – a document still surpringly relevant today. However, one often confuses visitation and crowding. Large visitation is great. In my experience of more than 300 park visits, crowding is an issue only at the most popular locations in the most popular parks. It is my hope that by giving equal treatment to the 59 national parks, and by highlighting lesser known locations in the popular parks, Treasured Lands can inspire visitors to discover the diversity of the national parks, experience new locales, and spread out visitation.
An invitation and guide to visitBack a century ago, Stephen Mather recognized that if the parks were to be preserved, they would have to acquire a constituency, and the publication of National Parks Portfolio was an effort towards this goal. Each of the nine booklets ending page started with the heading “HOW TO REACH THE NATIONAL PARKS”, a railroad map, and concluded with “REMEMBER THAT [name of park] BELONGS TO YOU. IT IS ONE OF THE GREAT NATIONAL PLAYGROUNDS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FOR WHOM IT IS ADMINISTERED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR.”
More than twenty years ago, as a newcomer to America, deeply moved by the National Parks natural beauty, I decided to make my home here, and embarked on a self-supported project to photograph them out of love for the land. It is a testament to the greatness of America that as a private citizen, I have been able to honor the NPS Centennial with Treasured Lands. As stated in my introduction, from the start of the project, one of my goals has been to propel you on your personal journey to visit, appreciate, and help preserve this magnificent but fragile land.
Unlike other coffee table books about the national parks, which after inspiring readers via images, leave them wondering about the exact locations, Treasured Lands is designed to inspire outdoor adventurers to “Find Your Park” using a detailed guide keyed to the images. For each of the images in the book, you’ll find a description of the location, the best times to be there, and sometimes comments about my experiences and photography, with the hope that they will help you plan your own trip. Note that as an innovative feature which I hope you’ll find practical, the guide will be available for download as a PDF specially formatted for mobile devices.
My special pre-publication offer to youIt is a bit of a bummer to be late to the party because you are still stuck on a cargo ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Publication in time for the NPS Centennial was uncertain from the beginning, given how late the entire process started, and how complex it turned out to be, but that would be a story for another post. Treasured Lands will ship in October. To reward you for your patience and thank you for your support, I am offering the following bonuses from now until October 1st:
- Set of 59 high-resolution digital images from the book, one for each park, that you can display as computer wallpaper on a screen up to 4K, and use in any personal way (as defined here).
- Supplementary PDF “How To Photograph The National parks”, which details general tips I have learned in more than twenty years of photographing the parks. There is no overlap with Treasured Lands, which has only location-specific information.
- Coupon code for 25% off an order of limited-edition prints
To take advantage of the offer, visit http://treasuredlandsbook.com
Coastal Plain, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Muir Inlet, Glacier Bay National Park
Wonder Lake, Denali National Park
Second Beach, Olympic National Park
Grant Grove, Kings Canyon National Park
Cholla Cactus Garden, Joshua Tree National Park
Mesquite Sand Dunes, Death Valley National Park
Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, November 1996
Sunset Point, Bryce Canyon National Park
Schwabacher Landing, Grand Teton National Park
Cedar Pass, Badlands National Park
Middle Prong of the Little River, Great Smoky Mountains National
Field, Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas National Park