Terra Galleria Photography

USPS Stamp Celebrating National Park Service’s Centennial

7 Comments

I am honored that one of the U.S. stamps commemorating the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service carries my photograph. The stamp will be officially released on June 2.

A distinctive characteristic of my project to photograph all the national parks is that I sought to explore each corner of each of them, even the most obscure ones. One of my goals is to bring attention to the lesser-known areas of the parks. Those hidden gems offer unexpected discoveries and an experience away from the crowds where one can fully connect with nature.

Theodore Roosevelt is one such park, and the North Unit, where I made the image, is a quiet part of a quiet park, receiving only 10% of the park’s total visitation – which occurs mainly in the South Unit. Theodore Roosevelt National Park includes also the even less visited Elkhorn Ranch Site. The Little Missouri River provides a link between all three, reminding me of the time I spent in each unit. In the light of the late afternoon, the river appeared as a bright ribbon in the landscape. I used a fairly long telephoto lens of 400mm (more commonly associated with wildlife photography than landscape photography) to emphasize the section of the river with a reflection.

The stamp is part of a collection of 16 new “forever” stamps marking the historic anniversary. I was humbled to notice amongst the other photographers the names of masters who have inspired me so much, foremost David Muench, but also Tim Fitzharris, Tom Till, and Art Wolfe. Congratulations to all other artists as well!

If you are wondering why there is a slash through “FOREVER”, here is the answer from the USPS: “The strike through the word FOREVER is to ensure that the illustration cannot be used as a stamp through technical reproductive means. Any stamps you purchase will not have a strike through the word FOREVER.”

The majority of US stamps do not feature photographs, but rather illustrations. In 2007, I had licensed an image of the southern Oregon coast to the USPS for a stamp celebrating the Oregon Statehood Centennial.

However, I did not pay attention to the language of the contract that said “use of the photo to create a stamp image”. When that stamp came out, I was quite disappointed that the stamp did not reproduce my photograph, but instead was an illustration partly inspired by it. I guess that counts as a half stamp?

So this time, I can be proud that my photograph made it fully. I’ve been told that each year, the USPS receives more than 40,000 stamp ideas. Because the national parks mean so much to me, I am particularly pleased to be part of this campaign.

7 Comments

  1. Larry Gebhardt says:

    Congratulations! That’s a great image. Time to buy some stamps.

  2. Congratulations QT that is quite the honour!

  3. Tim Sloan says:

    Congratulations! By the way, I’m so glad I was able to see your Treasured Lands exhibit twice while it was in Fullerton, CA

    • QT Luong says:

      Thanks Tim. A visitor wrote on the guestbook of the exhibit at the National Heritage Museum that they saw it six times. However it was there for two years as opposed to two months at the Fullerton Museum!

  4. Rachel Cohen says:

    I’m so happy for you Tuan! Congratulations! 🙂

  5. Ramen Saha says:

    This is wonderful! Great club of master photographers showcasing the beauty of our national parks. Well done, QT!

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