Capture America’s Best During National Park Week
Peter Lik Reminds Shooters to “Get Out There” and Enjoy the Country’s Raw Beauty
From Saturday, April 16th to Sunday, April 24 it is National Park Week all across the United States. As it turns out, there are an incredible 400-plus national parks to explore, celebrate and photograph. Of course, no one knows this better than Peter Lik, who has spent years discovering first-hand the stunning beauty of these iconic landscapes. Read below for a list of some of the Artist’s favorite parks that readily await you and your camera.
Canyonlands National Park – Utah
To those of you closely following Peter’s releases, this location should ring a few bells. It is the birthplace of so many classic works from the Artist, including his most recent triumph: Sacred Arch. Atop the plateaus of this magical, rocky region in Utah, you will find inner peace and experience total oneness with the world. And if not, you will at least have one of the most amazing, expansive views imaginable. Featuring a series of ancient, curved formations – created by the earth’s powerful elements over the course of millions of years – being at Canyonlands is almost like stepping onto another planet. To get the most out of your visit, definitely try and capture a sunrise and/or sunset if possible, as the overhead glow from the sky during these times makes for images with great texture and mood. Other Peter Lik images from Canyonlands include Majestic and Sacred Sunrise.
White Sands National Monument – New Mexico
While learning about this lesser known park may not have been a part of your scholastic curriculum growing up, it is home to perhaps one of the most breathtaking scenes this country has to offer. Near the city of Alomogordo, on the southern end of the Tularosa Basin, lies over 143 thousand acres of white sand dunes that stretch as far as the lens can see. What make this park even more unique is that the “sand” is made from gypsum crystals – a source for chalk, plaster, and alabaster – comprising the largest field of its kind in the world. As a result, the area is so starkly white that it almost resembles rolling hills of pure snow. The perfect place to capture landscape visions under an expansive sky, White Sands has given Peter a range of photographs, including Nirvana and Crystal Sands.
Yosemite National Park – California
Steeped within the complexly beautiful landscape of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains, is one of Peter’s all-time favorite locations to shoot. With its very well known collection of ancient Sequoia trees – famously protected through legislation by Abraham Lincoln – Yosemite is also home to legendary granite cliffs, vast lakes, towering waterfalls and many types of wildlife. No matter where you are in Yosemite, there is something to capture. Perhaps one of the great features of the park is that it experiences the full range of seasons. If you can’t get there during National Parks Week, anytime of year is worth a trip – a very familiar concept to Peter Lik, who has captured Yosemite’s vibrant essence during the color explosion of fall and the tangible silence of its snow-covered terra in winter. Some of Peter’s epic visions from his travels to Yosemite include collector favorite, Timeless, and Yosemite Reflections.
Death Valley National Park – California
Visiting Death Valley National Park is nothing like experiencing your average, run-of-the-mill park, as it extends into one of the lowest and driest points in the Western Hemisphere. Don’t expect too much in the way of plant life or trees here – although, right now you can catch a surprisingly full spring bloom in certain areas. For the most part, you’ll be entering one of the hottest and most treacherous regions in the entire world, with record temperatures that have reached above 130 degrees Fahrenheit. You should probably bring a bottle of water or two… With a collection of sand dunes, valleys, canyons, mountains, salt flats (one of Pete’s favorite grounds to capture), and badlands, Death Valley offers a vast landscape full of texture and rugged charm that is sure to stun viewers of your work. Go now before next month when the desert really heats up. Some of Peter’s best work from Death Valley includes Breathless and Dark Side of the Moon.
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park – Hawaii
Finally, our last park on this list is one that only the lucky few will ever get to experience in their lifetimes. Unlike all other national parks in the U.S., this is simply not one of those places you can just drive to from any state (although it would be a neat trick). However, if you are a local or have plans to visit the area by plane or boat, you should prepare yourself for an unforgettable visual experience. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, located on the island of Hawai’i (the Big Island), encompasses two active volcanoes – Mauna Loa and Kilauea – which light up the landscape with streams of fiery lava and fill the sky with steam and smoke. In fact, one of Peter’s most awarded images, Pele’s Whisper, was captured at Kilauea just before the molten ground beneath the Artist’s feet began to give way (when visiting, always opt for the guided tour). Meanwhile, the park is also home to rainforests, rare flora, an exotic coastline, and waterfalls worthy of paradise – a photographer’s dream come true.
With National Park Week just around the corner, there is no time to waste. Considering there are over 400 stunning locations around the country, chances are you are probably not too far from the adventure of a lifetime. Oh, and did we mention that admission to all parks during this period is FREE?
You have no excuse now, so grab your gear and post your best photos on social media to @PeterLik.