Treasured Lands: A Photographic Odyssey Through America’s National Parks, Second Expanded Edition


Price: $54.38
(as of May 30,2021 07:41:05 UTC – Details)


Give the gift of the National Parks with this beautiful coffee table book: the most complete photography book about the 62 US National Parks, and the only one with location notes for each photograph. Winner of 12 national and international book awards. 

QT Luong has updated and expanded his national parks book by adding 28 more pages, 32 new locations, and revising all the maps. Treasured Lands: A Photographic Odyssey Through America's National Parks pays tribute to the millions of acres of protected wilderness and historical heritage in our country's 62 national parks, including the three designated since the award-winning first edition was published in 2016 and became an instant classic – Gateway Arch, Indiana Dunes, White Sands.

Luong, who is featured in Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan's documentary The National Parks: America's Best Idea, is the most prolific photographer working in the national parks and the only one to have made large-format photographs in each of them. In an odyssey that spanned more than a quarter-century and 300 visits, Luong focused his lenses on iconic landscapes and rarely seen remote views, presenting his journey in this sumptuous array of more than 600 breathtaking images. 
Accompanying the collection of scenic masterpieces is a guide that includes maps of each park, as well as extended captions that detail where and how the photographs were made. Designed to inspire visitors to connect with the parks and invite photographers to re-create these landscapes, the guide also provides anecdotal observations that give context to the pictures and convey the sheer scope of Luong's extraordinary odyssey. 
Including a foreword by author and documentary filmmaker Dayton Duncan, Treasured Lands is a rich visual tour of the U.S. National Parks and an invaluable guide from a photographer who hiked-or paddled, dived, skied, snowshoed, and climbed-each park, shooting in all kinds of terrain, in all seasons, and at all times of day. QT Luong's timeless gallery of the nation's most revered landscapes beckons to nature lovers, armchair travelers, and photography enthusiasts alike, keeping America's natural wonders within reach.

Includes 62 national parks: Acadia National Park, Arches National Park, Badlands National Park, Big Bend National Park, Biscayne National Park, Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Channel Islands National Park, Congaree National Park, Crater Lake National Park, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Death Valley National Park, Denali National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, Everglades National Park, Gates of the Arctic National Park, Gateway Arch National Park, Glacier National Park, Glacier Bay National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Great Basin National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Haleakala National Park, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hot Springs National Park, Indiana Dunes National Park, Isle Royale National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Katmai National Park, Kenai Fjords National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, Kobuk Valley National Park, Lake Clark National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Mammoth Cave National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, National Park of American Samoa, North Cascades National Park, Olympic National Park, Petrified Forest National Park, Redwood National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Saguaro National Park, Sequoia National Park, Shenandoah National Park, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Virgin Islands National Park, Voyageurs National Park, White Sands National Park, Wind Cave National Park, Wrangell – St Elias National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, Zion National Park.


From the Publisher

treasured lands nyt quote new york times photography booktreasured lands nyt quote new york times photography book

In 300 visits over a quarter century, QT Luong ventured deep into each of America’s 61 national parks. Combining in a unique way art book and guidebook, Treasured Lands presents the photographer’s explorations in a sumptuous gallery complemented with informative and practical notes on nature, travel, and image making. Together they inspire and invite photographers and nature lovers to trace his steps to both iconic landscapes and rarely seen remote views.

national parks photography

national parks photography

volcano unique park

volcano unique park

photograph your trip cactus

photograph your trip cactus

Discover the diversity of the national parks.

Equal treatment is given to well-known parks and lesser known hidden gems, using more large photos (600+) than any national park coffee table book before.

Learn what each park has to offer and what makes it unique.

Within each park, carefully chosen locations highlight a captivating and fact-rich story, represent the best of the park, and cover each of its corners with at least 6 photos.

Plan to visit and photograph the locations pictured.

A photographer’s guide shares how readers can visit each of pictured locations at the best time of day and year. The 62 maps with location pins and 140,000+ words – equivalent to a 400-page paperback – are also available as a mobile PDF for a nominal charge to book owners.

Unexpected sights

sonoran desert north america

sonoran desert north america

petrified forest theodore roosevelt park

petrified forest theodore roosevelt park

garden key fort jefferson

garden key fort jefferson

Sendero Esperanza Trail, Saguaro National Park

The Sonoran Desert’s biseasonal rainfall pattern supports unusually lush vegetation for a desert. Originally a jungle that dried up, the flora of the lowest and hottest desert in North America evolved from southern, tropical plants. Deserts are known as hot and dry places, but this one teems with biodiversity.

Petrified Forest, Theodore Roosevelt National Park

The park is home to the third-largest petrified forest in the country, which takes the shape of stumps. The fossils here differ greatly from those in Arizona’s petrified forest because the trees in North Dakota are related to modern sequoias, creating stumps up to 12 feet in diameter.

Garden Key, Dry Tortugas National Park

Like Atlantis rising out of the water, Fort Jefferson towers above islets surrounded by the most varied underwater coral reefs in the country. […] In the nineteenth century, Dry Tortugas was chosen by the United States Navy to become the “Gibraltar of the Gulf,” a strategic location to control shipping between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Despite formidable logistical challenges, Fort Jefferson was built using six million imported handmade bricks, which makes it the largest brick structure in the Western Hemisphere.

Out of the beaten path in popular parks

grand canyon north rim visit

grand canyon north rim visit

tatoosh range mount ranier national park pinnacle saddle trail

tatoosh range mount ranier national park pinnacle saddle trail

slot canyons zion national park pine creek canyon

slot canyons zion national park pine creek canyon

North Rim, Grand Canyon National Park

The North Rim is almost a different park. Although only 10 miles away as the condor flies, the entrance to the North Rim is a 225-mile drive from the South Rim. The North Rim is 1,000 feet higher than the South Rim, offering different views, with considerably fewer facilities and scenic overlooks. Only 10 percent of visitors to the Grand Canyon stop at the North Rim, so this is a good place for quiet photo explorations if you are tired of the carnival-like atmosphere of the South Rim.

Tatoosh Range, Mount Rainier National Park

For a full view of the mountain that reveals its size, my preferred viewpoints are from the Tatoosh Range, which lies in the south. The easiest access to the Tatoosh Range is from the Pinnacle Saddle Trail (2.5 miles round trip; 1,000-foot elevation gain), which starts directly across the road from the Reflection Lakes parking area. The light is good all day, although early morning and late afternoons are the best.

Slot Canyons, Zion National Park

On the Zion Plateau, there are many hidden places to experience canyon hiking. The easiest, a short distance from the road with several entry points, is Clear Creek, the main stream bed that follows Hwy 9 on its south side throughout Zion Plateau. After joining Pine Creek, it morphs into a subterranean canyon, a route of classic status for technical canyoneering. In Pine Creek Canyon, I hiked, swam, and rappelled my way into the bowels of the earth through claustrophobic passageways and huge chambers that allow only a glimmer of glowing light into their depths. The twisting canyon traps potholes of water that remain frigid as the sun never reaches them. Even when temperatures in the desert soar over 100°F, it would be easy to get hypothermia there without the protection of wetsuits. The highlight of the visit was a pair of juvenile owls perched on a sculptured log—sitting perfectly still during the 1-second exposure. Who said that a 24mm lens isn’t appropriate for bird photography?

Iconic locations revisited

Schwabacher landing grand teton national park

Schwabacher landing grand teton national park

yosemite falls

yosemite falls

Zabriskie point death valley

Zabriskie point death valley

Schwabacher Landing, Grand Teton National Park

With many lakes in the valley, there are quite a few choices for photographing the Teton Range reflected in water, but some are a bit too close while others are a bit too far. The body of water that yields the best reflections of the Grand Tetons is a modest beaver pond called the Schwabacher Landing. To reach it, watch for Schwabacher Landing Road, a dirt road 4 miles north of Moose Junction on Hwy 191, and follow it to the end. Then walk 0.25 miles along the river until you see a spot to your liking. Since the view is considered to be one of the most beautiful mountain scenes in America, many gather there for sunrise. The light is most beautiful when clouds catch the alpenglow shortly before sunrise. Because the shot was straight west and it was after sunrise with no clouds, the scene looked flat, as there was no cross-lighting. I returned at midday when the sun from the south defined the shapes better.

Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park

The 1-mile round-trip paved trail leads to a bridge that overlooks Yosemite Creek flowing from the lower falls in an alcove. In the spring, despite the crowds, standing in the soaking spray and listening to the water’s roar felt like a wild experience. I prefer the shade of late afternoon for this classic scene. Scrambling off-trail on the west bank of Yosemite Creek until reaching the base of the rock wall leads to a favorite spot of mine that is rarely photographed in modern times, with the Upper Falls visible right above Lower Falls. Being so close to Lower Falls, this spot is exceedingly wet in the spring. I had to use a special device that keeps the front element of the lens dry by deflecting water drops with extremely rapid spinning. […] Yosemite Falls is possibly the easiest place to photograph “moonbows,” which are rainbows produced by moonlight, on the nights around a spring-time full moon.

Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park

At Zabriskie Point, you’ll find one of the most outstanding views in the park. The undulating hills and jagged peaks of the badlands take on different hues at various times of day but are excellent at sunrise, looking toward Telescope Peak, and also at sunset, looking south. On my first sunrise visit, I stood in front of the very popular observation platform reached via a short and steep paved trail. Although I was surrounded by some of the most dramatically shaped and colorful badlands in the park, with a nice foreground of snowcapped Telescope Peak and the salt pan, I was disappointed by the flat light resulting from having the sun straight behind me. After a bit of exploration, I found a narrow user trail north of the paved trail. From there, I saw more of the salt pan and was able to include Manly Beacon and Telescope Peak in the same shot.

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