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Behind the Lens With a National Park Photographer


Wouldn't it be great to make a living as a photographer who focuses primarily on national parks? That's Ian Shive's life these days. If you recall, he recently published a book of some of his park images.

In the book's 200 pages Mr. Shive takes us through the national parks on a journey that, while not entirely inclusive of the 391 units, is one that captures both many of the traditional, and many of the non-traditional, images that are there if you look hard enough. One of the more unusual shots is of a scorpion at Big Bend National Park that glows green under a UV black light used by researchers to locate these arthropods. One of the more peaceful shots is that of the snow-shrouded Yosemite Chapel in Yosemite National Park.

How does he go about capturing such images? This short video, shot in Glacier National Park, provides more insight into his work in the parks. It definitely makes one envious.


This video has made my day and has given me much renewed energy in seeing nature with fresh eyes. Thanks Kurt and Mr.Shive for sharing.

Nice stuff, inspiring, but it reminds me of what a poor photographer I am. And yet, even so, when I come back from my park trips I get compliments on my shots. The trick, I tell everyone, is not that I'm any good, but that I go to interesting and beautiful places. "That's why they're national parks," I add, just in case they miss the point.

> It definitely makes one envious.

The reality of the job is that unless you are well established and successful enough to have staff (think Art Wolfe, Frans Lanting, and a few of that caliber), as a nature photographer, you are likely to spend much, much more time in your office than in the field.


National Parks images

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