We Simplify The Technical!

There’s so much to photograph in our National Parks!

Nature photographer Chuck Haney tells us how to make the most of our visits to

National Parks, including how to avoid the crowds and come home with

spectacular and unique images.

*Please scroll to the bottom of the post 
for more images from our guest.*

Episode 182

Tips for Photographing in National Parks
with Chuck Haney

Finding the Best Photo Spots

  • “National Parks have good photo opportunities almost everywhere you look.”
  • Online research
    – Google ‘best photo locations at ABC National Park’, or ‘best places to see wildlife, birds, etc.’
    – Look on social media at images from other photographers. Search hashtags for that National Park.

“Go with an idea of what you want to create.  You may see something completely different when you get out there.
Discovering something that most people would just walk by
is still the most fun.”

Plan Ahead – with Options

  • Plan A, Plan B, Plan C… You may have only one day to spend in the area. Have options if weather presents less than ideal conditions.
  • Lighting is what can really make an image unique – and it changes every day! Also, don’t underestimate the draw of night photography in these beautiful locations.
  • Phone and internet connections can range from sketchy to none. Be sure to download maps or info from other apps before you head into a dead zone.
  • Crowds are becoming a huge problem at most of the bigger parks. Parking and lodging are more and more difficult to come by.  The only consolation is that most tourists are not up and out at dawn. Try to plan your trips to lesser known parks.
  • Each park has their own rules about trail usage, and even tripods! Most parks allow you to go just about anywhere if you’re on your own but have restrictions for commercial groups.
  • Driving to your destination will allow for more gear, flying is very limiting. Although, less gear allows for more mobility and makes you a little less conspicuous in cities/towns.

“Realize that what you see with your eyes is not always going to translate into your camera.  Understand the limitations
of your camera.  Learn to make the light work for you
and use it to your advantage.”

Recommended Gear

2 Camera bodies

2 wide angle lenses:  11-22mm , 24-70mm or 24-105mm

1 telephoto lens: 100-400mm


Tripod – don’t cheap out, spend the money for stability.  Sharpness is the key to a good image.

Remote Shutter Release Cable – to avoid camera shake

Lowepro Backpack

“That’s still the rush, to go to a cool place and end up with extraordinary lighting – that’s what keeps me doing it.  There’s always the hope that it’s going to be the best one ever.”

Finding Chuck





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Gear Recommendation
of the Week


Manfrotto 055 Carbon Fiber Tripod

The Manfrotto 055 carbon fiber 3-section tripod delivers maximum rigidity from the lightest components. The 100% carbon fiber tubes and new Quick Power Lock (QPL) leg locking system maximizes the tripod’s rigidity and vibrational absorption, stabilizing camera equipment under any condition. The key feature is its 90° column, which allows the column to be extended vertically or horizontally. The horizontal column mechanism is housed within the tripod’s top casting for compactness, but it is easily and quickly extended whenever you need it. Switching between vertical and horizontal column orientation requires no disassembly, and can even be done with a camera attached.




Chuck Haney Swiftcurrent-Falls
Sunset clouds over sawgrass wetlands in Everglades National Park, Florida, USA
Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles on Poipu Beach in Kauai, Hawaii, USA
Chuck Haney Little-Mo-River
Chuck Haney DV-Zabriskie-Pt_
Chuck Haney TR Wildlife

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