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Three Tips for Photographing America’s National Parks

Kyle Regan
by Kyle Regan

June 11, 2021

3 minute read

Exploring the National Parks of Utah was an experience of a lifetime, and as a photographer, it’s a destination that will keep me coming back for years to come.


When heading out for a trip like this, it’s inevitable you will bring your camera along with you. You’ll want to capture the amazing moments on tour and share your journey with friends and family on social media when you return home.


Here are a few tips to find and capture the best shot on your next adventure out west.

1. Get inspired and prepare before your departure!

Take time to get to know your itinerary – look at every planned stop, from daily activities to hotels. Using tools like Google Earth, you can scout each location well before you arrive.


When researching our hotel in Moab, the Red Cliffs Lodge, I discovered a beautiful property sitting along the Colorado River at the bottom of these massive 2,000ft. cliffs. My first thought was, ‘where am I going to capture the sunrise?’ To the east, there’s a clear view down the river with cliffs in the distance – I added this to my trip notes knowing this would be an excellent opportunity.


Red Cliffs Sunrise


Writing notes for every location you plan to visit will help to familiarize yourself with the area and possible photo opportunities.

2. Take a short walk away from the crowd and find a different angle.

Here’s how I put this tip into action during my visit to Arches National Park. Upon arrival you are surrounded with picturesque views—from the “Double Arches” to the “North Window,” you’ll see the crowds gathering for their pictures—but a short walk through the North Window takes you down a path to the other side. Here, you’ll find a different angle and less people, leaving you with a better shot of the park.

Explore your options and ask your guide about the various paths you can take with whatever time you have. At Bryce Canyon National Park, we had enough time to hike down into the canyon. There is a completely different view of the park from below and a closer look at some of the iconic rock formations.


3. Enjoy every moment!

Sometimes it’s important to put the camera down and take in the views with your own eyes. We often get so wrapped up in getting the perfect shot that we spend every minute behind our camera or cell phone. This is your chance to experience this destination, to discover things you’d only dreamt of before and to appreciate these natural wonders – be sure to savour the moments of your journey throughout the painted canyons.


Not only will you have beautiful photographs to show off after your tour, but you’ll be able to pass on the advice you learned to other travellers too!


Have fun out there.


Kyle Regan Arches National Park copy


Interested exploring these National Parks? Learn more about our Painted Canyons of the West tour.

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