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Welcome to the Park Avenue Photo Friday diary and open thread. Each Friday, people are encouraged to join us in sharing their pictures of the national parks, state parks and other major parks and to vote on which park will be the subject of our next Things to Know Before You Come column of travel advice and tips on visiting the parks.

Our Weekly Diaries

Follow us each week with out other two weekly diaries. Each Tuesday at 11:30am ET/8:30am PT we have our Things to Know Before You Come column, looking at hints and tips for visiting a park you choose each week in this open thread (see poll below). Our previous columns have covered:

Help choose next week's column by voting below. Each week's runner-up will return to the poll the following week.

On Thursdays at 11:30am ET/8:30am PT we release our weekly user contributed park feature. Our past features have been

  1. Jackson Hole National Monument
  2. Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine
  3. Capitol Reef National Park
  4. Petrified Forest National Park
  5. Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
  6. Dry Tortugas National Park
  7. Wind Cave National Park & Jewel Cave Natl Monument
  8. Death Valley National Park
  9. Zion National Park
  10. Saguaro National Park

For next week's diary we're going to mix it up a bit and rather than focus on a specific park, we're going to give an overview of tips and general strategies for landscape and wildlife photography in the parks. If you are interested in writing a feature about a park, please volunteer at our sign up form and as your window approaches, you'll be contacted (about 3 weeks before) to finalize your date.

Additionally, if any of you are interested in writing other pieces about the parks or park related topics (eg. the CCC, History of the National Park Service, Biographical sketches of park related people, the science behind a park or parks, a look at native American cultures whose ruins are protected as parks, etc) feel free to submit those features. Just ask for an invite as a contributor and we'll get you set up. I think it'd be nice if we branch out into more than just our two regular features.


In last week's open thread, we got onto a thread of discussion about waterfalls and I decided that would make for a nice theme for this week's open thread. So onto pictures of falling water...

Reynolds Falls
Reynolds Falls in Glacier National Park descends from a hanging valley just below Logan Pass on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Sol Duc Falls
Sol Duc Falls in Olympic National Park

St. Mary Falls
One of the favorites of my own waterfall shots is this one of St. Mary Falls in Glacier National Park

Hidden Falls
Cascade Creek comes roaring out of Cascade Canyon over Hidden Falls in Grand Teton National Park

And a few Creative Commons shots I found on Flickr that I liked

Horsetail Falls, Yosemite National Park
No, its not the Firefall in Yosemite, but rather Horsetail Falls, a waterfall that each February gets back lit by the setting sun, giving it this glowing, fiery appearance as it descends to the Yosemite Valley from the rim of El Capitan. It was repopularized about 20 years ago thanks to a famous photograph by the noted late landscape photographer Galen Rowell.

Vernal Falls and Rainbow - Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California
Another Yosemite falls, Vernal Falls on the Mist Trail complete with a rainbow

Lower Yellowstone Falls
A reminder of how cold it gets in Yellowstone, the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River mostly frozen over in winter. A closer view from another photographer....

Yellowstone Falls in Winter, Up Close and Personal!

(Photo credits: Howard Ignatius, Jim Trodel and Tucker Hammerstrom)

Feel free to contribute your own photos in the comments! They don't have to be of waterfalls. That was just the theme for mine for the week.

Originally posted to Park Avenue on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 08:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by J Town.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (19+ / 0-)

    "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

    by craigkg on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 08:30:02 AM PDT

  •  Gorgeous diary (10+ / 0-)

    and thank you.  This series is such a treat.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 08:41:42 AM PDT

  •  I posted an update to my Zion diary (8+ / 0-)

    But I'll repost the substance of that update here. Got a notification on the park's Twitter feed that they will, indeed, be working on the Zion-Mt. Carmel highway again this season, at least briefly:

    The park administration has just announced that there will again be road construction along parts of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway from Canyon Junction to the east entrance of the park, beginning April 26. Work is scheduled Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is expected to be completed by mid-May.

    If this work is as heavy and involved as what was going on last summer, it's going to mean it's probably a good idea to avoid the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway at all during the construction phase--the road will be in very rough shape, there will be tons of construction vehicles entering and leaving and using the road, and there will be considerable traffic slowdowns and/or delays. Check with the park staff before you go for the latest information.

    •  Shouldn't be too bad (4+ / 0-)

      April 26th to mid-May is a little less than a month long. Its not like the rerouting of the road in Yellowstone near Gibbon Falls or the repairs to the East Entrance road that took years to complete. But any road construction in a national park generally causes one big headache for the people that happen to be there at the time. ;-)

      "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

      by craigkg on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 08:49:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If they get it done in that time frame, sure (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        craigkg, birdbrain64

        But considering where they're working and the way the weather's been lately, I think that might be a little over-optimistic. And when we were there last summer, that road was scrubbed right down to the base, rutted, potholed, and crammed with heavy construction equipment. When we were leaving, we thought we'd go out along the tunnel side, since we hadn't been to that part of the park that trip. After about five minutes sitting breathing diesel fumes from the bulldozer (or whatever it was) in front of us, crawling along at 5 mph or less, we found the first available turnaround and went back.

        •  True, they are always optimistic... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          musing85, birdbrain64

          ...about the time frame. And working in tight conditions, one little problem can compound things easily. I'll just keep my fingers crossed that there won't be any in Oct 2012 as I'm trying to coordinate a trip there for my mother's birthday (i.e. prodding the brothers to start saving for the trip now so we can get Zion Lodge reservations in this fall).

          "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

          by craigkg on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 08:58:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'd like to go in the fall sometime (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            craigkg, birdbrain64

            Unfortunately, October is one of my busiest months at work. :(

            •  From some of the foliage shots I've seen... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              musing85, birdbrain64

              ...I think it is a great time to go. We'll probably do Bryce canyon as well, but I may save up and go a several days early to hit Capitol Reef, Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Kodachrome and a few other parks in the area.

              She's wanted to visit Zion for years and it has never quite worked out. In fact a fall trip this year totally didn't work out in our schedules. We couldn't get a common week or weekend for it, so I'm going to Tetons, the parents are going to Rushmore/Black Hills, older brother is going to the Badlands and the younger brother, if he takes a trip, will likely by the Washington State.

              And I totally get the whole having an annual busy month. At my last job, I had to give up going to the Big 12 Baseball Conference Tournament every year because May was extremely busy. Before that job, for the first 8 years of the tournament's history, I was at every game.

              "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

              by craigkg on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 09:30:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Heh (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                birdbrain64, craigkg

                I wish it was just the one "busy" month out of the year. NIH has three standard proposal cycles every year: February, June, and October for the types I work on most often. NSF programs either have annual or semi-annual cycles, at various times throughout the year (June and November for chemistry, January/February and June/July for biology, May/June and November/December or June/July and December/January for geology, depending on whether it's surface or sub-surface.

                Basically, March is my one fairly quiet month, historically. And "quiet" is relative :D

  •  Thanks Craig! (4+ / 0-)

    Bunch of long sigh photos up there....  Sigh, I wish I could shoot like that, sigh I wish I could get away to places like that......  Look forward to learning from the photo masters.

    Looking forward to Mesa Verde, got another Stoopid human story, starring me.

  •  Looking forward to a piece on (4+ / 0-)

    Mesa Verde, I hope to get there this summer.

    This is not my photo. It is from Its a waterfall, thought it was a different view of one, and no notation on the file where it was taken.


  •  I'll add a waterfall pic (7+ / 0-)

    taken at Yosemite, though the picture doesn't do it justice.


    Yes, those are people on the right. They are closer to me than they are to the waterfall. As I said: a picture doesn't do it justice. Yosemite must be seen and felt in person.

  •  Last year, we nailed it for the peak of waterfall (6+ / 0-)

    activity at Yosemite.

    Foresta Falls - sorta off the beaten path, which means you can have it to yourself most of the time.

    At the side of the falls, we spotted this just-fledged Dipper.
    amdi yosemite_0801

    We made it to the top at Chilnualna Falls (near Wawona).  The force of the water was astounding... it sounded like we were standing next to a jet airliner.

    This was a little cascade off to the side of the trail as we climbed - I'd imagine it's not much more than a trickle most of the year.

    They only call it Class War when we fight back.

    by lineatus on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 10:40:11 AM PDT

  •  Waterfalls, and thanks again (6+ / 0-)

    Wanted to thank craigkg for the opportunity to write for Park Avenue, and thanks to everyone else who read and commented!

    Here are a few National Park waterfalls (GSM, Shenandoah and Zion):





  •  OK photoidiot time. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm assuming that you folks are using long exposure times, mono- or tripods.  Larger than normal apetures?  Std lenses or tele photos?  Filters?

    •  Definitely long exposures (0+ / 0-)

      Silky water as shown in most waterfall pictures requires a long exposure - usually a second, plus or minus.  That means a tripod, low ISO setting and, with a digital camera, usually a neutral density filter or a polarizer.  I use a polarizer because it can also remove glare from wet leaves or rocks around the falls.

      The long exposure time also usually means a relatively small aperture, although, photo tip of the day, I don't usually vary my aperture too much.  On most lenses you should stop down at least a full stop (usually more like 2) for best sharpness; on an f/2.8 lens that means I won't usually shoot more open than an f/5.6.  And on my Nikon with its digital APC sensor I think twice before tightening beyond f/11.  This is more restrictive than with film photography because digital sensors have some peculiarities in how they collect light.

      One last tidbit for waterfalls - get some nice lighting and meter closely.  Whitewater from waterfalls reflects light very well, and it's easy to wash out the detail in the falls with too much light.

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

      by Phoenix Rising on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 08:15:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The photos are so enjoyable......I long to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    pack my bags!

    You've been Republished in the J Town Babbling Brook

    burble burble

    Thank you.

    Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

    by princesspat on Fri Apr 29, 2011 at 03:59:17 PM PDT

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