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National Parks: View Finder

Go ahead, look again. And again. These images are worth a third, fourth, and then a tenth gaze.
We pored over submissions from the best photographers on the trail—shooters who hike for miles with heavy gear to nab unexpected shots—to choose these grab-your-pack-now national park pictures. Here’s how to learn from their techniques, trek to their favorite spots, and bring home your own wall-worthy memories.

Hawaii Volcanoes
Bryan Lowry spent 13 years shooting here before capturing this rare image of lava (erupting from the park’s Pu’u O’o vent) and snow (on 13,679-foot Mauna Kea). After so many attempts, he says, “I knew the trail so well I could navigate it in zero visibility.” Lowry hiked up at night on February 18, 2005, waited for dawn, and was finally rewarded with a brief three-minute window. “My 16th shot was the one I had dreamed of so long before,” he says. Lowry shot at 1/500th of a second to freeze the spattering lava. Then clouds obscured the peak and the volcanic activity ended.

Hike it: After eruptions in early March this year, park officials closed this area to hikers. Go to "Best of the Rest: Hawaii Volcanoes" for an alternate multiday route.
>> Nikon D70; f/8, 1/500

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