Along the rugged Atlantic Coast of Nova Scotia, hundreds of small villages and tiny harbors support a fishing fleet that still harvests a living from the sea. From Yarmouth to the northern tip of Cape Breton, every bay, cove, and harbor along the Atlantic Coast of Nova Scotia is a home port to working fishermen. Photographers looking for images should travel the coast of this Canadian Maritime Province. In addition to wildlife preserves and national parks that protect large wilderness areas, the contributions of settlers from many lands can be seen in the Nova Scotia of today. Some of the best lighthouse photography can be found here.
Stovepipe Wells dunes, Zabriskie Point, and Badwater are some of the best places to set up a tripod at sunrise. Photograph the mysterious sliding rocks on the Racetrack. Dante’s View, Ubehebe Crater, and Titus Canyon should be on the list of locations for every photographer. A single creosote bush at the base of a dune at sunrise or a stone on the edge of a salt pond at sunset can also inspire a photographer to create unique images of Death Valley. Be out there at sunrise and sunset and the desert light will inspire you. Death Valley is a wonderful winter destination for nature photographers.
John Ford Point is one of my favorite Monument Valley spots. It’s a great place to be at sunrise and sunset. Maps show which roads and trails are open to the public, which can be explored when accompanied by an authorized Navajo guide. Hire a Navajo guide and use their services to photograph the formation called Yei Bi Chei at sunrise. Learn the best time to photograph the Teardrop Window and how to get a Navajo guide to photograph Canyon de Chelly and Canyon del Muerto.
Autumn color moves into southern Vermont, New Hampshire, and along the coast of Maine during the first two weeks of October, a good time for lighthouse photography. Acadia National Park usually sees the peak of Fall color by October 10, about the same time New York’s Lake District and Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton reaches the peak of color. Mid-October is the best time to drive the Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. State Parks in northern Connecticut see their peak color during the third week of October. Autumn color spreads south, along the Blue Ridge Parkway, to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where the color peaks in late October. Nevada has four great autumn color locations: Rainbow Canyon, Mt. Charleston, Lamoile Canyon, and Wheeler Peak in Great Basin National Park. Cottonwoods in Arizona’s Canyon del Muerto and Canyon de Chelly are bright yellow during the last week of October. Most of the cottonwoods along the Virgin River through Zion National Park are bright yellow in late October. The river level is usually low enough to safely wade up the Zion Narrows.
The most colorful and most beautiful petrified wood in the world is found in the northeastern part of Arizona. The Petrified Forest National Park, an area of 147 square miles, is twenty-four miles east of Holbrook, Arizona. Hike into remote wilderness areas to photograph strange formations that are off the paved roads and the marked trails. Photograph colorful expanses of the Painted Desert from the highest overlooks in the northern reaches of the park and large log jams of brilliantly-colored tree trunks washed into ancient seas. The petrified logs date back 225 million years. The Indian ruins and petroglyphs date back 1,000 years.
Notes and images from Bob Hitchman.