Book Review: Treasured Lands

QT Luong has been photographing America’s national parks for over 20 years, using large format equipment. This book was expected to be spectacular; here’s David Hay with the review

Landscape photography has been very important in the story of the formation of the national parks in America. Politicians saw the early B+W images of these remote but beautiful locations and were persuaded to protect them for future generations. In this new book the author has visited all 59 national parks over a period of more than 20 years. After more than 300 visits, he has compiled this volume of over 500 images which show the beauty and diversity of the national parks. This is truly a labour of love, a once in a lifetime achievement.

QT Luong is a large-format photographer, who has carried his 5X7 camera on his back to some of the most distant parts of the national parks, in all seasons, to bring back these superb images for us all to enjoy. His dedication to this task led to him being featured in the documentary film The National Parks: America’s Best Idea by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan. He is the only photographer to have made large-format photographs in all of the 59 parks.

Content and layout

The book covers each of the parks in turn, detailing their main features and photographic attractions. For every park, there is a selection of images followed by a section showing a map of the photographic locations of all of the images. Smaller thumbnails of the previous images carry detailed descriptions of the circumstances in which they were taken, complete with very detailed guides to the individual trails, the distances and elevation gains, as well as the best time of day and year to go.

There is an obvious problem with detailed field information for visiting photographers being contained in a book that weighs over 3 kilograms. This book weighs more than twice as much as my lightweight travel camera kit with three lenses that I used to photograph some of the parks. The author has solved the problem with ...

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About Author

David Hay

I took up photography at the age of eleven and have been passionate about it ever since. As a retired biologist I still marvel at the beauty of the natural world and try and capture the colours and forms of natural things around me.

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