QT Luong • Photographing Channel Islands National Park

Finding remote and untouched locations is getting tougher by the day. But we have found you gorgeous islands that can be reached only by boat. QT Luong explains

Channel Islands National Park consists of five craggy islands isolated from the California mainland by turbulent ocean forces, each with its own unique environment. They offer a pristine and diverse coastline, alternating between tall sea cliffs housing many sea caves to sandy deserted beaches. Sometimes compared to the Galapagos Islands, they are home to extensive marine mammal rookeries and nesting seabird colonies. The isolation of the islands over thousands of years has also created unique flora found nowhere else on Earth. I remember reading about them in the French magazine Terre Sauvage, so they are a destination worthy of international travel.

Yet, despite being so close to Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, the islands are little known. Many Californians are not even aware of them. They are lightly traveled and I am always pleasantly surprised by their wildness. In the mornings and evenings, there are only at most few dozen people on each island. Consider adding Channel Islands National Park to a trip to California if you would like to photograph in an uncrowded coastal national park beyond the classics that everybody visits, and if you like hiking and camping. In addition to being out of the way, a visit to Channel Islands National Park is a different experience from your average park visit. You will be arriving...

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About Author


QT Luong is known for being the first to photograph all America’s 59 National Parks – in large format. Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan featured him in The National Parks: America's Best Idea. His photographs are extensively published and have been the subject of four large-format books including Treasured Lands (winner of 6 national book awards), several magazine and newspaper profiles, solo gallery and museum exhibits across the U.S.

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