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America’s National Park system consists of over 60 parks spread out over the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and overseas territories. It all started in 1872, with Yellowstone National Park being declared the first one. The purpose was to preserve and protect the nation’s unique landscapes and cultural sites. As an avid landscape photographer, I have made an effort over many years to visit and photograph as many parks as possible. I am currently based in the state of Oregon, whose lone national park is Crater Lake. I have had several opportunities to spend time there as it is just two hours from my home.
The lake was formed after the collapse of a volcano over 7000 years ago. Formed entirely from rain and snow melt, it is the deepest lake in the United States and one of the deepest in the world. Due to its great depth the lake takes on a deep blue color. Depending on weather conditions, one can see some magnificent reflections on the still surface.
On this particular day, I noticed the formation of billowing clouds in the blue sky. I walked up a trail to a vantage point high above the lake. From this position I was able to achieve a pleasing composition which included a large part of the caldera surrounding the lake and Wizard Island. The reflection of the puffy white clouds and the deep blue sky completed the image. Anyone wishing to experience nature at its finest and witness one of the world’s true wonders should spend some time at Crater Lake.