The National Park Foundation, the official national non-profit-charity partner of America's National Parks, has produced a 2009 list of the most photogenic U.S. national...

The National Park Foundation, the official national non-profit-charity partner of America’s National Parks, has produced a 2009 list of the most photogenic U.S. national parks for fall foliage.

Its list is made in partnership with Olympus, the sponsor of the Share the Experience photo contest, which is seeking this year’s best photo of the 391 U.S. national parks. The grand-prize-winning photo will be featured on next year’s Federal Recreation Lands Pass and the winner will receive an Olympus E-3 Digital Camera.


This is the logo of the National Park Foundation, the official non-profit charity partner of America's National Parks

This is the logo of the National Park Foundation, the official non-profit charity partner of America's National Parks

The foundation’s 2009 list of the most photogenic parks for fall foliage with expected time frames for peak colors includes:

● Acadia National Park, Maine. Peak colors are expected through October 15;

● Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio. Peak colors expected the third and fourth weeks of October;

● Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Pennsylvania. Peak colors are expected the weekend of October 17th;

● Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina/Tennessee. Peak colors are expected during the last two weeks of October;

● Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Indiana. Peak colors are expected this weekend and for the next 10 days;

● Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, Minnesota. Leaves are already turning; the peak is expected in the next 10 days;

● Mount Rainier National Park, Washington. Peak colors are expected this weekend and for the next 10 days;

● New River Gorge National River, West Virginia. Peak colors are expected during the third week of October,starting around the weekend of the 17th;

● Saratoga National Historic Park, New York. Peak colors are expected this weekend and for the next 10 days; and

● Valley Forge National Historical Park, Pennsylvania. Peak colors are expected during the last two weeks of October.

To help amateur photographers make the most of spectacular fall foliage image-making opportunities, Olympus has five tips for park-goers:

● Is the sun hiding behind the clouds? Don’t be disappointed. Colors can often appear more vibrant in an overcast day.  This type of even lighting is also great for displaying details in the shadows;

● Consider different perspectives for each photo. Look up toward the sky and down toward your feet. You’ll be amazed by the number of interesting subjects available beyond eye level;

● Look for the small details. The landscape vistas will be beautiful with fall colors but close-up photos of small objects such as a single leaf or cluster of fall berries can also make for a striking photo.

● Think about backlighting your subjects on a sunny day. Backlighting is when you intentionally place the main light source behind your subject. Pictures of colorful leaves can be very striking when photographed this way. Also, don’t let the sun shine directly into your lens; and

● Bring a lens-cleaning cloth. When capturing images outside, dust and moisture in the air can build up on the lens’ glass surface. You’ll want to keep it clean so that the light can pass through evenly.

Amateur photographers are invited to submit up to three photos to the Share the Experience contest through December 31, 2009. In addition, at the end of the submission period the public will be invited to vote for their favorite photo. Enter by visiting www.sharetheexperience.org or pick up a brochure and entry form while visiting a Federal Recreation Land this year. Prizes include Olympus digital cameras, trips to a federal recreation area, Federal Recreation Lands Passes and more.

Share the Experience is the official photo contest of America’s national parks and federal recreation lands. Sponsored by Olympus and the National Park Foundation in partnership with the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service, the Share the Experience Photo Contest showcases the more than 500 million acres of Federal Lands and draws entries from all across the United States.

The National Park Foundation is an independent charitable organization that was chartered by Congress in 1967 to strengthen the connection between the American people and their 391 national parks. As the official national non-profit partner of America’s National Parks, the Foundation raises private funds, makes strategic grants, creates partnerships and increases public awareness about the need and opportunity for park philanthropy.

In its 2008 fiscal year, the National Park Foundation distributed grants and program support of $27.3 million.

For more information or to make a contribution (the site provides plenty of opportunities for you to do so ), visit www.nationalparks.org.

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