The Must-Have U.S. National Park Travel Guide for Photographers: 'Treasured Lands'

The Must-Have U.S. National Park Travel Guide for Photographers: 'Treasured Lands'

In 2002, QT Luong became the first person to photograph all U.S. National Parks with a large-format camera. His experience in traveling these beautiful, natural lands is simply inspiring. He was even a featured artist in the epic Ken Burns documentary, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.” With all his knowledge and stories gained from decades of creating stunning imagery across the United States, I feel fortunate that Luong authored his photography book, “Treasured Lands.”

The 456-page book categorizes all 59 national parks based on region: Pacific coast and mountains, Colorado plateau, deserts, Rockies and prairie, eastern hardwoods, Alaska, and tropics. Each park’s chapter begins with a few paragraphs of unique facts and attributes that make the park a special place. Listed next are the park’s establishment date, total square miles, rank in size, annual visitor count, and its rank in popularity. Following that is an orientation section that details how to access the park and navigational routes and tips for traversing around the interior. In the seasons section, Luong identifies the changes that occur depending on the time of the year and how it can affect navigating the park.

Joshua Tree National Park featured inside "Treasured Lands."

The park maps include numbered markers which correspond to key photogenic points inside the park and are detailed alongside Luong’s images taken at the marker. One thing I love about the marked locations is that Luong gives a clear, complete picture of the setting. He describes where it’s located, what you can expect at different times of the year, his recommendations on the best light or things to consider in a composition, and any other necessary precautions he might have learned the hard way from experience. As a photographer or videographer, the advantages of this book over reading a regular tourist travel guide is obvious. It’s really fantastic and fills your head with creative ideas even before you step foot in the park.

I’ve spent some time now writing purely about the informational content of “Treasured Lands,” but I do not want to minimize the incredible photographic talent of Luong as expressed in these pages. His images are perfect companion pieces to the detailed information because they truly inspire wanderlust. The style is straightforward and organic, and makes me believe that what I see is what I’d get if I were standing there. As a photographer, I know that’s really far from the truth, that to photograph and process images in such a way that removes the artist requires incredible skill. Some visual artists enjoy being able to transform a location to fit with their mind’s eye and want themselves to be bluntly seen in the final work, but with Luong’s art I always feel like nature is the one telling me the story. It's remarkable the way he is able to do this so well, and is something I've strived for in my own work.

The book compiles an impressive range of information and photo inspiration that one simply isn’t going to pick up on by looking at Google Earth or learn without spending a lot of time checking out multiple research sources and probably visiting once or twice. For photographers, I’d also recommend getting the e-book version which has zoomable maps, linked navigation to get around sections of the book faster, larger marker photographs, and can be easily accessed while traveling versus carrying around a coffee table book.

The “Treasured Lands” coffee table book can be purchased now from Amazon for $32.33. Once you own the physical book, the DRM-free e-book PDF can be purchased for just $5 from the “Treasured Lands” online store. A standalone purchase of only the e-book is $30.

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jenny lee's picture

Wow that's a great book. So many good pictures that you took. Thanks Ryan

henry wang's picture

Im going to travel soon and this book is a keeper. Thanks a lot Ryan

modern design's picture

Great Topic. It's Admirable. Thanks

Breana Michael's picture

Awesome photos! Nicely shot.

zif tex's picture

As Covid-19 is a contagious disease hence the CDC suggests that people should maintain a distance of six feet from each other. Running can be done solo, it doesn’t necessarily need any arm blaster workout for biceps.One can run at their yard. Listening music or any such things you can enjoy while running that will keep you energetic.

buh ca's picture

Very informative article. I will have to buy that book as soon as possible.

buh ca's picture

Thanks for sharing this great content

buh ca's picture

Very nice article thank you so much! Please post more content like this. Go to for more information

Breana Michael's picture

This is really awesome, glad to see more posts from here.

Q OPain's picture

Thanks for the amazing information. I love it! -

Breana Michael's picture

Glad to check this site again for an informative post.

David Gates's picture

I agree with this. There must be an itemized list of the directory for US national parks. Looking for an excavating service? No worries, you can to this website by clicking the link:

Breana Michael's picture

Thanks for keeping us here updated with great articles.

Concrete Contractor's picture

Pretty good website and the information you shared. Keep sharing the great information.

Gary Dellabyiti's picture

Thank you for this post. Found it very informative.

Gary Dellabyiti's picture

Thank you for this post. Found it very informative.

Gary Dellabyiti's picture

Good job. Very informative article.

Appel Shukurani's picture

Wow Ryan! Thanks for much for sharing your work. It's amazing!

Appel -
Appel -

Charles Vane's picture

Nice shot. Can I share it on our website here:

Dylan Cherko's picture

This is an amazing set of photos. I think this is a great landscape that I need to see.

Devon Bristol's picture

These pictures are amazing!

Dylan Cherko's picture
harrison lee's picture

You, through pictures, people are able to see places where it is located far from them. They do not even have to travel to different locations just to witness how amazing a spot is. That I guess is the beauty of pictues.

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Digital India's picture

Found your post interesting to read. I cant wait to see your post soon. Good Luck with the upcoming update. This article is really very interesting and effective.

pago smith's picture

such a beautiful place! i hope i can go there soon!

James Waxe's picture

very informative post! keep sharing! it really helps a lot!

Joe Hardman's picture

Nice pictures! Keep it up!

Richard Aidoo's picture