The grandeur of America’s national parks so inspired QT Luong, he quit a career in computer science, and embarked on a decades-long project to photograph all 59 parks, from Acadia National Park to Zion.
Like Ansel Adams before him, Luong has lugged his heavy large-format camera to some of the wildest and most scenic spots in the country, at times carrying a 70-pound backpack, scaling cliffs or kayaking through frigid waters.
And long before Ken Burns featured him in “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea” in 2009, as the first person to have photographed all the parks in large format, Luong has been sharing his finely detailed photographs on his Web site.
With photography, Luong tells us, he aims to “convey my feelings of wonder and passion, to inspire people to go and seek the experiences that I had.”
In Acadia, he finds wonder not in the immensity of the scenery, as in Yosemite, his sentimental favorite. Rather, Luong writes us in an e-mail, “I always find the compactness of the park remarkable, that you can find such a variety of landscapes in such a small area.”
Among his favorite landscapes from the variety that is Acadia: The pink granite along Ocean Drive; the fall colors on top of Cadillac; the rugged coastline of Isle au Haut; and sunset skies over Jordan Pond, as seen from the top of North Bubble.
The park’s beauty lends itself well to large-format photographs because they “have such fine resolution that the prints show details that are usually lost to the human eye,” says Luong. “Acadia’s landscapes have a tremendous amount of texture, down to the single leaf, which are best revealed by this approach.” Continue reading