The National Parks hits #1 spot on Amazon’s Outdoor & Nature Conservation Wildlife category

Ian Shive’s The National Parks: Our American Landscape hit the #1 spot under Amazon.com’s rankings for Outdoor & Wildlife Conservation Wildlife category as well as the #2 spot in Wildlife Fauna and #6 spot overall for Photography Nature & Wildlife.

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About.com features National Parks Book

About.com’s State & National Parks portal has written a great feature on the book as well as providing some useful information about several of the parks featured in the book. The article delves into Ian Shive’s beginnings as a photographer in Montana and the culmination of his career thus far in the book. Click here to read the story.

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Unnatural Color in Utah’s Arches National Park?

Tonight I read a review of my book that – on a whole, felt pretty good. It was written by Kyle Wagner of the Denver Post. You can read it here. In the piece, Ms. Wagner made mention of something that has been a common topic of conversation – not only in the numerous interviews I’ve given – but in many of the lectures and book signings I’ve given. That subject is digital alteration and while Ms. Wagner falls just short of actually calling it that, she did label some of my photos in the book, including one of the opening spreads of Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Utah, as “unnatural” in it’s contrast and saturation. One must wonder how well the book was reviewed as an entire page in the book was dedicated to discussing the strong use of color as well as my techniques for capturing it.

Since I was never invited to an interview by Ms. Wagner, I couldn’t comment or discuss this topic with her, however I’ve decided to post a graphic of my entire digital capture that evening in Arches National Park. As you can see, I stayed out until the very last of the winter light hit the arch. At first the color was boring – perhaps what many editors are accustomed to seeing. But as the clouds, haze and last light of the day moves in – you can clearly see the colors becoming more vibrant, full of shadow and contrast and truthfully – seemingly unnatural. It is exactly this reason why I spend so many late, late hours in the parks, often photographing far beyond sunset. It’s because I realize that almost always I’m out there alone, cold, tired but patient and unrelenting in capturing something that so many people miss because they pack it in early. I’m there to bring these spectacular colors that are natural into your home. As always, I’m happy to share my RAW files with anyone to share the moment as purely as it comes so you, too, can see what I saw that night and know that it wasn’t adjusted or faked or “unnatural.”

The final, circled frame was what was used in the book. Click the graphic below (screengrab from adobe bridge) to see a larger version of how the nights light took shape.

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Ian Shive featured in National Parks Magazine

Ian Shive’s photography assignment is a featured story in the Fall 2009 issue of National Parks magazine, the member benefit magazine of the National Parks Conservation Association. The story follows along the trail of the Kentucky/Tennessee National Parks such as Cumberland Gap, Mammoth Caves and Big South Fork. Sign up today for the magazine and be sure to get your copy to read this feature.

The story is written by Amy Leinbach Marquis who also has an essay in Ian’s new book, The National Parks: Our American Landscape

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