Views From Inside the Park
Cover Photo: Alex Krowiak // Glacier Bay National Park, AK
Nature consistently delivers the awe. And for photographers trying to capture that awe that makes you say “whoa” when looking at their images, the act of attempting to get that on film is humbling to a degree that only the great outdoors can achieve. In between adventures, the following photographers tried their best to get into words how nature humbles them. Or at least their perspective on it.
Kylie Fly // Zion National Park, UT
Kylie Fly is an Idaho-grown professional photographer who picked up her camera over 14 years ago and found her life’s work behind the lens. She believes in the human experience and creating a space that fosters real and meaningful connections with others and the landscape. Thriving in documenting adventures surrounding the badass people we know and love who pursue life with passion and grit.
A fear of heights drove me to start rock climbing. I had the opportunity to photograph Lena Palms as she gracefully ascended a rock climbing route called Ashtar Command in Zion National Park. There’s something particularly humbling about scaling a rock face thousands of feet into the air while also seeing the bustle of cars and visitors just below. A perfect blend of two worlds, walking by foot in the horizontal world and rising into the vertical. Nature has a way of humbling all of us to reach inside and see what we’re truly capable of.
Adam Bove // Grand Teton National Park, WY
Adam Bove is a commercial and lifestyle director and photographer living in Colorado and working worldwide. His passion for imagery and the outdoors is what drives his work and keeps him looking forward to the next adventure.
The Grand Tetons are absolutely and utterly unforgettable in their majesty; jutting from the Earth in rocky, towering pillars of granite, they make you do a double take every time you catch sight of them. Even when you drop into a distant valley, expecting to see only an oxbow stream meandering its way through willows and conifers, there they are, towering in the distance, never truly letting you forget.
Kate Rolston // Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO
Kate Rolston is a photographer and director currently living in Colorado. After starting her career as an ad exec in NYC, she decided she was much more comfortable behind the camera and has since traveled around the world telling stories for brands, documenting new experiences and meeting new faces. Kate is passionate about creating imagery that evokes an emotion, and loves the feeling of being in the moment when she is behind the lens.
I feel like nature is the ultimate mother—she gives you what you need, not always what you want. Whether that’s a summer rainstorm passing through the mountains or a glimpse of a wild animal, nature calls on you to be present. When I am in nature I feel small in the best possible way. I feel part of something bigger than myself and that’s humbling.
Jeremy Koreski // Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, AK
Jeremy Koreski was born and raised in the coastal Canadian town of Tofino, British Columbia. He began taking photographs at age 13 when his father, a local oyster farmer, gifted him a Canon AE-1 camera.
The pilots at Ultima Thule Lodge had told us about this ice tube and that the year before it was only about six feet across. When we landed at the glacier via Super Cub [Piper bush airplane] we could see it had grown. The power of water chewing through these glaciers was mind-blowing.
Art Wolfe // Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI
Award-winning Canon Legend Art Wolfe has worked on every continent documenting the dazzling beauty of Earth’s wildlife, landscapes and diverse cultures. An artist and educator, he leads photo tours, has published over 100 books in eight languages and hosted several TV shows.
I am deeply humbled by nature’s generosity and capacity for renewal of both itself and of our souls when we experience it. Nature can be vast or intimate: millions of acres or the pocket park next door, the ocean or a pond. It can be cataclysmic or life-affirming, and sometimes both at the same time.
In this time of unprecedented climate change and environmental degradation, the U.S. national parks protect some of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes and compelling wildlife. However, nature is far more than the stunning vista and charismatic megafauna. It is life itself and it is in the face of this unparalleled power that I am fully aware of just how unhumbled our species is.
Dane Deaner // Yosemite National Park, CA
Dane Deaner is a travel and lifestyle photographer from Los Angeles, California. Over the last decade, he passionately explored the Eastern Sierra—publishing a book with all of his favorite shots—and has recently started his next decade of exploration in the Western Sierra.
Nature is my reminder that there is nothing more important in life than relationships and experience. Standing on that ridge, looking out over a seemingly endless horizon, I can’t help but feel my inconsequential problems fade away. This fresh reminder of just how small and replaceable we are ignites this fire in me to live as much as I can in this short time we have on this Earth. Nature has an unexplainable way of telling you exactly what you need to hear without saying anything at all.
Alex Krowiak // Glacier Bay National Park, AK
Alex Krowiak is a San Diego-based photographer working to tell stories that bridge the gap between people and nature. He works as an expedition guide and photographer with Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic, traveling the world on small ships like a budget Steve Zissou.
What began as a single snowflake falling became billions that compressed under their own weight and morphed into ice. Over hundreds of years, the glacier grew hundreds of feet thick and like a river of ice, moved down mountain slopes following the path of least resistance. In its wake, it left a landscape transformed—scraping rock, creating valleys and carving mountains. At the ocean’s edge, the sound of thunder ricochets through these glacial valleys as the warm water eats away at the ice and breaks off icebergs that will then float, melt and begin the cycle again. A single snowflake that goes on to create literal landscapes. Now that’s humbling.
Forest Woodard // Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
Forest Woodward is a visual artist based in the Gunnison Valley of Colorado. He enjoys deep canyons and shallow conversations. Or at least one of those things.
I have found that in nature we are able to access a connection to a sense of wonder and awe for forces of time and geology beyond our comprehension. In relation to these forces, we feel our smallness and the impermanence of our existence. Coming into contact with nature on the scale of the Grand Canyon is perhaps one of the greatest reminders I have ever experienced of how small we are in the world—a truly humbling experience. As you float and row through layers of geological time you are reminded both of the beauty of the world, and the deep scales of time and natural elemental forces that shape this place. While the impact of humans is not inconsequential, the scales and timelines on which nature moves is truly beyond our ability to comprehend, and in this I find a great sense of appreciation, wonder and humility.