During 2009, I had the pleasure of visiting several National Parks including Death Valley, Zion, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and Grand Tetons. There is something very special about vising National Parks. When I drive up to the entrance gate, I feel as though I am entering a sacred land. These are locations of immense history as well as natural beauty.
From a photography standpoint, I also appreciate the photographer friendly approach of the National Park System. Photography permits are not necessary for still photographers, even if you plan on profiting from the images you capture. That is very rare these days! There are of course regulations for commercial shooting with elaborate equipment and extraneous personnel. That makes perfect sense to me.
Oddly enough, here in California State Parks do not provide the same photographer friendly approach as the National Park System. In California’s State parks, you are suppose to obtain a permit for shooting if the intent is to profit off the photos. I don’t know how many people actually do this, but those are the rules.
Needless to say, I fully appreciate the NPS, and all the effort that is put forth to keep these areas accessible to the public. One of my best investments this year was a NPS annual pass. They only cost about $80, but it offers free admission to the National Parks.