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U.S. National Parks Foundation releases list of "most photogenic parks" this fall  
Thursday, October 8, 2009 | by Rob Galbraith
The U.S. National Parks Foundation has announced their list of the ten U.S. parks expected to offer the best fall foliage pictures in the weeks ahead. The announcement has been made in conjunction with the Share The Experience photo contest, sponsored by Olympus.

More information is in the press release below.

Press Release

National Park Foundation: Top Ten Parks for Fall Foliage '09
Olympus Gives Tips on Taking Stunning Photos as Share the Experience Photo Contest Continues

WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Park Foundation released today the 2009 list of the most photogenic parks for fall foliage. The announcement is made in partnership with Olympus, the proud sponsor of the Share the Experience photo contest, which is seeking this year's best photo of the 391 national parks. The grand prize winning photo will be featured on next year's Federal Recreation Lands Pass and will receive an Olympus E-3 Digital Camera.

The 2009 list of the most photogenic parks for fall foliage with expected time frames for peak colors:

  • Acadia National Park, ME
    Peak colors are expected now through October 15(th).

  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OH
    Peak colors expected the third and fourth weeks of October.

  • Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, PA
    Peak colors are expected the weekend of October 17(th).

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC/TN
    Peak colors are expected during the last two weeks of October.

  • Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, IN
    Peak colors are expected this weekend and for the next ten days.

  • Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, MN
    Leaves are already turning; the peak is expected in the next ten days.

  • Mount Rainier National Park, WA
    Peak colors are expected this weekend and for the next ten days.

  • New River Gorge National River, WV
    Peak colors are expected during the third week of October, starting around the weekend of the 17(th).

  • Saratoga National Historic Park, NY
    Peak colors are expected this weekend and for the next ten days.

  • Valley Forge National Historical Park, PA
    Peak colors are expected during the last two weeks of October.

To help amateur photographers make the most of the opportunities, Olympus offered the following tips to park-goers:

Sun hiding behind the clouds? Don't be disappointed. Colors can often appear more vibrant in an overcast day. This type of even lighting is also great for displaying details in the shadows.

Consider different perspectives for each photo. Look up toward the sky and down toward your feet. You'll be amazed by the number of interesting subjects available beyond eyelevel.

Look for the small details. The landscape vistas will be beautiful with fall colors but close-up photos of small objects such as a single leaf or cluster of fall berries can also make for a striking photo.
Think about backlighting your subjects on a sunny day. Backlighting is when you intentionally place the main light source behind your subject. Pictures of colorful leaves can be very striking when photographed this way. Also, don't let the sun shine directly into your lens.

Bring a lens cleaning cloth. When capturing images outside, dust and moisture in the air can build up on the lens' glass surface. You'll want to keep it clean so that the light can pass through evenly.

Amateur photographers are invited to submit up to three photos to the Share the Experience contest through December 31, 2009. In addition, at the end of the submission period the public will be invited to vote for their favorite photo. Enter by visiting or pick up a brochure and entry form while visiting a Federal Recreation Land this year. Great prizes include: Olympus digital cameras, trips to a federal recreation area, Federal Recreation Lands Passes and more!

Share the Experience is the official photo contest of America's national parks and federal recreation lands. Sponsored by Olympus and the National Park Foundation in partnership with the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service, the Share the Experience Photo Contest showcases the more than 500 million acres of Federal Lands and draws entries from all across the United States.

The National Park Foundation is an independent charitable organization chartered by Congress in 1967 to strengthen the connection between the American people and their 391 national parks. As the official national non-profit partner of America's National Parks, the Foundation raises private funds, makes strategic grants, creates innovative partnerships and increases public awareness about the need and opportunity for park philanthropy. In its 2008 fiscal year, the National Park Foundation distributed grants and program support of $27.3M.

Olympus Imaging America Inc. is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering award-winning products for consumer and professional markets. Olympus Imaging America Inc. works collaboratively with its customers and its ultimate parent company, Olympus Corporation, to develop breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality that enhances people's lives every day. For more information, visit:

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