So, what is the secret to photograph some of the National Parks? Do you have to research each site, check the projected weather conditions, check the sunrise, check the sunset, figure out the correct place to be, etc.? For most of the professional photographers out there, their answer would be "Yes" and they would have another 10+ things they might be researching or thinking of. Me, I'm not that meticulous and I'm not a professional photographer. I do it for fun and I do it when I happen to be at a certain location. Nothing is ever really planned except I know a day ahead where I am going to hike and where there might be some photo opportunities.
Which brings me to this photograph seen on the Outdoor Eyes home page on the website. Where was I at this moment? Well, sometimes during the winter months, when it's bitterly cold outside, my wife and I would meet some of our friends early in the morning at McD's in Estes Park, CO. During the winter months, McD's would have a $1.00 breakfast special of hotcakes. We would bring a banana, strawberries, granola and place them on the 1 order of hotcakes and share the breakfast together while talking with a lot of friends that happen to be there at the early breakfast hour.
Well, this particular morning, we pulled up to McD's and this is what we saw. We jumped on to the stone wall to gain additional height for the photograph and within 5-7 minutes, the view in Rocky Mountain National Park was gone. So, to answer your question of where you need to be to photograph the National Parks? Anywhere that you can see a National Park as you never know what you might see. Sometimes, good luck photography works quite well in your direction.