The Maroon Bells are the most photographed mountains in Colorado and among the most photographed in all of North America. They're best photographed in the morning since they catch the first rays of light.
Maroon Bells viewpoint —
The viewpoint and trailhead is a National Forest fee area and can only be reached via bus between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. It's best to get there well before sunrise for a parking spot before the road is closed to private vehicles for the day.
Maroon cascades —
Photographers can't be afraid of getting their feet wet! Beautiful cascades run out of Maroon Lake, but the only way to photograph them is to wade into the stream. Your feet will be numb and people will call you crazy and take photos of you, but it'll be worth it. In spring, there are meadows full of wildflowers (great foreground subjects) further down the canyon.
Snake River —
Wyoming's Snake River Overlook, along the highway in Grand Teton National Park, was made famous by Ansel Adams thanks to his 1942 photograph of the vista.
Ansel Adams —
A quick pause here, to admire the view across the Snake River as taken by Ansel Adams in 1941.
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Popular viewpoint —
Today, busloads of people stop at this viewpoint and every other one along the highway through the park -- far from Adams' wilderness experience more than 70 years ago.
Sunrise views —
Adjoining the western edge of Grand Teton National Park, National Forest land attracts fewer people and no tour buses. Visitors can drive to the top of Saddle Mountain for free camping and a perfect sunrise view of the Tetons.
Lower Falls —
The Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River is the most photographed waterfall in Yellowstone National Park.
Canyon views —
The falls flow into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone that holds almost a dozen viewpoints for the canyon and waterfalls.
Waterfall tricks —
Unfortunately, each viewpoint is always packed and the terrain doesn't allow for much off-trail travel to new vantage points. The best bet here is to change camera settings to try a longer focal length to isolate the falls and a slower shutter speed to blur the motion of the water.
Traffic jams are as common in Yellowstone as they are in any city in the world. Furthermore, people often forget that these animals are still wild and get too close. Yellowstone isn't a zoo and each year people are killed because they get to close to a wild animal.
Wilderness watchers —
Yellowstone is full of wildlife. Bison, elk, deer and chipmunks are commonly seen. If you stick around long enough -- or get really lucky -- you'll see bears or wolves or bighorn sheep.
Long lens —
Give wildlife space and use a long lens to capture the natural movements of animals. It also doesn't hurt to include the surrounding habitat to improve your photo.