Picture Ebook Evaluation: “Our Nationwide Monuments” by QT Luong

A vital tome for any photographer who visits and values public lands

Photo of Our National Monuments book cover

One in all my favourite methods to get pleasure from and study nature pictures is thru printed books and through the years, I’ve collected a big, numerous assortment. Many of the books on my bookshelf match properly right into a single class: portfolio, planning useful resource, reference, cultural/pure historical past, or pictures training.

Typically a ebook may match into two of those classes, however it’s uncommon to discover a publication that’s all of these items in a single quantity. As a result of they’re each so complete and obtain a stage of excellence in every of those areas, Our National Monuments: America’s Hidden Gems and Treasured Lands: A Photographic Odyssey by means of America’s Nationwide Parks, each by QT Luong, are important books for any photographer who values and visits public lands in america.

Though I personal and worth each books, this overview is targeted on Our Nationwide Monuments. I purchased Our Nationwide Monuments in the course of the pre-order section and after I acquired it, I flipped by means of the images and browse among the essays introducing every nationwide monument.

My preliminary impression was fairly optimistic: lovely printing on substantial paper, a complete narrative about every monument, and in-depth photographic protection to convey the textual content to life. I lately used Our Nationwide Monuments to assist plan a future pictures journey and this expertise with the ebook made me respect it much more.

Beginning with a foreword written by former Secretary of the Inside Sally Jewell and an in-depth introduction protecting the origin of nationwide monuments together with an summary of the conservation points going through these lands, the remainder of the ebook is organized by state. Inside every state, particular person chapters concentrate on one nationwide monument (the ebook covers twenty-seven nationwide monuments in complete).

Photo of a photo book


Every chapter opens with a story, often written by a nonprofit group that helps and advocates for every park, that represents the attitude of these closest to the monument and presents context concerning the panorama. A complete collection of full-page images from round every nationwide monument follows, protecting the main highlights, some lesser-known spots, and extra intimate views.

After the images, Luong offers reference data together with a useful overview map, orientation data, an summary of the park’s seasons, and a dialogue about every of the previous images.

When taken individually, every of those chapters offers a superb introduction to every monument: the native perspective, a way of the conservation points, context for the world’s geography, pure and cultural historical past, helpful journey planning sources, and concepts for a way a pictures journey may work. When taken collectively, Our Nationwide Monuments is an unimaginable achievement as a piece offering inspiration, data, and advocacy in a single quantity.

Photo of photo book

Writing about public lands in america is an advanced endeavor proper now. With the COVID pandemic encouraging extra individuals to get exterior, persistent underfunding for federal parks and public lands, ever-changing public coverage, and social media making data way more accessible, locations like nationwide parks, monuments, and different federal lands are below a variety of stress.

With these developments in thoughts, the tendency amongst conservation-minded nature photographers appears to be to guard data as an alternative of sharing it, with the hope of protecting some locations off the overwhelmed path. With Our Nationwide Monuments, Luong has chosen a unique strategy.

Photo of photo book

By offering context about every place, details about the very actual threats to a few of these landscapes and exhibiting vital reverence for every place by means of each the writing and the pictures, this ebook has the potential to encourage a a lot deeper appreciation for these comparatively unknown public lands. Even when this ebook will convey extra guests to a few of these locations, it takes a accountable, respectful strategy to educating extra individuals concerning the significance of America’s nationwide monuments and hopefully helps construct a much bigger, extra invested constituency for safeguarding particular locations throughout america.

For all these causes, I extremely advocate Our National Monuments as an important a part of any pictures ebook assortment.