I want to thank everyone who submitted photos to this assignment, which was one of the more restrictive assignments since it required being in a national park. I also want to thank all the participants on the discussion board for showing me how alive and supportive the Your Shot community can be.
This was an incredibly difficult assignment to edit, and in the end I had to lose many images that were aesthetically amazing but were not as strong on the voices end. I wanted my final selections to embody balance between aesthetic beauty and the connection between the landscape of the parks and the people. I hoped this story would unfold by finding the images that could portray this bond and express the human voice not only through a strong caption but also through an emotional connection that the still frame encourages.
Through your images I discovered a myriad of connections and relationships, ranging from the adventure tourist to the conservationist, from the local inhabitant with centuries of connection to the land to the onetime visitor having a new experience. I saw majestic vistas that dwarfed our human form and perseverance on physical and mental levels that remind me we are a part of nature and can harness its strength when needed. I was enlightened by the mysteries and magnificence you revealed and was reminded to bask in the wonderment of nature.