Photographer Quang-Tuan Luong in Ken Burn’s “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”

In my continuing research for my COWBOY NINJA historical western (free to read here), I’ve taken to watching the amazing PBS series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea by Ken Burns. This thing is 6 episodes long, nearly two hours long each, and yes, I watched every minute of it and LOVED IT. As a wonderful and pleasant surprise, I learned the role of some key Asian Americans in the National Parks, so I will embark on putting the spotlight on each of these APIA contributors to our precious National Park treasures. Let’s start with the Quang-Tuan Luong who is the only photographer that has photographed in all of America’s 58 national parks.

Luong was born in Paris to Vietnamese parents. He got his degree in artificial intelligence, but also became an avid rock climber. As a result, he purposefully did his post grad work in California to be near Yosemite Park’s El Capitan, which, if you’re a rock climber (like I pretend to be), is a rock climber’s dream come true. Apparently, in his climbing adventures there, he decided one day that he wanted to photograph in EVERY single United States national park. So, he did, and he got the title of being the only photographer to have taken photographs in all 58 of America’s national parks.

Aside from a guide book full of park stamps to prove it, he of course has a gorgeous gallery of breathtaking landscape photography available for view and purchase on his website, Terra Galleria Photography. As if that weren’t enough, he’s got an amazing publication Spectacular Yosemite with Stuart Booth. You can bet I’m going to surround myself with Luong’s amazing photos for inspiration as I continue writing my 24 book series about a Chinese American boy growing up in the American West!

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