America’s Best Idea A Photographic Journey Through Our National Parks by Stan Jorstad, 2006, American Park Network, New York.

These Rare Lands Images of America’s National Parks by Stan Jorstad, 1997
Simon & Schuster Editions, New York.

Stan Jorstad has appeared on CNN and his book These Rare Lands was acknowledged as an extraordinary achievement on the Today Show. His photos have been published by National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Smithsonian Magazine and the National Park Service.


These Rare Lands

These Rare Lands foreword by Robert Redford

America’s national parks were born of a vision of unspoiled wilderness as a shared national heritage, one placed in trust long ago by our country’s leaders for all of us to own.  The first time I truly felt the power of nature was on a visit to one of the parks as a child. I’ll never forget passing through a tunnel carved into a mountain and suddenly before me was the stunning magnificence of Yosemite. It changed me forever. I remember thinking, I want to be part of this—I want to be in it somehow.

Stan Jorstad has spent years in the parks—walking through them, studying their light, photographing them—and in his book These Rare Lands he shares with us his life’s work. His exquisite panoramic photographs made at America’s national parks are not only a unique accomplishment but a profound gift to us all. At once we are inspired by Stan’s own deep feelings about his subject and awed by the grand perfection of our untouched natural world. Just as these places are natural treasures, so too are Stan Jorstad’s images.

To many of us, the preservation of these last wild places is linked to our soul as a nation. How we treat them says much to the rest of the world about America as a society. Today, this natural heritage, which we borrow from our children and theirs, faces an uncertain future. But it is certain that the photographs by Stan Jorstad will never let us forget the rare beauty of our American wilderness and the reason we must protect it.

Mark Strand, former Poet Laureate of America
Excerpts from These Rare Lands

Jorstad's photographs are informed by a deep knowledge of the parks and the light that inhabits them. He is on the lookout for the unusual, the telltale. He lives in the parks until he finds what he is looking for-- that revelatory instant when he believes the essential character of the place is not only disclosed but joined inexplicably with its esthetic potential. At this moment the park's identity is held in virtual balance as it shifts from being part of the natural world to becoming an image of the natural world, its sublimity transformed into a work of art.

Jorstad's photographs draw us back to the parks, but in doing so they provide us with images of nature that fill us with pride, for in them we see a wildness and a brilliance that correspond to the best and most compelling elements in our own nature. Without such images, we would feel estranged not only from the natural world but from ourselves. Stan Jorstad’s photographs are not only beautiful, they are necessary.

Simon & Schuster
Editions from These Rare Lands

From the dusty red sandstone formations of Arches, the miraculous chasm of the Grand Canyon, and the rugged beauty of Yellowstone to the primal forests of the Smokies and the secret mysteries of the Everglades, America’s National Parks are so rich in natural splendor as to defy documentation. But if any photographer can do justice to the subject it is Stan Jorstad, who was one of America’s greatest photographers of the natural landscape. Strongly influenced by his mentor and friend Ansel Adams, Jorstad nonetheless photographed in color and often with the panoramic camera. The dazzling results are unrivaled by the work of any other living photographer and include some of the most astonishing landscape photos ever created.



“Acadia National Park” The National Park Service 75th Anniversary Poster.

“The Art of Perfection” Mitsubishi, 1991 World Print Show.

“Nautilus” a collotype for The Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, Illinois.

“Dolls” Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, Illinois.

“The Great Sand Dunes” National Park in Colorado limited edition continuous tone poster.

“A Celebration of Nature” for the Chicago Botanic Garden.



“Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom” television show with Marlin Perkins and Jim Fowler. 


Book Reviews review of These Rare Lands:

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, this book –with its hundreds of breathtaking photos of America’s National Parks—is a well-stocked bookstore. Accompanied by the words of poet laureate Mark Strand, These Rare Lands is a perfect coffee-table book for anyone who has enjoyed the wonder of nature’s wildest places. From a storm over Sequoia National Park in California to the other worldly stalactites and stalagmites of New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns and the Atlantic sunrise in Maine’s Acadia, this is a book that draws you back again and again. Photographer Stan Jorstad’s obvious love of nature comes through in the thoughtful approach he takes to his life’s work, contained in the pages of These Rare Lands.

From the Library Journal review of These Rare Lands:

Landscape photographer Jorstad traveled numerous times to each of this country’s 54 national parks to capture the unique beauty found in each. Arranging the photos chronologically by the date each park was established lends an interesting perspective to this all-color collection of largely panoramic views; by focusing on unique angles and subject matter, Jorstad offers an alternative to more traditional tourist-vista collections. While the large-format photos convey a sense of space and grandeur found in the parks, some of the most striking images are the smaller-format close-ups of more mundane subjects that benefit from scrutiny. Accompanied by text from former American Poet Laureate Strand and a brief foreword by actor Robert Redford, this top-notch work offers a most inviting glimpse of world-renowned scenery. Highly recommended for most public libraries and color photography/landscape collections.

Tim Markus, Evergreen State College Librarian, Olympia, Washington. Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.