New Book Features Stunning, Behind-the-Scenes Images of America’s National Parks and Public Lands
National Parks Eminent Photographer and U.S. Army Veteran Frank Lee Ruggles Releases “Chasing Light: An Exploration of the American Landscape” to Inspire Future Conservationists
June 1, 2017, DENVER, CO -- Military-man-turned-critically-acclaimed-photographer, Frank Lee Ruggles, released Chasing Light: An Exploration of the American Landscape today. Published by Four Winds Trading, the 256-page hardcover coffee table book is a collection of stunning photography featuring 64 of America's natural wonders in rarely seen and hard-to-reach places.
As the Official Eminent Photographer for the United States National Park Service from 2007 - 2011 (a position once held by Ansel Adams), Ruggles was granted unparalleled access to highly-remote locations to photograph national parks during his off-duty hours. Also a former U.S. Paratrooper and member of the legendary 82nd Airborne division, Ruggles used his Ranger skills to capture over 80,000 images for the Park Service Historic Photograph Collection during his four-year assignment. Chasing Light features his favorite images from this personal collection.
"Chasing Light reveals parts of our country that no one ever gets to see, like the view atop of George Washington's head on Mt. Rushmore or photos from deep inside the heart of Death Valley that I took during a 79-mile solo backpacking trip," said Ruggles. "I had to venture completely off grid to get these shots, sometimes disappearing into pristine wilderness for days at a time so I could capture the unseen wonder of America with nothing but 42 lbs. of camera gear on my back."
As one of only a handful of photographers who have been given the honor of Eminent Photographer for the National Parks Service, Ruggles was allowed exclusive access to go in the backcountry of national parks to capture his own images of the true essence of the areas. Also serving as the first-ever Artist Ambassador for the National Parks Trust, Ruggles is dedicating a portion of the proceeds of the book to National Parks Trust to support its Kids-to-Parks program.
"Protecting our national parks and lands has always been very important to me, but when I was putting together this book, it became a personal crusade of mine to use my photographs to reach future conservationists," said Ruggles.
"For years I have been watching as my friend Frank Ruggles chases the light in National Parks all over the country - it is delightful to watch how his passion and sensibility have come together to grace the pages of this beautiful book," said Cristina Mittermier, an award-winning National Geographic Photographer. "His images, like silent ambassadors of everything that is sacred and beautiful in America, will hopefully inspire a new generation to cherish and protect these bastions of hope."
Ruggles’ friend and US Astronaut, photographer, author, and host of TV's "Child Genius,” Leland Melvin, added, “Photographing Earth from the International Space Station, 240 miles above our planet, fundamentally changed me. The stunning imagery taken in Chasing Light is a beautiful and uplifting reflection of what I saw from the Cosmos. Simply breathtaking."
Chasing Light: An Exploration of the American Landscape ($49.95) is available for purchase online at Frank Ruggles will complete a book signing tour this summer at various national parks throughout the country, including Yosemite National Park (June 14-15), Yellowstone (June 25-27), Mesa Verde (July 1-3), Glen Canyon (July 18), and Grand Tetons (Aug 18-20), which will also be a celebration of the first total solar eclipse in the continental U.S. in 38 years. Additional book signings are being scheduled daily.
About Four Winds Trading
Since 2006, Four Winds Trading has provided media products, including music, video, books, audio books, posters, maps, and other products to numerous retail outlets such as National Parks gift shops. With thousands of products covering a wide array of subjects from the natural world, to aviation, and to history, the Colorado-based company tailors the best product combination that matches the destination theme. For more information, visit www.fourwinds-trading.com.
About Frank Lee Ruggles
Frank Lee Ruggles served four years as a U.S. Army Paratrooper, was a First Sergeant in the Virginia State Guard as a Military Police Officer, and parachuted with the 82nd Airborne division into Panama. He was the official Eminent Photographer for the National Park Service from 2007-2011. Ruggles is also the Artist Ambassador for the National Park Trust. His photographic works can be seen in galleries and public buildings across the country, and he is currently in production of a television series where he will take viewers through his favorite National Parks and share how he uses his army skills to get the ultimate shots. For more information, visit http://frankleeruggles.photoshelter.com/index.