Wildlife

Looking Hopeful

Looking Hopeful

While this little guy photographed next to the Grand Canyon Lodge on the North Rim is looking hopeful for a handout, please remember that ALL wildlife – even the cute little ones – are dangerous. A bat collected at Phantom Ranch in Grand Canyon National Park has tested positive for rabies. To read the article in the National Parks Traveler, click on the link.

https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/…/bat-tests-positive-…

Remember: never touch, feed, or approach the wildlife, no matter how badly you want a closeup or a selfie with the animal. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen someone try to get a closeup of a little chipmunk or squirrel with their smartphone, getting as close as 12 inches or less in come cases. Even the little cute ones can pack a hurtful bite.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

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Filed under Grand Canyon National Park, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, North Rim, Photography, wildlife

The Dawn Of A New Weekend

The Beginning Of Sunrise

The beginning of sunrise at Upper Inspiration Point in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
It’s the dawn of a new weekend, folks. What are your plans? Eventually, mine will include a trip up to Mount Rainier, but for *this* weekend, my plans are to help around the house with some rebuilding while feeling thankful that I have an intact home,  electricity and that I’m not surrounded by the aftermath of a hurricane.
 
The weather is beginning to feel more like fall, here in Central Washington. It’s 46 degrees F this morning! Soon, the leaves will begin to change color. I’m loving it.
 
As for the photo, this shot was captured handheld. Usually, I’d have a tripod with me for sunrise images, but on this morning, I just didn’t feel like lugging a heavy tripod up a steep trail to reach Upper Inspiration Point. Instead, I used my hiking pole to help me get up to this view area, then set the camera’s ISO to 320, the aperture to 7.1 and the shutter speed to 1/30 and used the burst method of holding down the shutter button to get several shots. 320 is not a very high ISO for a handheld shot in low light, so I was surprised, myself, that the photo turned out well. I did have to do a little post-process lightening to bring out the geologic structures below the horizon, and I also applied some noise (grain) removal to the shot. Because I was using the 24-70mm lens, there was no image stabilization I could apply. While this speaks well for just handholding a camera, I still am a strong adherent of using a tripod under most circumstances – particularly since there are some techniques that require a tripod (like time-lapse photos and slow shutter speed images for silky water or surreal clouds or most low-light situations, really).
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Bryce Canyon National Park, Canon, Equipment, National Parks, Photography, Seasons, summer, sunrise, Utah

The Bryce Canyon Armchair Photography Guide

Monsoon Rains Over Bryce Amphitheater

Every morning (even when on the road) one of the first things I do after waking up and dressing is to post a photo on the National Park Traveler’s Instagram account @national_parks_traveler. To do that, I go online to the Traveler’s site to see what photo I have in my library might fit with one or more Traveler articles. It was then that I saw my latest Armchair Photography Guide had been published. For this month, the Armchair Photography Guide features Bryce Canyon National Park. So, I posted a shot of Bryce Canyon on Instagram, and, if you want to go check out the article, itself, then just click on the photo above (and maybe check out the Traveler’s Instagram account, too, while you are at it).

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

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Filed under Armchair Photography Guide, Bryce Canyon National Park, Equipment, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Photography In The National Parks, Travel, Utah

Splendid Isolation

Splendid Isolation

It was indeed splendid isolation that day. I stood on the Rim Trail between Inspiration and Sunset Points, all by myself, feeling the breeze in my face and enjoying the vast view. It was the monsoon season and the “thunderbumpers” were moving swiftly toward my area. I knew I needed to hightail it back to the lodge, like all the other sensible people were doing, but I kept having to stop to capture a photo of the scene. I did finally make it back to the Sunset View Point just as the rain began to pummel people still out there. I jogged over to one of the cabins to stand underneath the roof of the cabin’s patio as the rain, thunder and lightning continued. Of course, I was soaking wet already, but at least I was out of the elements. It’s never a good idea to be standing in a thunderstorm because of the lightning strikes, which occur with regularity in the high, exposed altitudes. 

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

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Filed under Bryce Canyon National Park, Canon, Geology, Landscape, National Parks, Photography, Seasons, summer, Travel, Utah, Utah, weather

All Moved In

Becky And Her Storage Unit 2

Becky and her stuff

I now feel like an official Washington State Citizen. I have my WA driver’s license, WA plates on my little car, WA car insurance, and my stuff arrived from Texas last week and is now ensconced in a nice, roomy storage unit, for the time being.

I lived in WA 23-some years ago (Seattle), moving to southeast TX to be with my aging parents.  Now that they are gone, I feel like I am finally home again, sort of like a prodigal daughter returning. And it feels great! Chilly mornings (I can wear my fleece again!), dry heat (no humidity), cool evenings, local fresh fruits and vegetables, local wineries, living within driving distance of national parks and other amazing photo ops, sitting around a glowing chiminea at night sipping whiskey with my sister and her son and playing with the Great Dane, and enjoying not worrying about hurricanes and flooding every 6 months.

Sure feels good to be home, again.

Becky And The Storage Unit 1

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Filed under family, Life, Photography, Travel, Washington State

A Low-Key Sunrise

A Low-Key Sunrise At Sunrise Point

Here’s a low-key sunrise at Sunrise Point in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, to help most of you start out what might be a rather low-key start to your work week after a long Labor Day weekend.

I captured this image during my July return visit to this national park. I was planning on hiking a part of the Fairyland Loop Trail down to Tower Bridge, so decided this would be a good opportunity to get there pre-dawn and photograph a summer version of sunrise. I like to re-visit favorite places in national parks during different times of the year, because the angle of the sun changes from season to season. On this particular day, however, the sunrise way to my left was hidden behind some clouds, so while the landscape and morning were both still lovely, the light from the sunrise was rather muted.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

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Filed under Bryce Canyon National Park, Canon, National Parks, Photography, sunrise, Travel, Utah

Where Did The Trail Take You This Weekend?

Interior Canyon Scenery At Walhalla Overlook

A telephoto exploration of the canyon depths at Walhalla Point
North Rim, Grand Canyon National Park

It’s the last day of the Labor Day Weekend. I hope this long weekend takes, or has taken, you somewhere awesome. This is the first time in about 3 years that I have not found myself traveling to a national park over the holiday. Usually, I’d be flying somewhere on vacation out of Texas on the Friday before Labor Day, then spending the entire week photographing in a national park somewhere West of the Rio Grande. This year, I’m instead preparing for the movers to arrive at my storage unit tomorrow to deposit the sum total of my past 20 years living in Texas. I’m just fine with that. I now live in a photographically amazing state and am within 1-1/2 hours of Mount Rainier National Park. (insert Big Happy Emoji Face here)

The shot above, is a 100-400mm telephoto of canyon detail at Walhalla Point on the North Rim. I spent the day driving the road and exploring the stops leading to the end point of Cape Royal.  Luckily, I’d arrived there before the forest fires in that park had gotten so large that they had to close down this particular road for a bit.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Arizona, Canon, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, Canon Lens, Geology, Grand Canyon National Park, Landscape, National Parks, North Rim, Photography, Seasons, summer, Travel