Monthly Archives: December 2014

2014: A Year In Review for Rebecca Latson Photography

New Year Becky Camera Glass

Recently, I’ve noticed a number of “Year In Review” blog posts and articles on other sites popping up, so I figured it must be about time for me to publish my own photographic review of the year.

2014 has, indeed, been quite a year for me photographically.  I traveled to and photographed 4 different national parks, 2 airshows, an engagement photo session, 3 weddings, a chamber choir, performers at the Texas Renaissance Festival, the annual migration of ruby-throated hummingbirds into my part of southeast Texas, my Christmas tree with its decorations and bright lights, and I wrote 12 new articles for the National Parks Traveler. It was all great fun, even though I managed to completely destroy two of my favorite Canon lenses, so now I must rent until I can purchase replacements.  Following are examples of my 2014 photography experiences.

The View Along Lost Mine Trail

The view along Lost Mine Trail during a late-April visit to Big Bend National Park, Texas

Strawberry Pitaya Bloom

A strawberry pitaya cactus bloom alongside the Mule Ears Viewpoint trail, Big Bend National Park, Texas

Dipping His Bride

Kyle and Adrienne – the first of 3 weddings

Bride and Groom in Front of The Alamo VIGNETTE

Kevin and Amber – the second of 3 weddings

The Bride and Groom Outside

John (Avery) and Jennifer – the third of the 3 weddings

Bringing In FiFi

Bringing in FiFi, the worlds only  B29 “superfortress” still flying (CAF Air Power History Tour, Dallas, Texas)

Becky Bill and the Stearman

Becky, Bill, and the Stearman Bill piloted:  my acrobatic ride in this plane was the bomb! (CAF Air Power History Tour, Dallas, Texas)

SB2C-5 Helldiver

The SB2C Helldiver at the Wings Over Houston Airshow

Shockwave Jet Truck

The Shockwave Jet Truck at the Wings Over Houston Airshow

The Blue Angels

The Blue Angels at the Wings Over Houston Airshow

Side By Side and Upside Down

Upside Down and Side-By-Side, the Blue Angels at the Wings Over Houston Airshow

The Rising Sun

The rising sun during the sunrise photoshoot at the Wings Over Houston Airshow

Sunrise on the B17G Texas Raiders

The Texas Raiders B17 during the sunrise photo shoot at the Wings Over Houston Airshow

Sunday Morning With A Stearman

Taking a break in front of a Stearman during the sunrise photo shoot at the Wings Over Houston Airshow

A Strip of Gold

A strip of sunlight during a Chugach Mountains morning in Alaska, near Anchorage

Morning Reflection on Nugget Pond - VERT

Sunrise and moonset over Nugget Pond and Mt. McKinley (aka Denali), Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Big Momma

Watching me in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Yellow-Headed Beach Babe

Yellow-headed beach babe in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Kilaueas Glow

 Kilauea’s glow at 3:30 AM, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

The View Beyond The Rainforest

Looking down the trail to Kilauea Iki, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Backlit Wings of Gold

Back-lit ruby-throat

Backlit Ruby Throat

 Juvenile ruby-throated hummingbird

Kings Feasthall Group Photo

The cast, crew and staff of the King’s Feast at the Texas Renaissance Festival

Pride O Bedlam Onstage

The Pride O Bedlam Pirates onstage at the Sea Devil Tavern, Texas Renaissance Festival

The Cannibal Tudors

The Cannibal Tudors onstage at the Sea Devil Tavern, Texas Renaissance Festival

Opening Toast

Opening toast at the King’s Winetasting, Texas Renaissance Festival

Haley Pouring Red

Haley Welsh Wine pouring the red at the King’s Winetasting, Texas Renaissance Festival

Becky at the Kings Winetasting

Mixing business with pleasure at the King’s Winetasting, Texas Renaissance Festival

Bringing Iin The Meat

Bringing in the meat at the King’s Feasthall, Texas Renaissance Festival

Bringing Out The Mugs

Handing out the mugs at the King’s Feasthall, Texas Renaissance Festival

Chicken on A Sword

Chicken on a “stick”, King’s Feasthall, Texas Renaissance Festival

Portrait of Katia

Katia in purple, Gypsy Dance Theatre, Texas Renaissance Festival

Alla

Twirling Alla, Gypsy Dance Theatre, Texas Renaissance Festival

Kira

Kira in blue, Gypsy Dance Theatre, Texas Renaissance Festival

Zaras Sword Dance

Zara’s balancing act, Gypsy Dance Theatre, Texas Renaissance Festival

Tsura

Tsura and her violin, Gypsy Dance Theatre, Texas Renaissance Festival

Red Gold Blue

Red, gold and blue fairies at the Texas Renaissance Festival

Christmas Becky2

Christmas Becky playing with the lights, decorations, her Canon 1DX and the 85mm f1.2 lens

Christmas Cozy

A small, cozy home with a beautiful Christmas tree

Christmas Colors

Christmas colors

2015 is shaping up for what I hope will be an interesting year.  I won’t be traveling to any national parks, probably, due to a 2-week trip to Paris and Normandy (plane ticket purchased, friends in Paris notified, and maps and guidebooks to Normandy open for research), some planned elective surgery recuperation time, and saving that remaining week of vacation for any emergencies that may occur during the year.  If I make it to December with that extra week still intact, then I definitely plan on traveling *somewhere* for Christmas – staying home in Texas for the holidays is not my cup of tea, I’m afraid.  Of *course* you will read about my Paris/Normandy trip; part of that involves retracing my WW II paratrooper father’s route when he jumped over Normandy on D-Day (In June, I’ll post the story he wrote about his D-Day experiences).  As for the rest of 2015, well, that’s still a work in progress.

So, how did *your* 2014 turn out?  Got any plans for 2015?

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all of you and to WordPress, too!

 

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Photography In The National Parks: A Year In Review

The latest photography article on the National Parks Traveler site focuses on all of the articles I and and my fellow contributor have written over the course of a year. See if you’ve missed any of the stories by clicking on this link.

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Christmas Fun With The Cameras, Tree, Decorations and Lights

Christmas Cozy

My home is small, but cozy and bright with neat pictures hanging on the walls (grin)

I actually wasn’t going to put up a tree this year; too many other things going on.  Then, one Saturday evening, I started thinking up photo ops that required the use of a brightly-lit and decorated tree.  So, at 10PM that night, I pulled the tree out of storage; it’s fake and pre-lit so it makes setup and decorating a breeze.

Since the tree has been up, I’ve been milking the photos for all they are worth.  I used my tripod, Canon 1DX and 5D Mk III, and either a 40mm pancake lens, a 24-105mm lens or my prime 85mm f1.2 lens to get the shots you see below.  I love decorations and colored lights, so this has been fun and I’m glad I put that tree up, after all.

H5T1200_Ornaments Lights and A Glass of Wine

Variation On A Theme #1

Bright Lights and Christmas Colors

Czech Glass and Christmas Lights

Christmas Color-Full

Bright Lights and Holiday Colors

Christmas Colors

Here’s wishing all of you a Merry Christmas!

Christmas Becky2

 

 

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The 2014 Commemorative Air Force Airpower History Show in Dallas, TX

Bringing In FiFi

Bringing in FiFi, the world’s only flying B29 superfortress

I have a work colleague to thank for my interest in aviation and in particular, WW II aviation.  WW II warbirds are beautifully photogenic and even more fun to fly in.  If anyone would have told me at some point in my life I would become fascinated with attending airshows like this one, I would have thought they were nuts.

As is usually the way things happen with me, I was surfing the web for something – can’t remember what – when I noticed this link to the CAF Airpower History Tour (a road/runway tour, if you will) coming up in about a month (this was back in September and the airshow was scheduled for Oct 2 – 5).  So, on the spur of the moment, I bought a ticket and booked an aerobatic Stearman ride for Oct 4.

Dallas was a 3-hour drive…..I thought.  In truth, Dallas from where I live is a 5-hour drive.  Totally worth it, though.  I took along both my Canon 1DX and 5D Mk III along with the 24-70mm, 16-35mm, and 70-200mm lenses.

By the time I actually arrived, the parking area was packed.  I had no idea airshows pulled in such crowds.

Looking Out Over The Airshow

Looking Over The Airfield

Looking over it all – the Ladies For Liberty were gracious enough to let me climb onto their stage overlooking the airfield.

Compared to other airshows, this one was relatively small.  Nonetheless, it was filled with neat planes and jeeps of the era, re-enactors, a wonderful singing trio (The Ladies For Liberty) reminiscent of the Andrews Sisters and the veterans themselves, representing all the military branches.  People like me viewed these amazing warbirds; the veterans actually experienced the warbirds.

Ladies For Liberty

The Ladies For Liberty during a performance.

My aerobatic ride on the Stearman was the bomb!  It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.  And the feeling of gravity pulling down as the pilot did maneuvers such as a loop, 2 spins, a roll, a lazy eight, and one other maneuver (can’t remember the name), was crazy!  I squealed with glee wildly every time a maneuver was executed.

Strapped In To The Parachute

Strapped into a parachute…..just in case…

Becky and Bill in the Stearman

Becky and Bill, my pilot, in the Stearman ready for takeoff!

A Primo Ride in FiFi

Regarding the photo above, I had to laugh (at him and at myself for getting outdone):  this guy paid a little over $1500 for the privilege of riding in this primo spot on FiFi, and he used a camera phone…..gah!  I’m saving up so that in 2015, I’m going to ride where this fellow rode on FiFi, the “Flying Fortress”.

Speaking of FiFi and the other large planes:  we all stood relatively close to the planes as they made their way from the runway back to their display location.  During the time those planes kept their engines running, I could hear the deep, loud drone and could feel the power of each plane through the soles of my shoes.  Can you imagine more than one of these great planes out on the airfield, ready to ferry their cargo of soldiers into the war zone?

Underneath The Texas Raiders

Underneath the Texas Raiders B-17.

Texas Raiders Coming In

The Texas Raiders taxiing into her spot.

The CAF is still working on next year’s schedule but it looks like their San Marcos, TX, stop is going to be the closest one to me (which is nice because that’s less than 5-hours to get there).

H5T0176_Stearman Taking Off

Navy Stearman taking off.

Stearman

A Stearman close up.

Gunfighter

The “Gunfighter” P-51.

Texas Raiders Takes To The Air

The Texas Raiders takes to the air.

The Yellow Rose Taking Off

The Yellow Rose B-25 taking off.

Ready For Duty Nose Art

Ready For Duty R4D nose art.  This plane is the navy version of the C-47, which is what my father flew in as a paratrooper during WW II.

Inside the C-47

Inside the R4D.

I’m looking forward to 2015.Becky Bill and the Stearman

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Photography In The National Parks: It’s Not Just About Landscapes or Wildlife

The National Parks Traveler has just published my most recent photography article, and it’s a little different from my norm.  Click on this link to check it out.

 

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Filed under Canon, Canon Lens, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii, hula, National Parks, Photography, Travel, Travel and Photography