Category Archives: 5DSR

Winter In Glacier National Park – A Preview

Afternoon At Lake McDonald

An afternoon view from the south end of Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park, Montana.

Call this post a preview of my MLK-weekend trip to Montana and Glacier National Park.  I’ll have a longer, different version published in February in the National Parks Traveler.

In a roundabout way, I owe this 3-day jaunt (not counting the day to get there and the day to return to TX) to my company taking away a “floating holiday” (to be used at each employee’s discretion).  I always used those floating holidays  in conjunction with a planned vacation.  In return, the company gave to us what the masses apparently wanted:  Martin Luther King Day.

Hey, I have absolutely nothing against MLK day.  A holiday is a holiday.  But I much preferred that floating holiday to use as I wished, versus a “fixed” holiday.  So, I decided in an I’ll-show-them sort of way to take a long weekend and head on out someplace away from Texas (all of my vacations are taken away from this state in which I’d rather not be).  I’d been hankering for some winter weather, instead of the humid 78-degree weather here in SE Texas (I want my winters to look and feel like winter, dammit).  To that end, I flew to Montana and snow shoed in Glacier National Park.

It was heaven on earth, despite the sub-zero temps.

Frost On The Tripod

-4 degrees F and frost on the tripod.

Icy Color

Colorful icicles off the side of Hwy 2 just before entering Hungry Horse, on the way to the park.

Icicles

Some very long icicles at the West Glacier entrance to the park.  I look like a bright pink beluga whale but I’m definitely warm.

Moonset On Lake McDonald

Moon set during the pre-dawn hours at Lake McDonald.  It was silent except for the ice cracking and the distant hooting of an owl.

Icy Morning

The look of sub-zero at Lake McDonald.

Sunrise Over Lake McDonald II

A frosty sunrise at Lake McDonald.  The mountains were still in hiding that morning.

Little BirdiesDeer In The RoadSnow Path Along The Shorelinen6a1458_snow-path-through-the-tall-trees

Scenes while snow shoeing near Lake McDonald Lodge in the park.  The lodge was as far as the Going-To-The-Sun Road was open.

Lake McDonald Afternoon Reflection IILake McDonald Winter Reflections

Late afternoon brought out the mountains, along with some clear skies and lake reflections.

So, thank you, Company, for the MLK Day, because if you had not taken away a floating holiday and given us this day off instead, I doubt I would have given second thought to a deep-winter photography trip to Glacier National Park.  And that would have been a shame.

Evening Blues And Pinks

Good night, Glacier National Park.  See you in September 2017.

 

 

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Filed under 5DSR, Canon, Glacier National Park MT, Photography, Uncategorized

Happy Halloween, Bitches – er, I mean – Witches!

Halloween Becky 3

Halloween Becky 

I recently received a new hand-made felted-wool witch hat from Etsy.  I decided to have a little fun with some self-portraits and studio lighting in my “studio”.  Actually, I live in an apartment and don’t have an official (aka proper) studio.  Instead, I have a couple of lights on stands with translucent umbrellas, all in my living room.  I covered the livingroom window with a black fleece sheet and set up my tripod and Canon 5DSR and Canon 85mm f1.2L lens at the other end of the room.  One studio light was above and looking down at me while the other light was below and looking up at me.  After I processed the photos using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, I ran them through Perfect Photo Suite 9 Effects presets and filters for the final product.

Halloween Becky 3

Halloween Becky – original shot

Halloween Becky 2

Halloween Becky #2

Halloween Becky 2

Halloween Becky – Original Shot

Halloween Becky 2

And for good measure, I decided to have a little fun with black & white (Silver Efex 2) and Adobe Photoshop’s history brush tool.

Halloween Becky 3

Happy Halloween, Everybody!  May you receive all the good candy (Kit Kat, Snickers, Starburst, Heath Bar).

 

 

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Filed under 5DSR, 85mm f1.2L, Canon, Canon Lens, Halloween, Portraits

Morning Storm Clouds

Storm Clouds In The Morning

I finished every single one of my errands/chores yesterday so I could drive out to the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge this morning to see what might be there: tall grass and reeds and cattails with lots of water but not much birdlife – at least, not in the area in which I found myself and nothing near to me and my 500mm lens. The clouds on this morning, however, were dark and fluffy and big and presaged the coming storms predicted for today. So I pulled out the other tripod and my Canon 5DSR with the 16-35mm f//4 IS lens, affixed a circular polarizer to it and used my grad ND filter to bring out the texture in the clouds.

Clouds are a photographer’s best friend. They add drama and character to an already lovely scene and can really spice up an otherwise ordinary or ho-hum scene. The thing about photographing awesome clouds, though, is that you also need a frame of reference or some scale. So don’t just photograph the clouds themselves. Your viewers won’t know whether this was a horizon-filling scene or just a small spot in the sky. Add some ground or buildings or *something* to the cloud scene.

Copyright Rebecca L Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under 5DSR, Brazoria NWR, Canon, Landscape, nature, Photography, Texas, Uncategorized, Wildlife Refuge

Banff/Jasper National Parks Armchair Photography Guide

Sunrise At Lake Louise

My latest article for the National Parks Traveler has been published this morning.  It’s another one of my Armchair Photography Guides and deals with Banff National Park, Canada, with a little bit of Jasper National Park thrown in.  Click on the photo to go check out the article.

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Canon 14mm & 24mm Lenses and A Trip To Brazos Bend State Park, Texas

(Note:  this is not a full, thorough, pixel-peeping review of either lens.  If you are looking for that, you won’t find it in this post).

14mm View of Creekfield Lake Other Side2

A 14mm View of Creekfield Lake, Brazos Bend State Park, Texas (Canon 5DSR body)

I recently purchased a Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II lens from Lensauthority and wanted to try it out at Brazos Bend State Park, here in Texas.  I live about 25 minutes away from the park and this was the perfect venue for some super-wide angle shots.  I loaded up the Canon 5DS and 5DSR camera bodies with these lenses and hit the road.

You might not think there is much difference between a 16-35mm and 14mm lens, but there actually is.  It’s not huge, but it’s still a difference.  And, in retrospect, what I should have done was take along the 16-35mm lens to show that difference.  Maybe next time.

I like prime lenses.  I know that many reviews say the newer versions of the zoom lenses are just as sharp as the primes.  But I still think prime lenses are a teeny bit sharper (although I do love my 24-70mm and 16-35mm  lenses which I travel with exclusively).

I like the 14mm lens for the interesting perspective such a super-wide gives.  It’s perfect for landscapes and for architecture (interior views, especially).  This lens is going with me on my late March Big Bend National Park trip to photograph the cactus blooms.

14mm View of Creekfield Lake

Another  14mm View of Creekfield Lake, Brazos Bend State Park, Texas (Canon 5DSR body)

I also purchased a Canon 24mm f/1.4L II lens from BH Photo.  It’s not the super-wide angle that the 14mm lens is, but it’s a gorgeous lens nonetheless which produces wonderfully sharp images, and I find that I use the 24mm focal length quite a bit for my landscapes.  As I mentioned earlier, I do like the primes (although the zooms are far more practical to take on a trip, I admit).

24mm View of Creekfield Lake Other Side

A 24mm View of Creekfield Lake, Brazos Bend State Park, Texas (Canon 5DS body)

So the 24mm lens is going along with the 14mm lens to Big Bend National Park.  As is my Canon 100mm macro lens and my Canon 100-400mm lens.  Aside from the telephoto, this next Big Bend trip is going to be a prime lens-kind of trip.

24mm View of Creekfield Lake

Another 24mm View of Creekfield Lake (cropped just a little to make it more panoramic-ish), Brazos Bend State Park, Texas (Canon 5DS body)

 

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Filed under 5DS, 5DSR, Brazos Bend State Park, Canon, Canon 14mm f/2.8L II, Canon 24mm f/1.4L II, Canon Lens, Equipment, Landscape, Parks, Photography, Uncategorized

8 Days In London, 2 Days In Paris – Day 3 Christmas Day (Dec 25)

The London Eye At Night

Christmas Day in London was rainy, all day long.  It was quiet, more or less, as well.  I walked up the street and discovered Pret A Manger was open for business (bless them) and took back coffee and breakfast to my room, where I worked on more photos

Pret A Manger

before heading out for a little walk around Trafalgar Square.

Trafalgar Square On A Rainy Christmas MorningTrafalgar Square FountainGift Horse And Trafalgar Square

That horse skeleton above is a part of a program called the Fourth Plinth (I think, I can’t exactly remember).  Every so often, a new sculpture appears on that particular spot.  When I was there July 2013, it was a neon purple cockerel from France.  This piece of art is titled “Gift Horse” and is a replica of a horse skeleton with an actual working neon Nasdaq-type stock ticker as the ribbon around one of the skeleton’s legs.

I was still a little sleepy from the previous night, where I actually remained awake to attend Christmas Eve Service at Westminster Abbey, then couldn’t get to sleep until around 1:30am.  So after breakfast, I edited a few more photos, including this one below that I took of the building sculptures across the narrow street from my room.

The View From My Room

After that, it was time to get ready for my traditional Christmas Lunch in the hotel.  Dress up, make up, heels, jewelry, the whole nine yards.

I will readily admit that while I totally enjoy all of my solo trips (I only travel solo unless it’s with an organized photo tour), I don’t particularly enjoy eating alone.  So, while the food was quite good, I felt like the odd one out as I watched other diners, either in pairs or in groups, enjoy the lunch in a holiday spirit.  I was glad to return to my room, change into my walking clothes, take my camera, and spend the remainder of the day walking the meal off (which consisted of an amuse bouche, ham hocks, sea bass, turkey with the trimmings, plum pudding, a glass of Tattinger, pre-meal and a glass of chardonnay with the entree).

Night Scene Along The ThamesRainy Christmas Night Over Big BenThe Night View During My PromenadeRainy Christmas Night

Still a little rainy – enough so that it made some of the lights look a little “runny”, but a lovely Christmas Day nonetheless.  I was right where I wanted to be on that holiday.

Becky At The London Eye In The Rain

 

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Filed under 5DSR, Canon, Christmas, holiday, London, Photography, rain, Seasons, Travel, Travel and Photography, Uncategorized, Weather, winter

8 Days In London, 2 Days In Paris – Day 2 (Dec 24, Christmas Eve)

A Stroll Along The Thames

Still suffering from jet lag, I slept until about 7AM, got up, dawdled around, then grabbed my camera and set out for a day of walking and photography.  My first trip was via the Underground to Hyde Park to see what the Winter Wonderland was all about.  It was rainy and gray that morning – not at all like the late afternoon photo above.

Pirates AdventureRainy Christmas Eve At The Winter Wonderland

After that, I took the Tube back to my hotel room where I warmed up with some hot tea before heading out again.  The rain stopped, the sun was out, so were some clouds.

Dazzle DesignOld And New In The Afternoon SunSt Pauls CathedralCathedral DetailStained Glass FiguresHeiroglyphic DetailCleopatras ProfileBikes For RentFull Moon And Blue Hour Over The Thames 2 CROPLondon Icons In The EveningBright Lights On The ThamesChristmas Eve Along The ThamesThe London Eye At Night

London Eye-Becky-Big Ben 2

I bought something at one of the many Christmas markets and took it back to my room to eat.  After that, I changed out of my day clothes, got all dressed up, and attended the midnight Christmas Eve service at Westminster Abbey.  It was wonderful.  Not only the service itself and the heavenly voices of the choir, but also the chance to be sitting there in such a historic piece of architecture, with the soaring vaulted ceilings, the carved stone pillars and statues, and the huge, stained-glass windows.  What an experience!

Christmas Eve Service At Westminster Abbey

 

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Filed under 5DSR, Canon, Christmas, holiday, London, Night Photography, Photography, Travel, Travel and Photography, Uncategorized