Category Archives: Geology

Rivers Run Through It

Calcite Springs And The Yellowstone River

Calcite Springs (the steaming part) and the Yellowstone River

No matter where you drive within Yellowstone National Park, you’ll encounter a number of rivers running through the land.  According to a newly-published article in the National Parks Traveler, the rivers of this park are key to understanding the hydrothermal activity there.  Click on any of the photos to be taken to this article, then spend some time reading the other articles, as well.

Early Morning Along The Firehole River

Firehole River in Upper Geyser Basin (where Old Faithful is located)

Overlooking The Lewis River

The Lewis River, seen shortly after driving through the southern entrance to the park

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Geology, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Travel, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park

Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park

Boardwalk Leading Line

Boardwalk leading line at Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Travertine Colors

Travertine colors at Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Sunrise Gilding The Terrace CROP

Sunlight gilding the travertine, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park

Killdeer On The Terrace

Killdeer on the travertine, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park

I will be the first to admit that, when I would see photos in books of the Mammoth Hot Springs area, my first thought was “how dull-looking that place is.” In truth, it takes a personal visit to see this amazing sight. Some friends I know still say this is nothing like it used to be, but as a photographer, I can tell you that wonderful images are still there for the camera, as long as you are observant and take some time to put a little thought into your composition.

For instance, the boardwalks around there bring to mind wooden roller coaster rides. Spend some time creating interesting leading line compositions of the boardwalks.

Get some close-up images of the travertine formations you see. The colors are saturated, and if you are there during a sunrise, the formations are gilded with bright gold-yellow.

If there are interesting clouds in the area, include that in your shots.

And look for wildlife – particularly birds. I saw all sorts of killdeer hopping around the terraced springs. Their coloring blends in with the rusty hues of the travertine.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

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Filed under Geology, National Parks, Photography, Seasons, summer, Travel, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park

Morning Glory Pool

Morning Glory Pool

Morning Glory Pool, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yes, I now have my own images of a much-photographed park icon. It’s photographed because it is so beautiful. The interesting (and sad) thing, though, is to see how much the colors of this pool have changed over the years, due to people throwing coins, rocks, and other trash into the clear, once deep blue water and lowering the temperature.

I ran a search on the National Parks Traveler site and found a December 2014 article about the changes in color and how efforts to clean the pool weren’t able to reverse the damage done.  To read the article, click on the image above.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

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Filed under Geology, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Travel, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park

It’s National Public Lands Day

Sunrise Over Upper Geyser Basin

Sunrise and sunstar over Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

It’s National Public Lands Day, today, Saturday September 22nd, 2018.  Where will you be?  Perhaps visiting a national park, monument, recreation area or historic site?

The image above was not taken during National Public Lands Day, but rather during a very early summer morning while touring the boardwalks around Old Faithful, in Upper Geyser Basin.  The back-lighting very nicely accentuated the steam rising from the geysers and hot springs, and I wanted to try for a sunstar as well, bumping the aperture up to f/18.

During the summer months, cooler mornings are the best times to view lots of steam as well as avoid the inevitable crowds, who usually don’t get out there until sometime starting at 8:00 a.m.  Cool mornings (and wintertime) create more condensation in the air, which makes the landscape steamier than during the hotter portion of the day.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

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Filed under Geology, National Parks, Photography, Seasons, starbursts, summer, sunrise, Travel, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park

A Rare Eruption At Ear Spring

Ear Spring

Ear Spring in a quieter phase, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Ok, not my most inspired image, but it’s appropriate to this morning’s article in the National Parks Traveler, about a rare and surprise eruption from Ear Spring.  To read the article, click on the photo above.
Morning is a wonderful time to tour Upper Geyser Basin with neat light and slim-to-no crowds. However, some of the hot springs and geysers are shaded, which will create a blue or cyan cast to your photos. I increased the yellow and red color balance, but it’s still on the shaded side.
 
Ear Spring is, as you can see, shaped like an ear. It does bubble a little bit. It would have been pretty cool to see it erupt. Due to the eruption, however, parts of the Geyser Hill boardwalk and trails have been closed.
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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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

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