Category Archives: Landscape

The Beginning Of Sunrise At Oxbow Bend

Sunrise Over Oxbow Bend

The beginning of sunrise at Oxbow Bend, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

I’ve finally finished up all the Yellowstone images I captured during the course of my 3-day visit there. I’ve moved on to editing the photos I took during my Grand Teton National Park stay. My sister worries that I’ll be bored after I am totally finished with the photo edits, but I assure her I have never been bored ever, except during those last months at my old job in Texas. I figure it will probably take me this month to finish up Grand Teton as well as the North Rim. Once I am finished with the photos, I will have plenty of time to start writing articles for 2019 for the National Parks Traveler, using the photos I took during my road trip move. I already have ideas brewing, but just haven’t put virtual pen to virtual paper yet.

As for this shot: Oxbow Bend is an iconic location within the park, and many a sunrise image from there has shown up in various and sundry publications. For those of you who have never been, there is actually a small parking lot on the river side of the road, but to me, the best views of the mountains are to be seen if you park on the wide shoulder alongside the road on the same side as the parking lot. The shoulders are actually marked, so it’s legal to park there, but on that side only and not on the other side, which has no shoulder to it at all, if I remember correctly.

On the day I arrived in the park, as I was driving to the Jackson Lake Lodge that early afternoon, this area was jam-packed with people (since it was late July). The mornings, however, are a different story, but it’s a good idea to get there pre-dawn to stake out a place for sunrise images, because more people began to arrive as the day progresses.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

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Filed under Grand Teton National Park, Landscape, National Parks, Photography, sunrise, Travel, Wyoming

A Quiet Lake In Yellowstone

A Quiet Glassy Lake In Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park is such a large park, and so much more than geysers and wildlife. Really. Sure, all of us who visit this place get the iconic shots – well, if there is parking. And of course, it goes without saying, wildlife shots are always a draw. But, if you are in Yellowstone, even for just a day, try not to overwhelm yourself with trying to get those geyser and bison/wolf/bear shots. You might not be able to, you know. Instead, concentrate on what you observe around you, like this lovely little lake I saw through the trees shortly after entering the south entrance of the park. This image is also a nice example (although I didn’t do it deliberately), of a leading line, where the glassine waters and shoreline reflections lead the eye from the front of the image, to the back. This vertical shot also looks much better for that leading line effect than the horizontal one I also captured.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

Yellowstone Layers

Yellowstone Layers

Layers of grass, trees, rock and mountains, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Whenever someone mentions Yellowstone National Park, you probably picture either Old Faithful or other geysers, colorful thermal springs like Grand Prismatic, or some type of wildlife, close up. What you may not think about are all the other landscapes, textures, colors and patterns that make up this huge national park.
 
While I was driving from Tower Junction over to Upper Geyser Basin, I looked over and saw the tall, bare trees first. After I parked, I took a longer look and saw all the colorful layers of trees, rocks, and distant rolling mountains. Yellowstone is huge, covering 3,472 square miles (2,221,766 acres). That area covers quite a bit of different landscapes, such as this one.
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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

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

Grand Geyser Erupting

Grand Geyser Eruption

Grand Geyser Eruption, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
 
It’s hard not to cheer whenever a geyser erupts. You sit or stand and wait, based upon when the schedule says the geyser *might* erupt. And then, when it does, there is this powerful gush of hot, steaming water reaching high up into the sky, or covering a large swath of area around the opening. It’s evidence reminding us of the geologic forces just beneath our feet. Geysers erupting are truly amazing sights and I felt lucky enough to have witnessed three different geysers erupt on the day I visited the Upper Geyser Basin.
And, here’s a little word of advice for you:  if you are nuts enough to visit an extremely crowded place like Yellowstone National Park in the summer, then the best time for light and few crowds is the early morning, between 6am – 7:30am.  I know, not much of a window there, right?  And, you should only pick one spot at which you want to be that morning.  Because if you have in mind to concentrate on more than one spot, then you are going to have problems trying to find parking, I kid you not.
Another word of advice:  if you want to tour the visitor center in relative peace while you are at Upper Geyser Basin, then do it while the hordes are awaiting the eruption of Old Faithful.  If you wait until after the eruption, you will be elbow-to-elbow with all the crowds merging into the visitor center.
I already knew I wanted to experience all that I could around Old Faithful, so I spent the entire day at Upper Geyser Basin (where Old Faithful is located), and had a wonderful day, despite the crowds (and there were thousands of people there).
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.
A Chilly Morning At The Upper Geyser Basin
A quiet, pre-sunrise morning overlooking Old Faithful

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

Going-to-the-Sun Road is Open!

GTTS Road From Highline Trail

A view of Going-to-the-Sun road from the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park

Yahoo! Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park is now officially cleared of snow and open for the 2018 summer season to vehicles in all of its 50-mile stretch, as of June 23rd, 2018.

For those of you who have never visited Glacier National Park and driven along this National Historic Landmark for views of some of the most stunning scenery within a national park, it’s quite a feat to plow the snow from this road every year, starting in early spring. Usually, the road is open either at the end of June or sometimes, in early-mid July. So June 23rd is pretty early.

The history of this road is quite interesting, and if you want to read about it, click on the photo above.  The article is a little dated, but the history and trivia remains the same.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Glacier National Park MT, Landscape, Montana, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Travel, Travel and Photography, Vacation