Category Archives: Seasons

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

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

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

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

Rootbound

Rootbound

Rootbound along the Rim Trail toward Upper Inspiration Point
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

I’ll bet this is one of the most-photographed trees along the Rim Trail. One photographer on Flickr remarked he spent 4 hours photographing the tree/roots. Um, I did not spend that long and can’t remember the last time I stood in one place for 4 hours photographing the same stationary object. Perhaps he did exaggerate a little, but maybe not. Anyway, this tree (and others that you can find along the Rim Trail and within Bryce Amphitheater) are great examples of erosion processes there in the park. Those exposed roots were – at some point in time – once covered with soil until it was all eroded away. And yet, there stands the tree, continuing to keep a toe-hold to its survival.

The key to getting a clear shot of both tree and background is to either take two shots – one focusing on just the tree and the other focusing on the background – and blend them together (aka “focus stack”) or take a wide-angle shot and then crop to taste, which is what I did, since I was handholding the camera.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved

 

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Filed under Bryce Canyon National Park, Photography, Seasons, summer, Travel, Utah, Utah

A Full Moon and The Beginning Of Sunrise Over The Teton Mountains

Full Moon And The Beginning Of Sunrise Over The Tetons

A full moon and the beginning of sunrise over the Grand Teton Mountains, Wyoming.

I was so very tired the day before from all the driving and hiking of the previous days, that I didn’t think I could get up early enough to do any sunrise photography. Besides, I had not really scouted out anyplace per se. So I figured I’d just sleep a little later that morning. Then, at about 4am, I had a HUGE cramp in my left calf. This was the same leg in which I’d pulled the calf muscle while on the North Rim. The pain was so bad that it woke me immediately and I didn’t get back to sleep. So, I figured what the heck, might as well get up and get going. I checked out of the hotel in Jackson and drove to an overlook I’d passed by a day earlier on my way to the park. Turned out to be a nice spot. And it was cold! Lucky for me I had my wool cowboy hat with me and I was wearing long sleeves. As I stood there getting pre-dawn and sunrise photos, I had to grin to myself that I was no longer in heat and humidity and the air was sweet with the fragrance of sage.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under 5DSR, Canon, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III, Canon Lens, Grand Teton National Park, National Parks, Photography, Seasons, summer, sunrise, Travel, Wyoming