Category Archives: autumn

“Stay On Walk”

Stay On WalkIMG_3442IMG_3436

There are signs all along the boardwalks at the geyser basins telling visitors to “stay on walk,” While I didn’t see anybody actually walking off the boardwalk (there was this one moron who walked off the boardwalk to get an up-close and personal look at Old Faithful, but he did it at night and suffered bad burns for it while I was there), I did see people do stupid stuff at Norris Basin.

The first photo you see is a morning shot at Upper Geyser Basin, and I was getting an overall shot of the beautiful scene in front of me, including a leading line of the boardwalk and a portion of the sign.

The other two photos I took with my iPhone of people doing stupid stuff at Norris Basin. That first shot is of a lady from a tour bus who sat on the edge of the boardwalk and put her feet on the thin crust so her honey could get a fashionable shot of her. The second shot is of an idiot who decided to risk screwing with the delicate ecosystem there and leaned over to touch the foliage along the boardwalk. I was almost hoping he’d fall in so I could get a shot of that, too. I’m not very nice when it comes to seeing people do stuff they shouldn’t.

Another story comes to mind of a couple of friends I made while at Upper Geyser Basin. I’d hiked with them to Fairy Falls because they didn’t want me hiking alone in an area frequented by a bear. The following day, they’d walked to Morning Glory Pool (I got there a little later than they did) and they told me the story of a couple there at the pool, and the woman climbed over the fence there to squat next to the hot spring to get a photo of herself. When someone said something to her, she looked up and said “You’re not rangers.” My friends were flabbergasted. I asked them if they’d gotten a photo of that stupid creature and they said the woman quickly got her selfie and climbed back over the fence before they could get their smartphones out. Another one of those days when I wished I would have been there to get a photo and send it to the National Parks Traveler for posting as well as posting it to my own page. People don’t really realize just how thin that crust is out in the geyser basins and how hot and acidic that water really is. I read that some of the hot springs at Norris are as acidic as battery acid.

Stay On Walk, folks!

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under autumn, Canon, National Parks, Photography, Seasons, smartphone, Travel, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park

Artist Paint Pots, Yellowstone National Park

Artist Paint Pots Geothermal Basin And Mount Holmes In The Dista

Artist Paint Pots Geothermal Basin with Mount Holmes in the distance, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming

 
It’s a short walk along a well-trod path to get to the boardwalk beginning the loop around the Artist Paint Pots basin. As I stepped onto the boardwalk, I passed a couple of men talking to each other. Another friend approached and they told him that their wives were off looking at the sights while they remained there, since they were not that enthused about the area. Lo and behold, as I passed the men, their wives returned and one of them said sarcastically “Well, that was a blast.” They were not impressed, either.
 
I don’t know what those two couples were expecting, but I have a feeling they have not been reading my photo column in the National Parks Traveler, where I urge people to 1) keep their expectations on the low side since it’s likely they will not see exactly what they expect to see, and 2) observe what is around them. Really *look* at where they are and what they see. I am assuming that the couples, like many other people who come to this area, were a little jaded and didn’t stop to think about what they were standing upon: thin crust with a busy geothermal system beneath them. It’s amazing that we can enter a national park that is so geologically active. How many other places in the world can you see so many active geysers, hot springs and fumeroles all in one area? How many other places can you actually hear the hissing of the steam and see the bubbling water and mud pots? I know there are some, but I’ll wager not that many that you can actually get to. When you are someplace like Artist Paint Pots, you are walking beside geysers and hot springs with boiling or near-boiling water.
 
These couples probably did not appreciate the many colorful hot springs around them (hence the name “Artist Paint Pots”), or the panoramic view that included a snow-iced Mount Holmes in the far distance.
 
I brought with me the mindset of a geologist and photographer, so I saw beauty everywhere I walked in that small basin. As a matter of fact, that’s what I told a retired gentleman and his wife as he approached the trailhead, with a daughter and active 6-year old in tow. He stopped me and said: “Two questions: how far to get there and is it worth it?” I told him I thought it was worth it but I was seeing everything through a geologic and photographic background. I then told him about the reactions of those two couples. I told him that I’d also seen another couple with their 4-year old child who was managing the walk and the uphill climb to the bridge overlook (which is where I stood to take this photo) with no problems. I said to him that they’d have to judge for themselves as to whether or not the hike and the view were worth it. I certainly thought both were.
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under 5DSR, autumn, Canon, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III, Canon Lens, Geology, National Parks, Photography, Yellowstone National Park

Soon, Soon ….

Just Before Sunrise

Usually, I don’t travel to any national park with high expectations. I even wrote an article in the National Parks Traveler about the rewards of lowered expectations.  I know it’s going to be rainy, overcast, snowing, probably the roads will be slick, and there might even be another f***ing government shutdown while I am there. Nonetheless, I am stoked to be returning to Yellowstone National Park in a few days for 8-1/2 days of  fall photography. For a portion of that time, I’ll be staying at the historic Old Faithful Inn, and will definitely get some interior architecture images of that beautiful lodge. I so wanted to do this during my short summer stay (2-1/2 days) during my road trip move from Texas to central Washington, but the inn was full, the crowds were YUGE, and I ultimately needed to get back on the road again to my sister’s home.

I’ll be taking 3 cameras with me and an assortment of lenses: my Canon 5DSR, Canon 1DX Mk II, and Pentax 645z. I’ll take the Canon 16-35mm, 14mm, 24-70mm, 24-105mm, 100-400mm with a 1.4x extender, Pentax 28-45mm, and Pentax 55mm lenses. No need to tell me it’s going to be a heavy backpack I take onto the plane with me. I already know that. I had to pack one of my lenses into my laptop bag, which will also be carried onto the plane.  Hey, I don’t know when I will be able to return to Yellowstone, so might as well bring as much as I can carry and that’s allowable on the plane, because I’d rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. Plus, I’ve broken lenses before while traveling (Hawaii comes to mind), so I’m being a little redundant with one of the lenses. I decided on this instead of trying to work around taking my Canon 500mm lens. As it is, I’ll probably forget something, even though I’ve written a list of things to pack.

Soon, soon, I will be back inside America’s first national park. Can’t wait!

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

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Filed under 1DX Mk II, 24-105mm, 24-70mm f2.8L II, 5DSR, autumn, Canon, Canon 14mm f/2.8L II, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, Canon Lens, HD PENTAX-DA645 28-45mm f/4.5 ED AW SR Lens, National Parks, Pentax 645z, Pentax Lens, Pentax-D FA 645 55mm f/2.8 AL[IF] SDM AW Lens, Photography, Seasons, Travel, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park

It’s Wildlife Wednesday!

Portrait Of A Moose Cow

Portrait of A Moose Cow, Fishercap Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana
Last week was Waterfall Wednesday, so this week, it’s all about the wildlife. This beautiful moose cow was photographed at Fishercap Lake in the Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park, Montana. I’d already heard that moose sightings were common at this lake, so I spent different times of day photographing there. It was nice to be able to do this, since my timing was a little poor to visit this national park. The Sprague Fire was raging, and there was so much smoke in the air during that time, I could barely see the mountains for landscape images. So, I’m glad I was able to clearly focus on something else.
 
Taken with a Canon 1DX and a 100-400mm lens.
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved

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Filed under 1DX, autumn, Canon, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, Canon Lens, Glacier National Park MT, Moose, National Parks, Photography, Seasons, wildlife

Mountain Monday

Sunrise At Tipsoo Lake

Dawn’s rosy fingers gilding the top of Mount Rainier, looming over Tipsoo Lake

Ok, I don’t really know what alliterative thing it is for Monday, but since it’s the start of the work week for most of us, it probably feels like you are climbing a steep mountain to even get out of bed this morning, right?

So, how about a little bit of colorful sunrise to go on that mountain top?

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

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Filed under autumn, Canon, Canon Lens, Landscape, Mt. Rainier National Park, Mt. Rainier National Park, National Parks, Photography, Seasons, sunrise, Uncategorized

Lightroom’s Dehaze Slider Tool

Dehaze Slider

Good Morning, Class – I know it’s been a few days since my last post. You know how it goes. You get busy doing things, either photography or regular home/chore/errands and you find you don’t have time for much else. I wanted to show you some example photos Before/After using a lovely little tool in Adobe Lightroom, called the Dehaze slider. You might find it helpful for some of your own images.

These photos were taken during a 2016 autumn visit to the Paradise area of Mount Rainier National Park, Washington. Autumn, for me, is a magical time to visit any national park, with some caveats. Autumn in Mount Rainier may mean wonderfully crystal-clear skies with The Mountain out in its full splendor, or it might mean you are socked in with low-hanging clouds and fog. While the fog/mist can create some ephemeral, haunting images, it can also get in the way, at times. And, that’s where the Dehaze slider comes in. It really does reduce the amount of whiteness/haziness that you might have in your imagery. The more you move the slider to the right, the more the haze is reduced.

These images are pretty much not edited in any other way than whatever preset I used in Lightroom, along with the Dehaze tool. I didn’t do anything in Photoshop except convert the TIF images to JPG and the color space from ProPhoto RGB to sRGB, with adjustments to the saturation and brightness.

If you use Lightroom for your own photo editing and have never tried out the Dehaze slider, I urge you to play around with it and see whether or not you like it.

Blue Grouse Chick - Before

Blue Grouse chick – before using the Dehaze slider

Blue Grouse Chick - After

Blue Grouse chick – after using the dehaze slider

Hoary Marmot - Before

Hoary marmot – before using the Dehaze slider

Hoary Marmot - After

Hoary marmot – after using the dehaze slider

 

Paradise Visitor Center - Before

 

Visitor center at Paradise – before using the Dehaze slider

Paradise Visitor Center - After

Visitor center at Paradise – after using the Dehaze slider

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under autumn, Canon, Lessons, Lightroom Dehaze Slider, Mt. Rainier National Park, Mt. Rainier National Park, National Parks, Photography, Seasons

Clouds In The Mountains, Glacier National Park

Clouds In The Mountains

I’ve been going through archived photos lately, reworking some and editing ones I’d never bothered with before. Why? In part, that’s what photographers do when they get better at their editing skills, and in addition, I’ve discovered that the square format I’ve never liked is actually quite helpful at creating a photo from something I thought was useless but which I didn’t want to consign to the virtual trash bin.
 
That square format – the one Instagram likes so much – I’ve learned, once again, to never say never. As a matter of fact, I’m writing an article for the National Parks Traveler about the square format and Instagram, but it won’t show up until probably around June, since I already have articles in queue up through May.
 
For now, consider this yet another piece of advice to never delete images you think are no good because of that blurry leaf amongst the otherwise clear leaves, or the car you accidentally photographed going over a bridge with a beautiful waterfall beneath it. The squre crop tool can remove those things, but you need to keep an eye out on how you crop your image so you continue to tell the story you want of that particular landscape.
 
As for this image, it was captured a long time ago. I was driving from the western entrance to the park, up to Logan Pass. The clouds were low and swirling around the mountains and I stopped to get a shot along the way up to The Loop, that first real switchback up Going-To-The-Sun Road.
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved

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Filed under autumn, Canon, Glacier National Park MT, Montana, National Parks, Photography, Seasons, Travel, Travel and Photography