Tag Archives: clouds

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

La Sal Mountains Viewpoint

I had only 2 full days (plus a half day and a morning) within Arches National Park, Utah, but during those days, one of my favorite spots was a place near the park entrance called the La Sal Mountains Viewpoint.  I’d stop there each day going into and out of the park.  It’s the perfect place for sunrise images.


B5A7086_Last Sunrise Over The La Sals

It’s also the perfect place to get an amazing overview of the La Sal Mountains, The Three Gossips, Sheep Rock, Tower of Babel, The Organ, and some amazing views far beyond of such formations as Balanced Rock.

C2C7905_Landmarks On The Landscape

B5A6854_Morning In The Park

B5A6983_Afternoon At La Sal Mountains Viewpoint

B5A7073_Good Morning Arches ORIG

From this viewpoint, you can see interesting things like the hot air balloon that rose above the rocks each morning I was there.

B5A7180_Sunrise Balloon Ride VERT

This viewpoint is also a lovely place to stop and say good-bye to the park until the next time you visit it.

C2C7899_Becky At La Sal Mountain Viewpoint

I’ve booked my airfaire for a February 2013 trip back to Moab and Arches NP.  If anybody thinks they might be out there during that time, give me a shout;  it would be fun to meet you and enjoy some photographic quality time together.


Filed under Arches National Park, National Parks, Photography, Travel, Utah

A Happy 4th of July From Texas!

No flags (can’t find any in my photo archives), no fireworks (my little town isn’t going to be having a fireworks display afterall) – just a beautiful July 4th morning with bright rays of sunshine, dramatic clouds, and a silhouetted symbol of the Texas coastal prairie.

0612_Texas July Morning

For those of you who celebrate the 4th of July (or at least, get the day off), I wish you a happy day.  For those of you who have not the slightest idea of what this day stands for in America (and for those of you who don’t even give a rip what day it is), consider this just a nice landscape for your viewing pleasure.


Filed under Clouds, Landscape, Photography, Texas

Sunrise Over Swiftcurrent Lake and Grinnell Point, Glacier National Park, MT

Sunrise Over Swiftcurrent and Grinnell Point, Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park, MontanaI was going to post this photo on one of the Montana- or GNP-related Facebook pages out there, only to discover, to my chagrin, that these pages not only do not allow for visitor uploads, but some of them are basically just place markers directing visitors to go to the actual website. Ok, that’s fine. I want people to visit my website (and maybe purchase something). And I don’t allow for visitor uploads on *my* Facebook page either (probably because the page says Rebecca Latson Photography – a rather specific page). Nonetheless, I have a bit of a beef with those public pages that *are* simply used as place markers and don’t have any interesting stuff or postings on them. It’s a bit of a turnoff. If you are going to have a Facebook page, then for heaven’s sake, post stuff to it! That way, if people really *are* interested in seeing more of your stuff (like your photo galleries on your website), then they will go visit that website. And, they will “Like” your page, showing visitors that your page actually has some merit to it.

Ok, I’m off my soap box. I admit to being a bit cheesed off about not being able to upload my photo to one or more of those specific pages. *Maybe* it hurt my inflated ego just a little bit, since I am proud of my work and want to advertise my photographic talents (in the hope of snagging some bizness). Nonetheless, I think what I wrote above is still true.

What do *you* think?


Filed under Glacier National Park MT, Landscape, National Parks, Photography, Travel

A Stormy Morning at Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge

Rain has been predicted for the past couple of days.  With that rain, I figured there might be some interesting storm clouds over at the Brazoria NWR.  I woke up this morning at 6AM, peeked out the window, saw some big puffy clouds, and was on the road to the refuge before 7AM.

The morning did not disappoint:  dramatic storm clouds, distant thunder, sporadic flashes of lightning, and hordes of  herons, egrets, black-necked stilts, terns, some roseate spoonbills in the background, and four different sightings of American alligators.

For photography with storm clouds (or any kind of  clouds, really), always make sure you have a graduated ND filter with you.  During the really dark part of the morning, I removed the circular polarizer.  However, as the daylight progressed, I placed the polarizers back on the lenses.  Polarizers make blue skies bluer, clouds more dramatic, and can darken water and either enhance or eliminate reflections, depending upon which way you turn the polarizer ring.

My first stop was the refuge center’s lawn, where I photographed a bunny that looked a little the worse for wear, bless its heart.



8076_Bunny Closeup

After that, it was a few hundred feet to the boardwalk over Big Slough (pronounced “slew”).

7699_Stormy Morning Big Slough

7702_Sunrise Over Big Slough

7705_Stormy Morning Big Slough

Before getting into the car to head to Olney Pond, I stopped to photograph this little mockingbird.  They are wonderful posers.


As I closed in on Olney Pond, I could hear a cacophony of noise before I even saw the birds.  I couldn’t believe my eyes – it was a freaking heron and egret  convention (along with some stilts, terns, and one or two alligators in the mix).  So, if you ever are in the area and want to visit the refuge, I’d say the early morning is the best time to see the birdlife.  Oh, and make sure you have your bug repellant.  Those Cutter wipes are awesome.

7714_Stormclouds Over Olney Pond

8161_Breakfast On Olney Pond

8120_Herons and Egrets

8139-4_Herons and Egrets CROP

8149-2_Heron Reflection CROP

8220_Great Egret VERT

This guy was looking for breakfast, and no, it did not get the heron you see in the background.

8191_American Alligator

As the thunder rolled in the distance, and a teeny bit of rain sprinkled on the car, I continued along down the road and set up my tripod.

This is looking back up the road from whence I came.  I could see a “thunder bumper” beyond, as the storm rolled over and past me with but a few sprinkles.

7729_Looking Back

7718_Stormy Morning

7726_Looking Up The Bayou

7752_Stormy Sunrise

7771_Storm Over The Coast

By the time 8AM arrived, the storm clouds had departed the area and the sky was starting to get its typical hot, hazy look on a humid Texas day.  Plus, the mosquitoes were ganging up on me (but the Cutter wipes held true), and I wanted to get home to start working with my new photos.

All in all, it was a very good, stormy morning, at the Brazoria NWR.

7785_Bench With A View

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Filed under Brazoria NWR, Clouds, Landscape, Photography, Texas

Clouds Add A Lot To A Photograph

I hear it all the time from other photographers:  they hate shooting landscape images on a clear, cloudless, blue-sky day because it’s so “boring”.   I personally don’t “hate” cloudless days, but I often agree with other photographers about the “boring” part.

Of course you can get stunning photos of landscapes on a clear, cloudless day.   You’ll get no argument from me on that point.


8929_Mt Rainier

3471_Purple Mountain Majesty

0639_Maroon Bells Morning

9966_A Stand of Aspen CROP

7018_London Eye Pods

But, you can get equally-stunning photos on a cloudy day.  Clouds add drama, interest, and texture.  They turn a great image into a fantastic image, and are a necessary ingredient to jazz up what might otherwise be a good, but ho-hum photo.



3731_REV_ tonemapped


94C0465-2_Morning Ferry Run PANO


7132_London Eye

8205_Sheep and Countryside_tonemapped

Don’t wait for a clear day to take pictures.  Go cloud chasing!  See what kind of images you capture.

7242_Dunluce Castle_REV_8-17-11_tonemapped


Filed under Clouds, Landscape, Photography

Saturday Evening on Big Slough

Evening At Big Slough

Today (Saturday), I won’t be going outside for any photography. It’s a typical hot, hazy blue-white sky with no clouds (clouds make for interesting images and I may have to post a blog about that).

Instead, I will be cooking (lots). I save my weekends for bulk cooking, the results of which I then package up and put in the fridge for the coming work week’s lunches. I’ll also be picking up my spare bedroom and uploading more photos to the U.S. Copyright Office.

So, I must content myself this weekend with images such as this one, taken on a Saturday evening during the 2012 Memorial Day weekend overlooking the body of water called Big Slough (pronounced “slew”) at the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge.

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Filed under Brazoria NWR, Landscape, nature, Photography, Texas, Wildlife Refuge