Tag 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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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

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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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

The Bryce Canyon Armchair Photography Guide

Monsoon Rains Over Bryce Amphitheater

Every morning (even when on the road) one of the first things I do after waking up and dressing is to post a photo on the National Park Traveler’s Instagram account @national_parks_traveler. To do that, I go online to the Traveler’s site to see what photo I have in my library might fit with one or more Traveler articles. It was then that I saw my latest Armchair Photography Guide had been published. For this month, the Armchair Photography Guide features Bryce Canyon National Park. So, I posted a shot of Bryce Canyon on Instagram, and, if you want to go check out the article, itself, then just click on the photo above (and maybe check out the Traveler’s Instagram account, too, while you are at it).

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

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Filed under Armchair Photography Guide, Bryce Canyon National Park, Equipment, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Photography In The National Parks, Travel, 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