Happy Earth Day to you, this April 22nd, 2018. I feel like I experience Earth Day every time I visit a national park. On this occasion, I was up with scads of other people at Sunrise Point in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, watching: the sunrise.
I just realized after posting Part 2 of this Armchair Photography Guide, that I neglected to ever post Part 1! So, click on the photo above to be taken to Part 1, published in the National Parks Traveler back on September 12, 2017.
Sunrise and moonset over Heaven’s Peak in Glacier National Park, Montana
Every year, the National Parks Traveler publishes four seasonal guides to the national parks. One of my images is featured on the cover of the summer 2017 Essential Guide, and I have a photo spread and feature story about spending 3 days in Glacier National Park. Click on the photo to be taken to the article.
On a side note, I will be traveling back to Glacier NP this September, along with my Canons and a brand new medium format camera, the Pentax 645z. I plan on sharing the resulting photos as well as my thoughts about the Pentax and using medium format for landscape photography.
An afternoon view from the south end of Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park, Montana.
In a roundabout way, I owe this 3-day jaunt (not counting the day to get there and the day to return to TX) to my company taking away a “floating holiday” (to be used at each employee’s discretion). I always used those floating holidays in conjunction with a planned vacation. In return, the company gave to us what the masses apparently wanted: Martin Luther King Day.
Hey, I have absolutely nothing against MLK day. A holiday is a holiday. But I much preferred that floating holiday to use as I wished, versus a “fixed” holiday. So, I decided in an I’ll-show-them sort of way to take a long weekend and head on out someplace away from Texas (all of my vacations are taken away from this state in which I’d rather not be). I’d been hankering for some winter weather, instead of the humid 78-degree weather here in SE Texas (I want my winters to look and feel like winter, dammit). To that end, I flew to Montana and snow shoed in Glacier National Park.
It was heaven on earth, despite the sub-zero temps.
-4 degrees F and frost on the tripod.
Colorful icicles off the side of Hwy 2 just before entering Hungry Horse, on the way to the park.
Some very long icicles at the West Glacier entrance to the park. I look like a bright pink beluga whale but I’m definitely warm.
Moon set during the pre-dawn hours at Lake McDonald. It was silent except for the ice cracking and the distant hooting of an owl.
The look of sub-zero at Lake McDonald.
A frosty sunrise at Lake McDonald. The mountains were still in hiding that morning.
Scenes while snow shoeing near Lake McDonald Lodge in the park. The lodge was as far as the Going-To-The-Sun Road was open.
Late afternoon brought out the mountains, along with some clear skies and lake reflections.
So, thank you, Company, for the MLK Day, because if you had not taken away a floating holiday and given us this day off instead, I doubt I would have given second thought to a deep-winter photography trip to Glacier National Park. And that would have been a shame.
Good night, Glacier National Park. See you in September 2017.
The National Parks Traveler has just published my latest “Photography In The National Parks” article. Click on the photo to go to my story.
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.