Tag Archives: morning
A wide-angle view of sunrise at Sunrise Point in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Good morning, folks! It’s Memorial Day, a day here in the U.S. when we remember those men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. It’s not only a day for reflection and thankfulness and perhaps a visit to the resting place of a loved one, but also a day to get out (if you can) and enjoy the wonders of our environment, or maybe attend a baseball, soccer or basketball game, enjoy a picnic (if the weather cooperates), or go to a movie (I hear good reviews for the new movie “Solo”).
If you are unable to have this day off, then perhaps you can console yourself by enjoying this image while drinking your morning beverage.
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.
As a rule, Texas enjoys nice, mild winters that are warm enough to encourage many bird varieties to stick around. So on a nice, sunny Saturday morning, I took my Canon 1DX and 5D Mk III along with my 100-400mm and 24-70mm lenses for a morning visit to a nearby state park.
A Warmer-Weather Harbinger
Early Morning on Creekfield Lake
Watching and Waiting
Quite A Mouthful
Aw Cmon, Baby, Just One More Kiss
Whenever I feel restless and in need of some photographic therapy, I head out to the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, a little less than 20 miles from my home in southeast Texas.
This past Saturday morning, I headed out that way with the intention of getting to my favorite spot in the refuge to capture some scenery shots with the ground-hugging mist floating above the landscape.
As I drove along the refuge road, I noticed all these spider webs sparkling in the morning sunlight.
Naturally, I had to stop.
Of course, this meant by the time I arrived at my favorite spot, all the mist was gone.
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Note: capturing images of dew-dappled silken strands strung across the air from one tree/fence post / plant stem to another is a bit of a challenge with a telephoto lens. The lens simply doesn’t want to autofocus on something that ephemeral, choosing instead to either focus beyond the web, or not at all. I probably should have used the manual focus except my eyes just don’t focus as well as they used to and manual focus on anything other than infinity is a chore.
For the images above, the ISO ranged from 400 – 500, shutter speed ranged from 1/125 – 1/320, f-stop ranged from 5.6 – 7.1 and the focal length was 400mm.
Most photographers come to Brazos Bend State Park in Texas for the wildlife. I do that too, but I also come to this place for the landscape photo ops. On this particular morning, I left home at a little before 7AM to arrive at 40-Acre Lake by 7:30; just in time for some nice morning light. This is the observation/fishing pier. Fishing is free here, but no boating or swimming is allowed (note the sign regarding alligators, of which I saw several).
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.
After that, it was a few hundred feet to the boardwalk over Big Slough (pronounced “slew”).
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.
This guy was looking for breakfast, and no, it did not get the heron you see in the background.
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.
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.