Tag Archives: tree

Twisted and Weathered With Time

Bent Over With Time

Feeling a little twisted and bent out of shape from the workweek? Never fear, the weekend is right around the corner (unless, of course, you have to work this weekend – in which case, try to weather through it) ):

This little tree – a bristlecone pine, I think – and it’s deep red-orange sandstone perch just off of the Zion-Mount Carmel Road in this national park – is rather famous. I’ve seen it in a number of images on Flickr. I saw it for the first time as I was returning to the Zion tunnel, after a photo op stop at Checkerboard Mesa. I would have missed this tree completely had I not turned my head at just the right time to look out over the landscape. This tree and sandstone knob called out to me and I found a pullout at which to park, then walked back along the road and out into the landscape to photograph different perspectives. Trees speak to me and this one was particularly verbose (grin).

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

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Filed under National Parks, nature, Photography, Travel, Utah, winter, Zion National Park

Good Morning! It’s Monday!

Sunrise On Sunrise Point

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.

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Filed under Bryce Canyon National Park, Geology, Holidays, Memorial Day, National Parks, Photography, sunrise, Utah, Utah

Ready For Adventure!

Ready For Adventure

Not trying to be political here, folks. Before the 25th, I usually wish people Happy Holidays. On the 25th, I wish them Merry Christmas. And to show that I also appreciate globalism, I wish you not only a Merry Christmas but a Joyeux Noel, Feliz Navidad, Frohe Weihnachten, and Buon Natale. I’d do the wishing in Japanese, Korean and Chinese, too, but I don’t have the keyboard for it.

Anyway, you get my point. I hope everybody has a great day, today, no matter whether you celebrate the holiday or not. And, start planning for some great adventures for 2018. I know I’m going to!

 

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Filed under 5DSR, Canon, Canon Lens, Christmas, Holidays, Photography

Christmas Fun With The Cameras, Tree, Decorations and Lights

Christmas Cozy

My home is small, but cozy and bright with neat pictures hanging on the walls (grin)

I actually wasn’t going to put up a tree this year; too many other things going on.  Then, one Saturday evening, I started thinking up photo ops that required the use of a brightly-lit and decorated tree.  So, at 10PM that night, I pulled the tree out of storage; it’s fake and pre-lit so it makes setup and decorating a breeze.

Since the tree has been up, I’ve been milking the photos for all they are worth.  I used my tripod, Canon 1DX and 5D Mk III, and either a 40mm pancake lens, a 24-105mm lens or my prime 85mm f1.2 lens to get the shots you see below.  I love decorations and colored lights, so this has been fun and I’m glad I put that tree up, after all.

H5T1200_Ornaments Lights and A Glass of Wine

Variation On A Theme #1

Bright Lights and Christmas Colors

Czech Glass and Christmas Lights

Christmas Color-Full

Bright Lights and Holiday Colors

Christmas Colors

Here’s wishing all of you a Merry Christmas!

Christmas Becky2

 

 

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Filed under Canon, Canon Lens, Christsmas, Holidays, Photography

Christmas Tree in the Window

Christmas Tree In The Window

To stave off the post-Thanksgiving-tryptophan sleepies, I decided to clean my living room window so that my lovely little Christmas tree would show up better from the outside.  Naturally, I had to take tripod and camera out after dark to capture images of this one little tree glowing brightly in the night.  Apparently, I am either the only person with a tree in the entire apartment complex, or I am the only person who likes showing off their tree through the window.

Beckys Christmas Tree

This photo was taken shortly after sundown.  I deliberately set the f-stop to 22 so the lights would create little starbursts.  The ISO was 500, I used my 24-70mm lens with the focal length set to 24mm, and the shutter was open for 30 seconds.

Christmas Tree In The Window

I switched from to my 16-35mm lens because I wanted a much wider-angle view of the complex and my tree.  The only issue was the fact that the oak tree branches in the yard drooped quite a bit.  The ever-so-slight breeze took those drooping branches and blurred them during the 30-second shot.  The ISO was 250.  I had to use noise-reduction with this image (yes, you can sometimes get grainy low-light photos even when using a low ISO) and I ultimately cropped out as much of the offending blurred branches as I could, giving this image a sort of pseudo-pano look.

O Christmas Tree

Lots of frames in this image above:  the front lights on the brick columns, the frame created by the apartment complex architecture, and the frame created by the oak tree limbs.

Magic Tree

The Magic Tree.   Easy to do if you ever decide to experiment yourself.  Just put your camera and zoom lens on a tripod, set the camera for however many seconds you wish, then play around with zooming the lens in and out to get some funky effects while the shutter is open.

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Filed under Canon Lens, Christsmas, Equipment, Holidays, low light photography, Night Photography, Photography, starbursts

The Trickiness of Christmas Lights and Portraiture

I like buying local when I can, and I like buying hand-made. So when my friend Sabyn of Simplysabyn crocheted an adorable little Santa holiday hat for a baby, I asked her if she made them for big people, too. Yes, she did. So I ordered one. After receiving it, I thought it would make for a great Facebook profile pic to get a portrait of me modeling the hat in front of my Christmas tree (yes, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet and I have the tree up, lights, ornaments and all).

My goal was to try and get a relatively well-lit shot of me but with all the color and brightness of the lit tree in a darkened room behind me.

Easier said than done.

My first experiment was a shot of me and the tree using only the ambient light given off by the tree. My Canon 5D Mk III was set up with my Canon 85mm f1.2L lens on a tripod. The ISO was set at 1600 with an f-stop of 5 and a shutter speed of 1/10 second. I used my $20 Pixel-brand wireless remote shutter release to get clear images of myself. Oh, and I used myself as the model because I not only like the way I look but I was also the only one around at the time. I wanted to do this experiment right then and there, and I don’t mind doing this over and over until I get it the way I want. I figure other models would get a little bored after awhile. Plus, I wanted to send the final result to my friend Sabyn so she could use them on her FB site if she wanted.

Christmas Becky - Ambient Light

After many takes, here is the resulting image using only the ambient light. The entire image was cast in a golden-red hue which was further emphasized by my red hat and red fleece top. Interesting, but not quite what I was aiming for.

So I brought out a single light stand and screwed in a 500 watt bulb in front of which I put a 24” white umbrella for diffusion since 500 watts at close range is pretty intense – particularly since I was still trying to get the color and glow of the tree lights behind me. The camera was set at ISO 320 with a f-stop of 4.5 and a shutter speed of 1/30.

Christmas Becky

As you can see, the light was great on me, but it totally eliminated the ambience of the tree lights and ornaments.

I’d been working on this for over an hour, was hot and sweaty and more or less done for the day. It wasn’t until the next day that I considered using my flash off-camera. The only problem with that was my focus issue. I couldn’t have my Canon dedicated flash remote trigger on the camera *and* a wireless shutter release (I probably could if I had a different setup). In the end, I relied on manual focus. That was tricky because the only light in the room was provided by the Christmas tree. So I had to set up one of my camera backpacks in the chair in front of the tree, then shine a flashlight on the backpack to help me get the focus correct. Eye roll. But it worked.

This little photo session took forever, because I just couldn’t get the whole lighting thing right. I set the flash to one side of the camera, then I set the flash to practically in front of me, then I set the flash directly behind the camera and raised the stand about a foot above the camera. Finally, just as I was about to give up, I decided to try something. Leaving the flash on the stand behind and above the camera, I deliberately set the camera shutter speed slower than the flash, so that the flash would trigger but the camera shutter would be open for just a bit longer after the flash went off. ISO was 160, the f-stop was 7.1, the shutter speed was ½ second, and the flash intensity was set to between 1/128 and 1/64 (with it being closer to the 1/64 mark).

Christmas Becky-Flash

Ultimately, I had to brighten my face up post-process, but by golly, I got what I was working for: a nicely-lit view of my face and the colorful, glowing ambience of the tree behind me.

Christmas Camera Becky-Flash

Christmas Camera Becky Ornament

Photography is all about practice, experiment, and climbing that learning curve.

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Filed under Canon Lens, Christsmas, Equipment, Flash Photography, Holidays, Photography, Portraits, Studio Lights