Category Archives: Equipment

What kind of camera equipment I own, the camera equipment I have rented, and the times that I use particular equipment

As The Colorado River Goes, So Go The Parks

The Colorado River At Navajo Bridge

As the Colorado River goes, so go the parks. Today’s edition of the National Parks Traveler has a fascinating article (with videos) about how climate change is affecting the Colorado River (seen in this image from Navajo Bridge at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area) and Canyonlands National Park (no, that’s not the Colorado River – it’s the Green River – but it’s in Canyonlands, hence the inclusion). It’s definitely worth a read. The last two, short videos in the article are especially interesting.

To read the article, click on the top image.

After you’ve read the article, stick around and listen to Podcast Episode 53, which interviews the journalist/photographer assigned to the Colorado River Special Report. You’ll also hear about Grand Portage National Monument. Makes me want to go visit that national monument for myself.

To listen to the podcast, click on the image below.

Green River Overlook Scenery

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

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Filed under Canon, Canyonlands National Park, climate change, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Podcast

Waterfall Wednesday

Gibbon Falls

It’s Waterfall Wednesday! I took a quick look through all the photos I’ve posted and I didn’t see this one listed, so here it is. If I missed it and have posted it before, my apologies. I just lose track, sometimes.

Anyway, this is Gibbon Falls in Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone has plenty of beautiful, photogenic falls, reached either by view area right off the road, or via a hike along a trail. Gibbon Falls has its own large parking lot and view areas (yes, multiple spots to view different angles of this beautiful waterfall).
 
Waterfalls make great subjects for silky water shots, you know. Yes, some people like their water to “look like water”, as one fan told me, but others like that dream quality of smooth, silky water that a slow shutter speed gives you. The key to getting a shot like this, where the lighting for the composition is good and the highlights in the waterfall are not too very blown out (overexposed) is to use a tripod (required, really) and a neutral density (ND) filter. ND filters come in verying sizes, shades (densities) and prices. Some of the fancier (and super-expensive) ones, like the Singh-Ray brand, can be adjusted to various densities of darkness with a twist of the outer filter ring. The darkness of the filter allows you to use really slow shutter speeds while still capturing a well-exposed image. If you don’t have a ND filter (and every SLR photographer should have that filter in their gearbag), a circular polarizer (CPL) can do a decent job, too. To be honest, I can’t remember if I used a CPL or a ND filter for this shot. If you have both filters in your camera gear arsenal, then try experimenting with each one to see which result you like best.
 
I also shot at a focal length that would allow for a decent cutoff of the trees at the bottom of the shot. Taking your compositional details into consideration (rather than just getting a grab shot), can mean the difference between a good image and a great image. Think of it as akin to trying to figure out where to (figuratively) chop off the arms and legs of someone you are photographing. Sometimes you just don’t have enough room to get everything in your shot, so you need to make that cutoff somewhere. Rule of thumb on that is to NOT crop off at the joints so it doesn’t look like they’ve been amputated.
 
And that concludes our photo lesson for Wednesday, folks. You are halfway through the week!
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Canon, National Parks, Photography, Waterfalls, Yellowstone National Park

It’s Fun Fact Friday!

A Sunrise Visitor At Sunset Point

In Bryce Canyon National Park, you’ll see mule deer. They got their name because their ears look alot like mule ears. They are closely related to the white-tailed deer. And now you know.

Speaking of fun, I have made trip plans to visit John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Oregon next month! You know, I’ve not visited many national monuments (come to think of it, I may never have visited a national monument) because I’ve always been so focused on national parks, because of my work for the National Parks Traveler. Then, I realized a few things. There are over 400 units within the National Park System. National monuments, as well as other protected lands (national recreation areas, national historical sites, etc.) are lands covered by the National Parks Traveler’s reporting too, plus, there are a number of national monuments that are within driving distance of where I live, now that I’m back out in the Pacific Northwest. So, I’m traveling there in March, then to Crater Lake in May. Depending upon what I hear from the two Artist-in-Residency programs for which I applied, I *might* be traveling to Yellowstone and/or Glacier National Park. Not holding my breath on that, so if either one of those don’t pan out, then Plan B is to make a big photographic road trip around Montana, to many of the Nez Perce National Historical Park units, going onward to Little Bighorn National Monument, and maybe stopping in at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. Those are great photo ops in the making with probably some pretty good storytelling for the Traveler!

In the meantime, planning is half the fun of traveling. Hope your Friday is a fun one!

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Bryce Canyon National Park, Canon, National Parks, Photography, Travel, wildlife

It’s Trivia Tuesday 2-4-2020!

An Evening View Of Pyramid Mountain And Landscape

It’s Trivia Tuesday! Did you know, in 1956, author Jack Kerouac spent time as a fire spotter for the National Park Service in North Cascades National Park, soaking in the solitude and getting inspiration for his books.

You can read more trivia and test your national parks knowledge with Quiz and Trivia #3 published in today’s edition of the National Parks Traveler. Just click on the image above.

This image was taken from the Diablo Dam in Ross Lake National Recreation Area, a part of the North Cascades Complex. The mountain you see is called Pyramid Peak (I wonder why …).

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

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Filed under Canon, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography

Can Lessons Learned From The White Island Eruption Be Applied To Yellowstone?

Geyser Eruptions CROP

Each of the two times I’ve visited Yellowstone National Park, I stood on the boardwalks of Upper Geyser Basin, marveling that I was standing above turbulent geothermal activity right beneath my feet, covered by fragile ground. I think people forget that, sometimes, which is why they do stupid shit like go off the boardwalks and try to get closer to the geysers and hot springs.

Today’s edition of the National Parks Traveler has the latest Yellowstone Caldera Chronicles column about New Zealand’s White Island eruption and the lessons learned that might be applied to Yellowstone. It’s a pretty interesting read, written by a U.S. Geological Survey research hydrologist.

To read the article, click on the image above

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Canon, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Yellowstone National Park

Scenic Science In The National Parks, And Some Bison Management

Black Growler Steam Vent And Ledge Geyser

I just finished listening to the National Parks Traveler’s Podcast Episode #51. Loved it! I had the book on pre-order already and am really excited about reading it when it becomes available. And of course, I love bison. If I didn’t think the hummingbird was my spirit animal, I would think bison were. Anyway, if you like wildlife, botany, geology, or bison, you should give this podcast a listen.

Just click on the image to be taken to the podcast site

As for this image, it was taken during my atumn trip to Yellowstone National Park. It’s what I first beheld when approaching Porcelain Basin, within the Norris Basin area. Those two steamers there are, I believe, Black Growler Steam Vent and Ledge Geyser. Correct me if I am wrong. I was looking at a map of the area and they seem to be in the same position as the two named entities.
 
For all that autumn is a less-visited time (relatively speaking) for Yellowstone, this particular area was pretty crowded, mainly with tour buses. So I had to stand there a bit in order to get a clear, non-peopled shot. That gorgeous turquoise water makes me think of glacier-fed waters, but in reality, these waters are hot and would literally skin you alive if you dipped a toe in them because they are so caustic.
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Canon, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Podcast, Travel

Solitude And Tranquility

A Quiet Summer Morning On A Little Pond

It’s the weekend, folks. Where will the trail take you? Perhaps to a quiet little pond for some solitude and thouthfulness? That’s what this image from Lake Clark National Park and Preserve brings to mind for me. It was a morning with no bears around to photograph, so we concentrated on other things during our hike out of a forest and into this misty meadow.

That’s a good lesson for you photographers out there. Often, we have high expectations of what we will see during a trip to a national park (or anywhere, for that matter). When it doesn’t pan out according to your expectations, then change those expectations and start observing what you see around you. On that morning, sans bears, I photographed a field filled with spiderwebs bejeweled with dewdrops. a downed nurselog housing a clump of tiny mushrooms, an orb weaver spider spinning a web, and this pond with it’s feathered swimmers within a golden meadow surrounded by mountains and a forest obscured by mist. It was lovely.

 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Alaska, Canon, Lake Clark National Park, National Parks, nature, Photography, Travel