Category Archives: Glacier National Park MT

Wildfire Smoke Affects More Than Just Your Ability To View A National Park Landscape

Tipsoo Lake in Mount Rainier National Park on a clear day versus a wildfire smoke-filled day

I know, I’ve been pretty remiss about posting to this site. I have good intentions and then I get either lazy or sidetracked.

Putting that aside, I recently visited Mount Rainier National Park during the week the smoke rolled in from the wildfires in California and Oregon. I didn’t realize this until after I got there, since the weather reports were calling for clear, sunny skies and I wanted to get out along Stevens Canyon Road and the Nisqually-Paradise Corridor to photograph and video some scenes. My plan changed a bit, as you can see.

When I returned home, I had questions about what might and might not be impacted by all this smoke (aside from being able to photograph a landscape), so I did some quick research, wrote an article, and the National Parks Traveler published it today.

To read that article, click on either image above or below.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

Viewing the Nisqually River from the bridge over the river on a clear day versus a smoky day

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Photography In The National Parks: Getting Out There With My Cameras During The Coronavirus Pandemic

The view from the summit of Watchman Peak in Crater Lake National Park

It is possible to take a safe and enjoyable trip into a national park, if you prepare and use some precautions. I returned alive and well (it’s been 14 days since my return) to write how I did it and what I saw at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon.

To read the story published in the National Parks Traveler, click on the image above.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Photography In The National Parks: Back In Business Again

Forest Magic in the lower elevations

My photo article has been published on the National Parks Traveler. Usually, my columns are published a little closer to the end of the month, but this one is different in that it deals with what you might see if you happen to visit Mount Rainier National Park anytime soon, since it’s reopened the road from the Nisqually entrance to Paradise.

To read the article, click on the image above.

As for this photo – the rain was pelting down as I got out of the car with my camera. I captured this image handheld because it was a pain to get out the tripod and set it up in the downpour. Even my camera’s rain protection was beginning to get saturated, and my bangs were plastered to my forehead. Yes, I did wear a rainjacket but didn’t pull the hood over my head because water kept dropping from the hood onto the camera. It was a mess and I was lucky to get this shot.

This was using my Nikon D850 and 24-120 lens. This is the lens that I won’t ever use again because out of all the shots I took with it, only this and one other image turned out. I’d read about problems with this lens but didn’t think it would happen to me. I guess sort of like people thinking coronavirus won’t happen to them. I *thought* everything was hunky dory after doing some lens calibration, but apparently not. Live and learn. Better to have this happen with a nearby park trip than next month’s Crater Lake trip.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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National Parks Podcast #69

The forest in monochrome on the road up to Longmire
Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

No, I haven’t gone into the park, yet. I’ll be leaving tomorrow morning for that. The weather is supposed to be iffy, which means “The Mountain” will probably be in hiding. I wonder if that will affect the number of people who come into the park.

Got off on a tangent there. What I meant to write about is that I listened to the latest podcast (#69) from the National Parks Traveler. It’s an interview with large format photographer and environmentalist Clyde Butcher. It was a great interview, and I’m pleased and proud that many of the things he says about photography, I’ve been writing about in my columns for the Traveler. I don’t agree with this assertion that mountain photography is “a bunch of rocks,” but then, he loves photographing the Everglades and Big Cypress, which are teaming with all sorts of life and light.

Two things that really struck me about the interview is that Mr. Butcher said “what is photography but light?” and the fact that he wants his photos to tell a story.

Give it a listen, if you have time. It’s only about 40 minutes long. Definitely makes me want to get back out there and work on my monochrome shots.

Click on the image above to go to the podcast

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Happy Earth Day 2020!

Autumn Color

Maine in the autumn is one of the most beautiful places to visit for the colors. This particular shot epitomizes what you can see (within and outside of Acadia National Park, which is why I was in Maine in the first place). During the fall, you’ll see tall trees with variagated greens, oranges, yellows and reds, and marshlands with thin ribbons of water weaving its way through the golden grass.

John Ford Country

This image was captured in the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park, in Utah. They don’t call it “canyonlands” for nothin’. It’s the “John Ford Country” you’ve imagined in Westerns: arid, deep, broad canyons and tall mesas, buttes, hoodoos and spires, all colored in different shades of red, yellow, pink and orange. The immensity of this place dwarfs the human figure.

Fire Hose From The Air

I’ve visited Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, on the Big Island of Hawaii, twice – once in 2014 and again in 2017. During the 2017 visit, I was with a small photo tour, and one of the highlights of the tour was to take an open-door helicopter ride over active volcanics in the park. In this image, I was flying over the “Fire Hose”, a stream of lava pouring from a lava tube directly into the Pacific Ocean. The land above this is cooled pahoehoe lava. Looks desolate on land, doesn’t it? Probably the way things looked when the earth was still shaping itself.

Sunset Over Wild Goose Island

Sunsets at the Wild Goose Island view area on St. Mary Lake in Glacier National Park in Montana are as lovely as sunrises, albeit a little more muted. The trees and forests and lower portions of the mountains become silhouetted while the lake reflects the saturated colors of the oncoming “Blue Hour” (which really lasts only a few minutes between sunset and darkness (or between darkness and sunrise).

Full Moon Over The Three Gossips

The next morning after New Year’s Day, I was up and at ‘em super-early, ready to catch the full moon in Arches National Park in Utah. Actually, I was trying to capture some star shots, but as you can see in this image, the moon outshone everything, creating enough light that I could see my own shadow on the park road as I stood in the freezing winter air with my tripod set up for a long exposure of the moon bathing the Three Gossips rock formation and the landscape below.

As I look back on my photos, I realize I have been to quite a few really cool spots in the U.S. and abroad. Each spot has a different ecosystem, and each ecosystem is fragile. While it sounds trite to write this on every Earth Day, we really should take stock of our environments, appreciate what we see out there in nature, and try to take better care of it – even if that just means we are picking up the trash along the trail and nothing else.

Happy Earth Day 2020!

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

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Filed under Arches National Park, Canon, Canon Lens, Canyonlands National Park, Earth Day, Glacier National Park MT, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, Maine, National Parks, Photography, Travel

When Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

A Forest Fire Sunrise Over Lake McDonald

A forest fire sunrise at Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park, in Montana

You’ve planned months or even a year ahead for that once-in-a-lifetime trip to a particular national park. Your arrival, however, may coincide with smoky landscapes from a forest fire, near or far. Don’t let that deter you from enjoying your stay and using your camera. My latest photography column published in the National Parks Traveler provides ideas to help you get WOW-worthy shots on even the haziest of days.

To read the article, click on the image above.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Made For Monochrome

Glacier In The Winter BW

It’s a gray, rainy, cold day here in my part of central Washington. So, I thought I’d post a black and white image, courtesy of a freezing winter’s day in Glacier National Park. Some landscapes were made for monochrome, like this view of the mountains from the icy shoreline of Lake McDonald.

May the day find you exploring someplace beautiful, camera in hand.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

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Filed under Canon, Glacier National Park MT, monochrome, National Parks, Photography

Happy New Year, Everybody!

Where will the trails take you in 2020?

Snow Path Along The Shoreline

Perhaps to Glacier National Park in the winter?

The Path To Casa Grande

Or maybe Big Bend National Park in the winter?

Hiking Down The Queens Garden Trail

Or Bryce Canyon National Park in the spring?

Very Early Morning Reflection at Nugget Pond

Or to Denali National Park in the summer?

Wherever the trails take you in 2020, remember to pack out what you pack in, stay safe, and enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

As for myself, well, I kept trying to think of what to say for myself and couldn’t come up with anything.  The “travel bug” is biting hard and I want to get out and travel right now, but responsibilities keep me anchored to home at this point.  This is as it should be, actually, because time at home gives me the much-needed time to spiffy up my photo website (adding keywords to each and every photo, beginning with the national park shots), build up my brand, and work harder at getting out there for more national park photography. Which leads me to this phrase which I have borrowed from a Facebook friend:

“I plan to carry the momentum of small steps on to bigger things in 2020.”

Yup, that works for me.

Happy New Year, everybody!

Rebecca Latson, Where The Trails Take You Photography

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Big Bend, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canon, Denali National Park, Glacier National Park MT, Holidays, Life, National Parks, New Year, Photography, Travel

Road Construction In Many Glacier Soon

Swiftcurrent Lake Reflections

Hey folks! If you are thinking of taking a 2020-2021 trip to the Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park (like I am), then you’ll want to read the article published in today’s edition of the National Parks Traveler.  There’s (finally) going to be some much-needed road construction on the Many Glacier Road that will probably cause a few headaches for travelers.

To read the article, click on the image above.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

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Filed under Glacier National Park MT, Montana, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Travel

It’s Wildlife Wednesday!

Portrait Of A Moose Cow

Portrait of A Moose Cow, Fishercap Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana
Last week was Waterfall Wednesday, so this week, it’s all about the wildlife. This beautiful moose cow was photographed at Fishercap Lake in the Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park, Montana. I’d already heard that moose sightings were common at this lake, so I spent different times of day photographing there. It was nice to be able to do this, since my timing was a little poor to visit this national park. The Sprague Fire was raging, and there was so much smoke in the air during that time, I could barely see the mountains for landscape images. So, I’m glad I was able to clearly focus on something else.
 
Taken with a Canon 1DX and a 100-400mm lens.
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved

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Filed under 1DX, autumn, Canon, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, Canon Lens, Glacier National Park MT, Moose, National Parks, Photography, Seasons, wildlife