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.
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.
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.
The forestin 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.
I’ve been going through archived photos lately, reworking some and editing ones I’d never bothered with before. Why? In part, that’s what photographers do when they get better at their editing skills, and in addition, I’ve discovered that the square format I’ve never liked is actually quite helpful at creating a photo from something I thought was useless but which I didn’t want to consign to the virtual trash bin.
That square format – the one Instagram likes so much – I’ve learned, once again, to never say never. As a matter of fact, I’m writing an article for the National Parks Traveler about the square format and Instagram, but it won’t show up until probably around June, since I already have articles in queue up through May.
For now, consider this yet another piece of advice to never delete images you think are no good because of that blurry leaf amongst the otherwise clear leaves, or the car you accidentally photographed going over a bridge with a beautiful waterfall beneath it. The squre crop tool can remove those things, but you need to keep an eye out on how you crop your image so you continue to tell the story you want of that particular landscape.
As for this image, it was captured a long time ago. I was driving from the western entrance to the park, up to Logan Pass. The clouds were low and swirling around the mountains and I stopped to get a shot along the way up to The Loop, that first real switchback up Going-To-The-Sun Road.
A view of Going-to-the-Sun road from the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park
Yahoo! Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park is now officially cleared of snow and open for the 2018 summer season to vehicles in all of its 50-mile stretch, as of June 23rd, 2018.
For those of you who have never visited Glacier National Park and driven along this National Historic Landmark for views of some of the most stunning scenery within a national park, it’s quite a feat to plow the snow from this road every year, starting in early spring. Usually, the road is open either at the end of June or sometimes, in early-mid July. So June 23rd is pretty early.
The history of this road is quite interesting, and if you want to read about it, click on the photo above. The article is a little dated, but the history and trivia remains the same.
This image was taken 10 years ago, during the very first photo workshop I’d ever taken, using one of my very first full-frame cameras (Canon 5D). The workshop took place in Glacier National Park, Montana and – while a bit strenuous in terms of hiking for my tastes and physical capabilities – was a worthwhile event that led me to continue joining up in other photo tours and workshops (yes, there is a slight difference between the two and I actually wrote an articleabout it in the National Parks Traveler back in 2014).
This image is looking back on part of the trail from St. Mary Falls leading onward to Virginia Falls.
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.
My latest monthly photography article has been published in the National Parks Traveler website. This month’s article deals with using video to capture not only the sights but also the sounds of a national park visit. Click on the photo above to check out the article.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYBODY
(yes, one day early – at least it’s not one day late as is my usual timing)
As I look back on 2016, I see a mix of good and bad, as is usual over the course of a year. The good stuff had to do with travel and photography and getting closer to what is left of my family. The bad stuff – well, let’s just say 2016 was marginally better than 2015, which was a horrible year.
Sooooo, I’m truly hoping that 2017 makes up for all the bad stuff. And I also hope the New Year 2017 is a start of many good things for all of you out there.
Now, for this photo: I had the great good fortune to stay in London over Christmas and New Year. It was my last hurrah to close out that horrible 2015 year I mentioned earlier. I deliberately chose that time of year to fly to London because I wanted to especially see the fireworks over the London Eye.
I remember joining the hordes to wait about 45 minutes for the security lines to open up so we could go find a spot around 7pm (nothing ever opens up exactly on time, you know). I went through 3 checkpoints before squeezing into a spot along the Thames in front of the Royal Horseguards Hotel and across from that great wheel on which one can get an amazing view of the surrounding land. It was a good thing I didn’t have to go to the toilet because we all stood there, cheek-by-jowl, for about 5 hours, waiting for the countdown to begin. I got acquainted with the family from the Midlands and the young lady from Dubai standing behind me who was there for some sort of news service.
It was worth the wait. The 10-minute display of fireworks was amazing and I alternated between having the camera up to my eye and then putting it down so I could just enjoy the fireworks without looking through a lens. It was such a neat feeling to realize I was actually standing there, in London, watching the New Years fireworks from a prime spot, surrounded by people from all over the world.
Again, Happy New Year! I hope everybody’s 2017 adventures far surpass those embarked upon in 2016.
All images on these posts are the exclusive property of Rebecca L. Latson and Where The Trails Take You Photography. Please respect my copyright and do not use these images on Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat or any other business, personal or social website, blog site, or other media without my written permission. Thank you.
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