Category Archives: National Parks

Down The Road In Eastern Oregon

Eastern Oregon Geology And Landscape

No, the horizon does not need to be straightened. The landscape (and the road, a little) was tilted just like that.

I recently spent 3 days in eastern Oregon, visiting John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. I’ve written a story about my stay that will be published in the National Parks Traveler sometime in April.

As for eastern Oregon, itself, I can tell you the scenery is stunning and the geology is amazing, as you can see in this image.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under 5DS, Canon, Canon Lens, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, National Parks, Oregon, Travel

National Parks Quiz And Trivia #4

Stars Over Lake Louise

A starry pre-dawn landscape at Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Canada

Did you know that Banff National Park was once just a 10-square-mile reserve around Sulphur Mountain Hot Springs? Now, it’s over 2,500 square miles and is Canada’s second largest mountain park next to Jasper National Park.

You can read more national park trivia and test your national parks knowledge with a quiz that’s been published in today’s edition of the National Parks Traveler. Just click on the image above to go to the quiz and see how much you really know about the national parks.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

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A Sunset For Your Sunday

Sunset And Silhouettes On Kalaloch Beach

Sunset and silhouettes on Kalaloch Beach, Olympic National Park

How about a sunset for your Sunday?

As most of you know, I’m a sunrise kind of gal (because I’m an early riser). Sunsets are a little more difficult for me because I’m usually tired and ready to call it a day so I can download and work on photos. I made an exception, though, while staying along the Pacific coast of Olympic National Park. I knew that the sunsets would be far more dramatic and dazzling than any sunrise would be. And I was glad I did stay up! I need to stay up longer more often when visiting national parks and national monuments.

Speaking of national park visits, I made reservations for a camping cabin (via Recreation.gov) for a week’s stay in Lassen Volcanic National Park this coming June. I’m stoked! I have been wanting to visit this national park for a long time. It’s about a 9-10 hour drive from where I live – far preferable than having to fly. I can actually take the photographic- and camping- equivalent of the kitchen sink, now! Woo hoo! I’d rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

FYI about making reservations for a campsite or camping cabin (as in, no electricity or running water or toilet in the cabin) via Recreation.gov: It’s kinda tricky. I had to keep refreshing and revisiting that site and it was just a mess. I felt like I’d won an award when the site finally confirmed my reservation!

As a matter of fact, the National Parks Traveler wrote an article awhile back about making reservations through this site:

https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/2019/02/updated-got-those-recreationgov-blues

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Canon, Landscape, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Olympic National Park, Photography, sunset, Travel

Where Ever The Road Takes You Today

The Road Through The Rain Forest

Good morning! Where is the road going to take you, today? To work? To home? To a national park? To adventure and places unknown? Where ever the road takes you, please drive safely.

The road, in two weeks, will take me to the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Oregon. I’m looking forward to that as it will be my first long trip of the year. I don’t know if any part of the road will be as misty and mysterious as this road leading through the Quinault Rain Forest in Olympic National Park, but I do believe there will be some interesting scenery along the way.

I haven’t been to Oregon in probably 30 years, give or take, so it will be nice to see that beautiful state again. My father’s mother lived for many years along the Oregon coast. It was her favorite place – her happy place, just like living near the mountains is for me. When she died, my parents poured her ashes on a beach along the Oregon coast, then put moss agates around the ashes in a circle, since Granny was an avid “rockhound.”

As for this image, well, you know I like photographing leading lines. And leading lines don’t have to be straight. They can be curvy, too. A leading line is whatever takes your eye from one part of the photo to another, like a fence, a treeline, a line of buildings, a trail, or a boardwalk.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Canon, leading lines, Life, National Parks, Olympic National Park, Photography, Travel

A Lesson In Composition

The Evening View From The Gazebo

A Kalaloch Beach sunset from the gazebo, Olympic National Park

Good morning, class. Today’s lesson will be in composition: as in, what to try and avoid when composing your image.

Now, the image above is lovely, or rather, is looking upon a lovely scene. At the time I captured it, I know I wanted to get the scene below framed by the gazebo structure. However, I must have suffered a bit of a brain fart, because the composition did not come out as I’d hoped. What I should have done (and don’t know why I didn’t), was include at least a portion of a third post into the left side of the photo. Right now, in this image, things look a little weighted and not quite right. There is part of a post on the far right side, and a post in the middle, but absolutely nothing on the left side.

So, the moral (lesson) of this story is to try and make certain that, when looking through the camera viewfinder, your images are evenly weighted with regard to natural frames (like the gazebo posts).

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Canon, Composition, Lessons, National Parks, natural frames, Olympic National Park, Photography

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

The Colorado River At Navajo Bridge

A view of the Colorado River and Vermilion Cliffs from the Navajo Bridge in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Arizona

The Colorado River begins in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and runs about 1,450 miles through several states and empties out (eventually) into the Gulf of California. I saw a very tiny segment of this river during my short, 1-hour visit to Navajo Bridge in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area on my way to the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
As part of the National Parks Traveler’s continuing series on the health of the Colorado River, a great article has been published today about how climate change is affecting the Colorado River water in Glen Canyon NRA. Definitely worth a read.
To read this article, click on the image above.
I know, I have lots of links to the National Parks Traveler, don’t I? If you are new to my blog site (or if you just don’t look at my site that often but still follow me), I am a writer and photographer and contributing editor for the Traveler. I also believe in what the Traveler does, which is to report on our national parks and protected areas on a daily basis, providing you with travel, photography, and news articles you wouldn’t find anywhere else – at least, not on a daily basis.
In retrospect, I wish I could have stayed a little longer at Navajo Bridge then driven the 6 miles down to Lees Ferry to hike along the river. But, having departed Petrified National Park early that morning (it was a little after 10 AM when I captured the image above), I was tired from driving and ready to get to my next destination (the North Rim) with time to explore *that* area.
Next time …
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under 5DSR, Arizona, Canon, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III, Canon Lens, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Seasons, summer, Travel

Where Will The Trails Take You?

Hiking The Trail To Adventure

It’s the weekend! Where will the trails take you? Will you be hiking into adventure or staying closer to home. Wherever you will be, have fun, stay safe, and, if you *are* out hiking, then pack out what you pack in.
 
This image was captured at the beginning of my walk through the Hall of Mosses Trail in Olympic National Park during my August 2019 visit. The boardwalk made a perfect leading line, and I was hurrying with my camera and 14mm lens to get a nice, wide-angle shot of the boardwalk, the trees in the distance, and the couple on the trail before they disappeared within the shadows of the forest. I thought the two people made a nice bit of scale and reference to the scene.
 
Summer is a nice time to visit this park, believe it or not. There were lots of people, but nothing compared to the masses I encountered when visiting Yellowstone National Park the previous August of 2018. If you get out early enough, you’ll escape the crowds that appear later in the morning and afternoon.
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

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Filed under 5DS, Canon, Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II, Canon Lens, National Parks, Olympic National Park, Photography, Seasons, summer, Travel, Washington State