I just finished reading a very good opinion article in the NY Times, and thought I’d share it. The link is embedded in the photo above, so click on the image to be taken to the article.
As for this image: I’ve visited Bryce Canyon National Park twice in my life – both in 2018. My first time to see this geologically surreal place was in April 2018, and then again in July 2018, during my road trip move from TX to central WA. Each time, I ventured out on the Fairyland Canyon Loop Trail, but never completely hiked the 8 miles. I’d sure like to finish what I started, so maybe I’ll schedule a road trip back to this park in 2022.
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.
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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!
Did you know: geologists use trees at Bryce Canyon National Park to gauge the rate of erosion along the rims of the amphitheaters in the park? As the soil erodes away, it leaves the trees “hanging in the air” as their roots grasp at what is left of the soil. A great example is the Limber Pine next to the view area railing at Sunrise Point (the one you see in the photo above).
To read more national park trivia and even test your national parks knowledge with a short quiz, click on the image above to be taken to the article on the National Parks Traveler’s site. Oh, btw, I wrote the article with the quiz and trivia in it.
I was hiking along the Rim Trail between Sunset Point and Lower Inspiration Point in Bryce Canyon National Park when the summer monsoon clouds started to arrive, providing thunder, lightning and subsequent rain. I captured this shot before hotfotting it back along the trail to the lodge cabins, where I took shelter from the storm.
Sunrise in this national park is sublime, no matter whether it’s a sunny day, an overcast day, or an in-between kind of day.
And now, in addition to sunrises being sublime, so are night skies, since this national park has been certified an International Dark Sky Park.
The park’s 20th Annual Astronomy Festival will be June 17-20, 2020. I’ve made my reservations for a room during that time. Maybe then, I’ll actually stay awake late enough to get some cool night shots, since I didn’t do that during my previous two visits (sigh). I readily admit that Bryce Canyon is one of my favorite national parks.
Upper Inspiration Point, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
No, I’m not in Bryce Canyon. I’m instead going through a few archived shots and using them to create HDR images.
For those of you who have never been to Bryce Canyon National Park, sunrises at Upper Inspiration Point are amazing. Actually, sunrises anywhere in this park are amazing. There’s Inspiration Point, and there’s *Upper* Inspiration Point, accessed via a very steep, but short hike on a very well-maintained trail a little further up along the Rim Trail from the regular Inspiration Point view area.
I used a single image and then copied it a couple of times, using different exposure settings. I then combined all those images into HDR. The reason for this is because I did not bracket my original shots (which I should probably do more often, for when I want to use HDR), and because I handheld the camera. The fence at Upper Inspiration Point is just a little too tall for me to stand on tiptoe with my tripod, trying to look through the viewfinder. There was a tall guy standing next to me with his tall tripod, and he didn’t have any problems. I did. So, instead, I handheld the camera and used the “burst method” of holding down on the shutter button for several clicks. I knew out of all those shots, at least one of them would be nice and sharp. The caveat with the burst method is that it takes up space on the memory cards, so I always bring lots of extras with me, in varying sizes of 16GB to 128GB.
Every January, for the past 6 years, my first photo column of the year for the National Parks Traveler has dealt with my favorite shots from the previous year. This year, I have 10 faves – one from each national park / recreation area I visited. To read the article, click on the photo above.
Yes, yes, more shameless self-promotion. I previously listed a calendar I made with Lulu.com. I also made calendars using other websites as well, for quality control and comparison. As such, I’ve decided I really, really like Zazzle’s products much better and have set up a storefront there, with calendars representing the national parks I’ve visited this year. I’ve got a couple more calendars to go, but if you are interested in taking a peek (they make great gifts), then click on any of the images to be taken to my storefront.
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It’s that time of year for a little self-promotion, folks. I’ve created a 2019 12-month wall calendar filled with gorgeous photos of each amazing national park I visited during (and after) my road trip move from Texas to Washington.
You always need a calendar for appointments and special events, right? They make great gifts, and the holiday season is just around the corner. Why not check mine out before you look at any others.
To get to my calendar storefront, click on the photo. You’ll be able to preview each month’s image there.
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The beginning of sunrise at Upper Inspiration Point in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
It’s the dawn of a new weekend, folks. What are your plans? Eventually, mine will include a trip up to Mount Rainier, but for *this* weekend, my plans are to help around the house with some rebuilding while feeling thankful that I have an intact home, electricity and that I’m not surrounded by the aftermath of a hurricane.
The weather is beginning to feel more like fall, here in Central Washington. It’s 46 degrees F this morning! Soon, the leaves will begin to change color. I’m loving it.
As for the photo, this shot was captured handheld. Usually, I’d have a tripod with me for sunrise images, but on this morning, I just didn’t feel like lugging a heavy tripod up a steep trail to reach Upper Inspiration Point. Instead, I used my hiking pole to help me get up to this view area, then set the camera’s ISO to 320, the aperture to 7.1 and the shutter speed to 1/30 and used the burst method of holding down the shutter button to get several shots. 320 is not a very high ISO for a handheld shot in low light, so I was surprised, myself, that the photo turned out well. I did have to do a little post-process lightening to bring out the geologic structures below the horizon, and I also applied some noise (grain) removal to the shot. Because I was using the 24-70mm lens, there was no image stabilization I could apply. While this speaks well for just handholding a camera, I still am a strong adherent of using a tripod under most circumstances – particularly since there are some techniques that require a tripod (like time-lapse photos and slow shutter speed images for silky water or surreal clouds or most low-light situations, really).
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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