Tag Archives: February

Same Spot, Different Season

I was in the process of uploading the image above to my photo website when I noticed the image at the top already on my website. I’d unknowingly captured pretty much the exact same spot at Biscuit Basin in Yellowstone National Park, only during different seasons of the year (and different years, too, actually). The top image was photographed in the summer (July) of 2018. The bottom photo was captured in the winter (February) of 2022. Note the difference in algae color in the stream leading away from the lovely blue hot spring in the background. These color changes indicate temperature changes and maybe even different algae accustomed to environments of different temps. The yellow means the water is much cooler in that leading line of a stream than the water in the hot spring. And the green means that the temperature is slightly warmer than the yellow, yet still cooler than the blue of the hot spring. Science is pretty neat! Yellowstone National Park is pretty neat!

These two images are fantastic examples of my constant advice telling you to go out and photograph the same favorite spot or view area during different seasons, times of day, and weather conditions. The landscape can change markedly, depending upon these factors.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Photography, National Parks, Yellowstone National Park

Alien Crash Site? Or Just A Little Hot Spring At Upper Geyser Basin?

This is just a close shot of a very small hot spring (maybe 3 feet in diameter, including the melted ground around it) I saw while walking on the boardwalks at Upper Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park one freezing February morning. It was a pretty thing, all bright and distinct against the white snow, and it reminded me of a favorite old 1950’s sci fi movie I watch all the time on my iPad when traveling (I listen to movies while editing photos). Anybody ever seen “The Thing From Another World?” Not the one with Kurt Russell, but the 1951 black-and-white version? To me, that’s a classic. The timing and overlapping of the dialog, the whole black-and-white scenario. I love it. Oh, the special effects are laughable, but I still like it way better than the 1982 film. Maybe it’s an age thing, but to me, the old movies are classics and always will be.

Anyway, where is this going, you may ask? Well, in the 1951 version, at one point, the plane with the scientists and the Airforce personnel are flying over the alien’s frozen-over crash spot, and it looks exactly like this little hot spring’s configuration right here. As a matter of fact, when I spotted this thermal spring, it was the first thing that popped into my head.

So, sometimes, you may photograph the things you see because they remind you of something else, right?

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Geology, National Parks, Photography, Yellowstone National Park

A Good Photo Should Evoke An Emotion, Feeling, Or Memory

Cold And Windswept, Yellowstone National Park

I had driven along the length of the Lamar Valley, then the road curved and headed more northerly, toward Cooke City. I’d already stopped and photographed Soda Butte (you can see it way in the distance a little left of center of this image), but decided to pull over again for a more wide-angle landscape.

Now, this image is nothing spectacular, although I think it’s pretty enough, and I (of course) like it. This image is more of an example of how a photograph can (and should) evoke some sort of emotion, memory, or feeling. That’s the hallmark of a good image, actually. Doesn’t have to be stunning to do that. When I look at this shot, I feel downright cold because I remember just how cold it was that day. I see the dry powder snow blown across the road by the freezing wind that chapped my cold hands. The day had a blue cast to it because it wasn’t a very bright day. The sun was hidden above angry clouds that turned into a winter snow storm later in the evening. The mountains were blue because they usually look blue in winter photos, don’t they? This shot shows that it’s a frigid winter in Yellowstone.

Scene shot with a Sony a7riv (a7r4) and Sony 24-105mm lens.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under National Parks, Photography, Sony Alpha a7r IV, Yellowstone National Park

Reader Participation Day: What Is The “National Park Experience” To You?

Bison In A Snowstorm At Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming)

I just returned from a winter trip to Yellowstone National Park. It was full of bucket list items I was able to check off. An amazing experience about which I’ll be writing in upcoming articles for the National Parks Traveler.

And, speaking of the Traveler, today’s edition has a Reader Participation Day article asking what the “national park experience” means to YOU. Why not go over, read the article and the questions asked, and leave a comment at the end of the article. The Traveler uses these things as pointers to what articles to next write and publish.

To read the article and leave a comment, click on the image above.

As for the image itself, it was serendipitous. I was staying at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge, and got up early that morning to do photography along the Upper Geyser Basin. It was snowing, and as I approached Old Faithful, I saw a small herd of bison grazing right there. Luckily for me I’d brought along my long lens (Sony 100-400mm) and captured some iconic shots that you’ll be seeing in upcoming Traveler articles.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved

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Filed under National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Seasons, Travel, Travel and Photography, winter, Yellowstone National Park

Do You Sometimes Wish You Could Return To Re-Photograph A Particular Scene?

I look back as some of my photos and wish I could revisit a particular landscape and capture the same scene with my newer-model cameras (bear in mind, newer-model also includes the high-megapixel Canons I’ve had since 2016). Dead Horse Point State Park in Utah is one such place, and this is one such scene.

I photographed this landscape back in 2013 (8 years ago – has it been that long – or that short – of a period of time??). The February winter midday light was harsh, but the distant snow/rain storm was pretty cool. I’d like to go back and see how much more detail and dynamic range my current cameras could pick up. Maybe someday, I’ll do just that.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Photography, Travel, Utah

Withstanding Time And The Elements In Zion National Park

Withstanding Time And The Elements

I may be an SLR gal, but I freely admit that point-and-shoots are great at capturing national park images, too. When I am out in the parks, I always carry one of my two little point-and-shoots in my pocket. They are not only backup in case the photographic unthinkable happens, but they are great at getting macro shots.
 
This photo of a ponderosa pine growing atop a cross-bedded red-rock knoll (probably a little lithified sand dune) and framed by other trees, was captured with my Canon GX7 MkII. While it’s not the most sturdy of cameras around the lens area (the dainty little shutter blades that made up the “lens cap” and opened and closed when the camera was powered on and off broke off when the camera accidentally fell out of my vest pocket. Thankfully, it still works and I purchased a push-on lens cap to protect the lens.
 
So, don’t knock the point-and-shoots. They produce some nice little images, too.
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Canon, Equipment, GX7 Mk II, National Parks, Photography, Point and Shoot, Seasons, Travel, winter, Zion National Park

Cheers!

Cheers

It’s what you do when you are a photographer taking a break from shoveling the driveway. And yes, it’s single malt.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under 5DS, Canon, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III, Canon Lens, Life, Photography, Seasons, Washington State, weather, winter

February in Arches National Park, Utah

The Walk To Park Avenue_U9A8035

The path toward Park Avenue

Ever since returning from my vacation in Arches NP, I’ve been swamped with day-job work as well as updating my Facebook photography page, uploading images to my photo website, working on a contract for a wedding and another one for a possible bellydance portfolio photo shoot, as well as writing a new article for the “Photography In the Parks” column on the National Parks Traveler website (which will show up in early March).  So forgive me for such a long absence.

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When I visited Arches National Park in 2012, it was only for about 3 days.  Not much time to actually take time to explore the park.  So as soon as I returned to Texas, I began planning an early 2013 re-visit to Arches for a longer period of time.

Here are a few thoughts for you photographers:

  • February is an awesome time to visit the park, if you can handle the cold temperatures. There are absolutely NO crowds – not even tour buses. That means you can explore popular spots like Balanced Rock, the Windows section, and Delicate Arch without having to clone people out of your images.  At times, I was the only person there (Balanced Rock and Delicate Arch) and it was an incredible feeling. Plus, it might snow in February like it did for me when I was there.

Becky and Balanced Rock

Becky and Balanced Rock

On Top Of The World

Delicate Arch All To Myself!

Turret Arch Vista

Snow Day in the Park!  Five inches of snow, actually.

  • As you are heading into the park, along the main paved road, everything on the left side of the road (the west side) is best photographed during the morning hours.

Salt Valley Sunrise

Salt Valley and the Devil’s Garden during Sunrise

  • Everything on the right side of the road (the east side) is best photographed during the afternoon and evening hours.

Balanced Rock In The Snow

Balanced Rock and the La Sal Mountains in the Afternoon

This is, of course, a general rule of thumb, not set in stone.

  • Visit a particular place more than once, at different times of the day. You will be surprised at how different your images look simply because of the time of day

La Sal Morning

The La Sal Mountain Viewpoint in the morning

Afternoon At The Same Scene

The La Sal Mountain Viewpoint in the afternoon

  • When you encounter one of those days during which you simply can’t get the landscape images you want, try concentrating a little more close-in; use your telephoto lens rather than your wide-angle lens.

One Little Tree CROP

One Little Tree in Park Avenue in the Afternoon (while everything else is totally in the shade at this time of day)

  • February is a bit of a sparse month for wildlife.  There are 50 Desert Bighorn Sheep living in this park, but I didn’t see a single one.  I did see 3 deer and a few ravens.  I did not see any reptiles, tarantulas, or scorpions.

Hello My Deers

Hello There, My Deers

February is a great month also for discounts on rental vehicles and deals on Moab hotel rooms.  It’s the slow time of year for them, so they LOVE having people visit in the winter (the Moab Brewery was practically empty the one time I went there for a yummy lunch of beer cheese soup and a Scorpion Pale Ale).  Make sure, though, you make your plane reservations and any other reservations ahead of time (I made my plane reservation to Grand Junction CO and car rental reservation 5 months ahead of time, then, when I arrived in Grand Junction, I actually upgraded to an SUV because Hertz offered me a sweet discount).

If you can’t find a room for a hotel you like on one website, either go to another website, or wait a few weeks and then try again.  I originally used Hotels.com to make a room reservation in Moab at a hotel other than the one I really wanted because Hotels.com couldn’t find a vacancy for that time period.  About three weeks prior to my departure date, I went onto the website of  my original hotel choice (Aarchway Inn) and found a room for a great deal (they actually put me in the very same room I’d stayed in before).  Perseverance pays off!

Yes, February is a great time to visit Arches National Park….and nearby Dead Horse Point State Park and Canyonlands National Park, as well.

I Made It - Again

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Filed under Arches National Park, National Parks, Photography, Travel