Tag Archives: forest

Tree Geometry In The Sol Duc Valley, Olympic National Park

OLYM_RebeccaLatson-2285-2_Scenery Along The North Fork Sol Duc Trail

I can remember when photographing a forest was sort of an afterthought. Now, I love walking into the forests to photograph the myriad shades of green, the different patterns and textures, and perhaps, if I am lucky, to capture the inner glow of a forest.

The forests of Sol Duc are old growth. They are different from the mossy rain forests of the Hoh and Quinault in that they are taller – or, at least, they stand straighter, like toothpicks – and it’s a bit drier in the Sol Duc. That’s not to say there isn’t moss coating the trees, because there is, just not as much, I think.

I was heading out of the Sol Duc and on to Lake Crescent when I stopped to photograph the Sol Duc River. I spied some interesting scenes within the shadowed interior of the forest across the road and noticed there was a trail – the North Fork Sol Duc River Trail, I believe. So I took my tripod and camera and set up on different portions of the trail to photograph the tall trees and green fern-carpeted forest floor.

A tripod is the best way to photograph the shadowy forest interior. That way, you can use a low ISO (200) and a slower shutter speed (5 sec) while keeping your aperture relatively small (f/9).

I would imagine that with the onset of fall, things are probably getting a little wetter out there now. I think I went at just the right time.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under 24-105mm, 5DS, Canon, Canon Lens, forest, National Parks, Olympic National Park, Photography, Seasons, summer, Travel, Washington State

The Searching Eye of Sauron in Nature

The Searching Eye Of Sauron In Nature CROP

I have no idea what possessed me to look up at this particular juncture during my foray along the Grove of The Patriarchs Trail in Mount Rainier National Park. I think it might have been to see if I could spot the little bird that was singing so exuberantly. The moment my eyes lit upon this forked tree top and the spider web between the prongs, I immediately thought of Sauron’s searching eye in The Return Of The King.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

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Filed under 24-105mm, 5DS, Canon, Canon Lens, forest, Mount Rainier National Park, Mt. Rainier National Park, National Parks, nature, Photography, Seasons, summer, Travel, Washington State

Peering Into The Lowland Forest

Peering Deep Into The Forest

It’s Forest Friday! Yeah, still trying to work on those alliterative terms for the photos and days of the week. Sometimes it works, other times are iffy.

As for this image, when I was growing up, even into my early 30’s, I was never really interested in the forest. Hiking through it was boring and a means to an end of getting to some awesome mountain vista. Then, my digital camera days began, and things changed. I began to actually observe my interior forest surroundings. Even though green has never been a favorite color of mine, I began to discern all the myriad shades of green a forest possesses. I began to see the different mosses on the trees and nurse logs, and I began noticing fungi, from large, dish-shaped ones to teeny tiny delicate little ‘shrooms growing out of the side of a decaying log. That digital camera opened up a new world for me – one that had always existed but for which I never had much time or inclination to explore, and I began to actually *observe* my forest surroundings, which, in turn, has made me a much better photographer.

If you look at this image and keep peering at it and through it to as far as your eye can make out, you’ll see all sorts of different colors and textures and patterns, thanks to the waters of the Pacific Northwest.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under 24-70mm f2.8L II, 5DS, Canon, Canon Lens, Equipment, forest, Mount Rainier National Park, Mt. Rainier National Park, National Parks, nature, Photography, Seasons, Spring, Travel, Washington State

The Geometry of Nature

Water And Woods On A Rainy May Day CROP

When we go out into nature with our cameras, our attention is grabbed by geometry, whether we realize it or not. We are fascinated by patterns, lines, arcs, angles, circles and ellipses.

In this particular image, the first thing catching my attention on that rainy morning in Mount Rainier National Park were the tall trees standing at attention next to that somewhat-arc of a swiftly-flowing stream.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under 24-105mm, 5DS, Canon, Canon Lens, Mount Rainier National Park, Mt. Rainier National Park, National Parks, nature, Photography, Seasons, Spring, Travel, Washington State, weather

Clouds In The Mountains, Glacier National Park

Clouds In The Mountains

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.
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved

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Filed under autumn, Canon, Glacier National Park MT, Montana, National Parks, Photography, Seasons, Travel, Travel and Photography

Jenny Lake Scenery

Jenny Lake Scenery

There’s a reason Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, is so popular. That area possesses some stunning forest and mountain scenery, which I photographed while taking a short walk along the popular trail encompassing Jenny Lake.

Speaking of Grand Teton, the season for berries is now, and humans are allowed to pick berries in this park. Of course, there are regulations as well as harvesting devices which are prohibited, not to mention the fact that the bears are out after those berries, as well.

If you want to know more, click on this link to the article in the National Parks Traveler: https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/…/grand-teton-park-vi…

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

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Filed under Canon, Grand Teton National Park, National Parks, Photography, Travel, Wyoming

Hiking The Trail And Leaving No Trace

Hiking The Trail

One of today’s newly-published articles in the National Parks Traveler is titled “Leave No Trace This Summer As You Explore The Outdoors.” This article reminded me of this image that I had just reworked, so I thought I’d post it along with the advice to leave no trace and pack in what you pack out. Is it possible to really leave no trace? Well, go read the article in the Traveler to find out.

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 article about 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.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under 24-105mm, 5D, Canon, Canon Lens, Equipment, Glacier National Park MT, Montana, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Travel, Travel and Photography

Focus On The Eyes – Focus On The Light

Portrait Of A Juvenile Yellow-Crowned Night Heron

I feel like I’ve struck gold this month!  In addition to my 3 Days in Big Bend article, the National Parks Traveler has published my regular monthly photography article.  Click on the photo to go to that article (and no, the photo above was not taken in a national park – it’s just all I had access to this morning as I post this blog).

 

 

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Filed under Canon, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography

Sometimes It Pays To Listen To That Little Voice Inside Your Head

6225_Becky and Her Rental Fiat

Sometimes, you need to listen to that little voice  inside your head.  Usually, I don’t, but today, I did.  And I’m glad.

Day 3 of my Washington State vacation saw me heading toward the Longmire entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park.  I had a reservation for two nights at the National Park Inn.  I love staying in historic park lodges.  No, they aren’t 5-star hotels – they are very basic with no bells or whistles and usually no television or phone and definitely no internet service.  But, they are always rich with park history.

April means The Mountain still has quite a bit of snow, making access to many places difficult to well nigh impossible.  I’d already stayed at the Paradise Lodge, so I figured staying someplace a little lower in elevation would allow me to hike around without having to resort to cross-country skis (back in the day, I loved downhill skiing, but was a terrible alpine skier).

Naturally, I arrived at the National Park Inn way too early for  check-in, having left my Seattle hotel around 7AM that morning (it only takes 2 hours to get to the Longmire entrance).  So, I figured I’d try to drive up to the Paradise area to see how it looked covered with snow; I’d visited during the fall, when the huckleberry bushes were brilliant oranges and reds, and the sky was a deep, dark blue.

The best adjective I have to describe the day is: “bleak”.  The sky was a hazy white.  The cloud cover was high enough in altitude to not hide Mt. Rainer and surrounding mountains, but basically, the scenery was white on white, with a little bit of dark from the treeline and the rocks sticking out of the snow.

I realized I was fighting an uphill battle when my attempt to hike to Narada Falls was a total bust before even leaving the parking lot.  The snow level reached above my head and I had no snow shoes (perhaps I should invest in a pair, although I do live in southeast Texas where snow shoes do nothing but make for an interesting wall decoration).  Then, I heard a little voice inside my head telling me to head back down in elevation, away from the hues of white, and toward the multitudinous hues of green deep within the shadowy forest.

So, I did.

I parked, pulled out my tripod and cameras, set things up, then just stood there.

And listened.

The forest is still and silent, yet alive with the sounds of nature:  birdsong, wind blowing through the trees, the creak of the trees as they bend in the wind, the drip of moisture from the leaves to the ground, the flow of water from countless meltwater springs and rivulets.

5017_Running Water

5030_Running Water

5041_Running Water

5050_Running Water

I captured images I would not have thought to photograph had I not listened to that little inner voice telling me to leave the white-on-white.

5005_Forest Greens

94C1098_Moss

94C1117_Green Encrusted Log

94C1133_Moss Greens

94C1150_Tall Trees and Many Greens

5010_Mossy Arms

Do yourself a favor – listen occasionally to that little voice inside your head because it may well lead you to the best images of the day.

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Filed under Mt. Rainier National Park, National Parks, Photography, Travel, Travel and Photography, Vacation

Glacier National Park, Montana – A Photologue: From Logan Pass to Siyeh Bend to St. Mary Falls

From Logan Pass Visitor Center, it’s all downhill….driving, that is.  The photography on the eastern side of the pass is just as stupendous as on the western side, if not moreso.

This image taken just a mile or so beyond the visitor center has special meaning for me – some 20+ years ago, I made my first trip back to the park since my family moved to Kentucky when I was 9 years old.  I of course only had a film camera, and I photographed this very same spot as you see below; years later, I uploaded the film version to my Flickr site, although the scanner didn’t do the image justice.  So when I returned to this spot in 2008, I just had to take another photo with my digital SLR.

Further down the way is a large-ish pullout across the road from Lunch Creek, a glacial cirque with a waterfall far up near the top and a bubbling creek flowing along roadside.  I don’t know where they got the name for this place, but as one friend remarked “it is a nice spot to rest and have lunch”.  When I photographed this image in 2008, the sun shone and the sky was blue.  In 2009, it was raining and the cirque was hidden by the cloud mist.

Just a little further down the road is the hairpin turn called Siyeh Bend (pronounced Sigh-yee by the locals).  There’s a much larger parking pullout there because it’s one of the trailheads for the Siyeh Pass hike, which forks off at one point onto the Piegan Pass Trail.

Looking toward Siyeh Bend and the mountains.

From whence I came: looking the opposite way of Siyeh Bend.

The scent of pine.

Onward toward the east, with a stop along the way to hike the short trail (maybe a mile or a little less) to St. Mary Falls.  This is an amazing falls with beautiful turquoise waters spilling out and down the St. Mary River.

Flowing downstream from the falls.

The trail to St. Mary Falls extends further to Virgina Falls.  Although I made it a little ways further along the trail, I never quite made it to Virginia Falls  during either of my visits to the park.

Next:  From Sunrift Gorge to St. Mary Lake

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