Tag Archives: holiday

Ready For Adventure!

Ready For Adventure

Not trying to be political here, folks. Before the 25th, I usually wish people Happy Holidays. On the 25th, I wish them Merry Christmas. And to show that I also appreciate globalism, I wish you not only a Merry Christmas but a Joyeux Noel, Feliz Navidad, Frohe Weihnachten, and Buon Natale. I’d do the wishing in Japanese, Korean and Chinese, too, but I don’t have the keyboard for it.

Anyway, you get my point. I hope everybody has a great day, today, no matter whether you celebrate the holiday or not. And, start planning for some great adventures for 2018. I know I’m going to!

 

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Filed under 5DSR, Canon, Canon Lens, Christmas, Holidays, Photography

Veterans’ Day 11/11/17

ENGLAND

Today is #veteransday . My father was a veteran of #WWII. Handsome devil, wasn’t he? He was a paratrooper who jumped over Normandy, Nijmegen, and The Bulge. Dad fought against some “very fine people” (if you get my meaning) He returned from the war with what we now believe was a form of PTSD. He had bad dreams and bad memories for years and never wanted to discuss any aspect of his experience during the war unless he was drunk. He did, however, before he died, write down many of his experiences and I have them and my sister has copies. Dad returned from the war a functional alcoholic. He apparently thought alcohol would dull the bad memories but instead, it amplified the feelings. Dad worked a day job and saved his heavy drinking for the weekends and holidays. Mom and my sisters and I HATED Christmas Eve. We also hated Saturdays – every one of them. We were ok with Christmas Day and Sundays because that’s when Dad would spend the day sobering up. He was verbally and emotionally abusive when he was drunk, but never physically abusive, that I can remember – of we three sisters, I lived with it the longest. There was only one time that I was afraid he was going to hit Mom. So I spent the better part of my growing up worrying that he would hurt Mom. Dad never made use of any VA program to help him, because in all honesty, the VA never thought about PTSD as being a huge issue until Dad was in his 80’s. So, just from my story here, perhaps you can see what a horrible thing war is. It is so easy for those of us who have never fought in a war to bandy about the lives of men and women in the armed services as if we were playing a checkers game or something. For those people who return from any war or conflict, they *are* ultimately changed. If you happen to meet a veteran, please thank him or her for their service, because protecting our country and allowing us the rights we have right now (and that includes the right to kneel or stand), comes at a high price.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under family, Portraits, Veteran's Day, World War II

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017!

Happy New Year London 2-15-2016

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.

 

 

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Filed under 1DX, Canon, Events, holiday, London, New Year, Night Photography, Photography, Travel, Travel and Photography

My New Little Mini-Studio and Fun with the Christmas Lights

studio-2_small

My unwavering goal in life is to eventually move out of southeast Texas and back to Washington State to live close to my sister and her family.  With that in mind and because it feels like I am actually doing something toward that goal, I have donated lots of clothing and other items to the local hospice thrift shop and  boxed up (and continue to box up) items in my apartment that I don’t use much but don’t wish to part with at this point in time.  Over the 4-day Thanksgiving holiday, I managed to move most of the boxes off of my apartment’s spare bedroom floor and into the spare storage closet, leaving enough room in said spare bedroom for a tiny studio, complete with 2 studio lights & umbrellas, black bedspread backdrop and a black covered table.  So tickled was I with this setup that I decided to take a break from housework for the weekend and have some fun with glass and Christmas lights.

DecantersStill Life With WineIlluminated WineIlluminationPrime IlluminationClear And Bright 2Glass And Pretty Lights 2Glass And Bright ColorsLots Of LightsColored Lights And Blue Glass - HorizontalBaubles And Lights CROP

I used my Induro tripod and Canon 5DS and Canon 24-70mm f2.8L II lens, ultimately switching over to the Canon 50mm f1.2L lens.  ISO for all of the photos you see was 100 and aperture was f11.  I played around with the shutter speeds, ranging from 1/6 of a second to 30 seconds.  For the plain glass images, I used my two studio lights.  For the glass with Christmas lights images, all lights were turned off.

 

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The 2016 Christmas Tree is Up!

Beckys Christmas Tree

Becky’s little Christmas tree, with a suitcase on the right to hide the electric cords, and part of a studio light because – at the time – I had no other place to put it

I did not plan on putting up my tree this year.  After all, I’d be visiting my sister and her family for the holidays, so why go to the effort of putting up a tree I would not see for the final 1-1/2 weeks of December?

One afternoon, however, during the weekend prior to Thanksgiving, while on a long walk, I was thinking how nice it would be to see bright, multi-color lights.  My mind’s eye saw all sorts of photo ops….

Bell Ornament Non-HDRChristmas Lights And OrnamentsLondon OrnamentPresents Paper And BowsChristmas ColorsNo Solicitation

No solicitation, Santa.  Just leave the presents and don’t try to sell me anything.

Happy Holidays!

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Honoring My Photographer Father on Father’s Day

JohnLatson_The Photographer Himself

In honor of Father’s Day, which we celebrate here in the U.S.  I wrote an article about my photographer father and it was published in the National Parks Traveler.  Click on the photo if you are interested in reading the article.

 

 

 

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Filed under family, Father's Day, Life, love, National Parks Traveler, Photography

Countdown to 2016

Countdown

I can’t remember if I mentioned this in a previous post or not (without going back and re-reading my posts), but the main reason I took a December vacation to London was because I saw a photo, earlier in the year, of the 2015 fireworks over the London Eye. I was so taken with that image that, as a photographer, I knew I had to be right there for the 2016 fireworks.

In case you aren’t aware, they now ticket this event (£10), and if you don’t have a ticket to present at the event, you don’t get in.  After I’d purchased and received my ticket to the Embankment (blue) section, it turns out the hotel at which I stayed bestowed to its guests wrist bands to the same section, lol.  I definitely was assured entrance to the event.

I spent about 45 minutes waiting my turn to go through security at the first checkpoint, and then went through a couple more checkpoints before being lucky enough to squeeze in between a Chinese tourist on one side and a family from the Midlands on the other.  I then waited 4 hrs 15 minutes in that same spot (no, I never once felt like I had to pee, thank goodness).  I could feel the press of the crowd behind me.  I had a nice visit (should I say “chat” instead?) with the young lady behind me and the father of the family beside me.

Color On The ThamesColor On The Thames

During the long, chilly wait, a kaleidoscope of colors kept splashing against the London Eye and the buildings beside that iconic landmark.

A Line Of Lit Smartphones

At one point, to keep the crowd from getting too restless (remember, it was a 4-hour wait), the speaker challenged us all to turn on our smartphones and show the bright screen to the sky and the BBC helicopter.  To the right of the London Eye in the image above is a line of bright smartphones all along Westminster Bridge.

And then, the countdown …

OneHappy New Year London 2016Happy New Year London 2016

The show was INCREDIBLE!  And I was right there in front, taking it all in.  I can’t describe what a cool feeling that was – all I can say is that every time I stare into space and think about the fireworks, my smile gets wider and wider.  When I do this at work, people wonder what the hell is going on with me (grin).

Oh, and that white semi-circle you see in the mid-left portion of the photos:  that’s the waning gibbous moon.

Happy New Year London 2016

I’d capture a series of photos with my Canon 1DX and 16-35mm f/4L IS lens, then take the camera away and drink the experience in with my eyes, then take some more photos.  I did this for the next 10-11 minutes as the fireworks and music and cheers and ooohs and ahhs carried on around me.  At one point, I remember looking down at the young son of the family next to me standing a little bit in front of me, who in turned looked up at me to see me with wide eyes and a silly grin on my face as I watched this spectacular pyrotechnic display.

These photos are just the start.  I captured a gazillion different fireworks images that I’ll publish in the next blog post (ok, maybe not all gazillion of them, but a few).

Happy New Year, London and Everybody!

 

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Filed under 1DX, Canon, holiday, London, New Year, Night Photography, Photography, Travel, Travel and Photography

Distance (And Death) Don’t Matter – Closeness Is An Affair Of The Heart

After Babys Bath

I’ve been noticing my Facebook friends posting photos of their mothers as profile pics, and I just finished reading a blog post by Life In The Boomer Lane about LBL’s own mother.  This, in turn, brought up thoughts of my own mother, who recently passed away in mid-February of this year.

Here in the U.S., we celebrate a holiday (not one that companies give to their employees as a day off) known as Mother’s Day.  This year, Mother’s Day is going to be a little more difficult for my sister and I; we’ll remember Mom with much love and a little sadness.

Mom was one of the nicest people I ever knew.  She was nice to everybody – even those people whose foibles may have annoyed her a little (sometimes, that included me).  She was the eternal optimist.  She loved hugs, soothed over worries, cooked our favorite foods, and always tried to please.  She never ever complained – even during the dark days of Dad’s drinking and her final days laying ill in her hospice-provided hospital bed.  Her’s really was an unconditional love.

I always had flowers sent to Mom.  Because she’s not around this Mother’s Day, I’m having flowers sent to my sister instead – a mother, herself, of 4 boys who have grown up to be awesome men (although we all did wonder at times about the twins ever making it to their 21st birthday).

If you have a mother who is still alive, I urge you to reach out to her.  Call her.  Visit her. Do what you can for her while she is still living.  Don’t ever wait until she is gone and then have regrets.  Give her flowers now while she can enjoy their beauty and fragrance; don’t wait until she is dead and then put flowers on her grave or urn niche where she may or may not enjoy them (depending upon your religious and metaphysical belief system).

Wish your mother a happy Mother’s Day.  And remember:  no matter how far away you may be from your mother, closeness is an affair of the heart.

Mom-Kath-Becky-Hats_U9A4160

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2014: A Year In Review for Rebecca Latson Photography

New Year Becky Camera Glass

Recently, I’ve noticed a number of “Year In Review” blog posts and articles on other sites popping up, so I figured it must be about time for me to publish my own photographic review of the year.

2014 has, indeed, been quite a year for me photographically.  I traveled to and photographed 4 different national parks, 2 airshows, an engagement photo session, 3 weddings, a chamber choir, performers at the Texas Renaissance Festival, the annual migration of ruby-throated hummingbirds into my part of southeast Texas, my Christmas tree with its decorations and bright lights, and I wrote 12 new articles for the National Parks Traveler. It was all great fun, even though I managed to completely destroy two of my favorite Canon lenses, so now I must rent until I can purchase replacements.  Following are examples of my 2014 photography experiences.

The View Along Lost Mine Trail

The view along Lost Mine Trail during a late-April visit to Big Bend National Park, Texas

Strawberry Pitaya Bloom

A strawberry pitaya cactus bloom alongside the Mule Ears Viewpoint trail, Big Bend National Park, Texas

Dipping His Bride

Kyle and Adrienne – the first of 3 weddings

Bride and Groom in Front of The Alamo VIGNETTE

Kevin and Amber – the second of 3 weddings

The Bride and Groom Outside

John (Avery) and Jennifer – the third of the 3 weddings

Bringing In FiFi

Bringing in FiFi, the worlds only  B29 “superfortress” still flying (CAF Air Power History Tour, Dallas, Texas)

Becky Bill and the Stearman

Becky, Bill, and the Stearman Bill piloted:  my acrobatic ride in this plane was the bomb! (CAF Air Power History Tour, Dallas, Texas)

SB2C-5 Helldiver

The SB2C Helldiver at the Wings Over Houston Airshow

Shockwave Jet Truck

The Shockwave Jet Truck at the Wings Over Houston Airshow

The Blue Angels

The Blue Angels at the Wings Over Houston Airshow

Side By Side and Upside Down

Upside Down and Side-By-Side, the Blue Angels at the Wings Over Houston Airshow

The Rising Sun

The rising sun during the sunrise photoshoot at the Wings Over Houston Airshow

Sunrise on the B17G Texas Raiders

The Texas Raiders B17 during the sunrise photo shoot at the Wings Over Houston Airshow

Sunday Morning With A Stearman

Taking a break in front of a Stearman during the sunrise photo shoot at the Wings Over Houston Airshow

A Strip of Gold

A strip of sunlight during a Chugach Mountains morning in Alaska, near Anchorage

Morning Reflection on Nugget Pond - VERT

Sunrise and moonset over Nugget Pond and Mt. McKinley (aka Denali), Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Big Momma

Watching me in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Yellow-Headed Beach Babe

Yellow-headed beach babe in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Kilaueas Glow

 Kilauea’s glow at 3:30 AM, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

The View Beyond The Rainforest

Looking down the trail to Kilauea Iki, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Backlit Wings of Gold

Back-lit ruby-throat

Backlit Ruby Throat

 Juvenile ruby-throated hummingbird

Kings Feasthall Group Photo

The cast, crew and staff of the King’s Feast at the Texas Renaissance Festival

Pride O Bedlam Onstage

The Pride O Bedlam Pirates onstage at the Sea Devil Tavern, Texas Renaissance Festival

The Cannibal Tudors

The Cannibal Tudors onstage at the Sea Devil Tavern, Texas Renaissance Festival

Opening Toast

Opening toast at the King’s Winetasting, Texas Renaissance Festival

Haley Pouring Red

Haley Welsh Wine pouring the red at the King’s Winetasting, Texas Renaissance Festival

Becky at the Kings Winetasting

Mixing business with pleasure at the King’s Winetasting, Texas Renaissance Festival

Bringing Iin The Meat

Bringing in the meat at the King’s Feasthall, Texas Renaissance Festival

Bringing Out The Mugs

Handing out the mugs at the King’s Feasthall, Texas Renaissance Festival

Chicken on A Sword

Chicken on a “stick”, King’s Feasthall, Texas Renaissance Festival

Portrait of Katia

Katia in purple, Gypsy Dance Theatre, Texas Renaissance Festival

Alla

Twirling Alla, Gypsy Dance Theatre, Texas Renaissance Festival

Kira

Kira in blue, Gypsy Dance Theatre, Texas Renaissance Festival

Zaras Sword Dance

Zara’s balancing act, Gypsy Dance Theatre, Texas Renaissance Festival

Tsura

Tsura and her violin, Gypsy Dance Theatre, Texas Renaissance Festival

Red Gold Blue

Red, gold and blue fairies at the Texas Renaissance Festival

Christmas Becky2

Christmas Becky playing with the lights, decorations, her Canon 1DX and the 85mm f1.2 lens

Christmas Cozy

A small, cozy home with a beautiful Christmas tree

Christmas Colors

Christmas colors

2015 is shaping up for what I hope will be an interesting year.  I won’t be traveling to any national parks, probably, due to a 2-week trip to Paris and Normandy (plane ticket purchased, friends in Paris notified, and maps and guidebooks to Normandy open for research), some planned elective surgery recuperation time, and saving that remaining week of vacation for any emergencies that may occur during the year.  If I make it to December with that extra week still intact, then I definitely plan on traveling *somewhere* for Christmas – staying home in Texas for the holidays is not my cup of tea, I’m afraid.  Of *course* you will read about my Paris/Normandy trip; part of that involves retracing my WW II paratrooper father’s route when he jumped over Normandy on D-Day (In June, I’ll post the story he wrote about his D-Day experiences).  As for the rest of 2015, well, that’s still a work in progress.

So, how did *your* 2014 turn out?  Got any plans for 2015?

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all of you and to WordPress, too!

 

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Filed under Canon, Holidays, New Year, Photography

Christmas Fun With The Cameras, Tree, Decorations and Lights

Christmas Cozy

My home is small, but cozy and bright with neat pictures hanging on the walls (grin)

I actually wasn’t going to put up a tree this year; too many other things going on.  Then, one Saturday evening, I started thinking up photo ops that required the use of a brightly-lit and decorated tree.  So, at 10PM that night, I pulled the tree out of storage; it’s fake and pre-lit so it makes setup and decorating a breeze.

Since the tree has been up, I’ve been milking the photos for all they are worth.  I used my tripod, Canon 1DX and 5D Mk III, and either a 40mm pancake lens, a 24-105mm lens or my prime 85mm f1.2 lens to get the shots you see below.  I love decorations and colored lights, so this has been fun and I’m glad I put that tree up, after all.

H5T1200_Ornaments Lights and A Glass of Wine

Variation On A Theme #1

Bright Lights and Christmas Colors

Czech Glass and Christmas Lights

Christmas Color-Full

Bright Lights and Holiday Colors

Christmas Colors

Here’s wishing all of you a Merry Christmas!

Christmas Becky2

 

 

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Filed under Canon, Canon Lens, Christsmas, Holidays, Photography