Tag Archives: landscape photography

A Little Advice For You Photographers Out There

Sunrise over “The Mountain” at Tipsoo Lake, Mount Rainier National Park

Each photo you take tells a story. I practically hammer that in to my readers in my monthly photo columns on the National Parks Traveler . But, I have some advice for you photographers who post your images out there on Flickr, Twitter, or Facebook:

Write a little bit about your photo, too. Add to that story.

People enjoy reading about how you captured the image, what you were feeling, what camera you used, even your settings. It adds to your story, fleshes it out, and helps others figure out settings for their own camera in similar situations. It also makes you more engaging, both as a photographer and a storyteller.

It drives me nuts to see an interesting image with no title, no commentary, no exif, no nuthin’. Now, I can understand why a photographer might not wish to indicate the location of the photo, since many places are loved to death, aready – no need to add to that. But, it’s a primary rant with me that many photographers won’t tell a damned story. Yeah, the sunrise over the mountains in that photo is gorgeous, and yeah, it looks a little cold, but surely there is more to it than that! What did you feel at the time you clicked that shutter button? How many miles did you have to hike to get there? Know anything about the ecosystem there; any sort of facts or trivia to impart to your viewers?

For instance, I took a couple of day trips this month (June 2020) over to Mount Rainier National Park, here in Washington state, for some photography. I was itching to get out with my cameras, but leery of things due to the coronavirus pandemic. When I visited, I practiced my social distancing, went to areas where there were few-to-no people, wore a mask where there were people, and thoroughly enjoyed myself – except for that one moment when a woman in a group not practicing social distancing came up to me, pointed at my mask, and told me I needed to take it off.

I posted some of those images on Flickr, and added commentary along with exif data (specific information about the image, including settings, etc.), because I want people to see the exposure information and to visibly see the difference visiting the same spot can make during different seasons, different times of the day, and under different weather conditions; in this instance, rainy and overcast versus a blue-sky day.

My first trip to the park since the coronavirus pandemic was June 8th, shortly after it reopened. My second trip was June 18th. The difference in weather is dramatic and you can see it in the images.

A fast-flowing stream on an overcast day, Mount Rainier National Park
A sunny day along the same stream in Mount Rainier National Park

The first time I visited, I did not go via Chinook Pass to Tipsoo Lake because I knew things would be snowed over and, due to the rainy, overcast weather, I figured The Mountain would be hiding behind an iron curtain of gray fog. The second time I visited, I did drive by Tipsoo Lake, as you can see from the image at the top of this post.

The view from Ricksecker Point on June 8th
The view from Ricksecker Point on June 18th

I won’t make this post any longer, since attention spans aren’t what they used to be. But you should get the gist of what I am saying to you. If you post to a public viewing site, then write a little commentary / story to go with the image so people get a better flavor of the atmosphere and feeling around the photo.

FYI, in case you wish to quibble, photo essays are a little different, and there, you do need to be able to tell a story with just your photos and captions. Flickr, FB, and Twitter, however, are not exactly conducive to photo essays.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Mount Rainier National Park, Mt. Rainier National Park, National Parks, Photography, Telling A Story, Travel, Washington State

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

Sunrise Sunday

A Wide-Angle Sunrise

Sunrise over Padre Island National Seashore in Texas

Here’s to sunrise on the last Sunday of 2019. I wonder what the next decade will bring. Hopefully more national park and national seashore sunrises to photograph.

Speaking of national parks and seashores, the National Parks Traveler Podcast Episode 46 talks about looking back on 2019 in the National Park System.

To listen to the podcast, click on the image above.

 

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Filed under National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Padre Island National Seashore, Photography, Podcast

Bringing It All Together In Yellowstone

Grazing In An Autumn Snow Storm

Grazing In The Snowstorm, Yellowstone National Park

If you enjoy photography in the national parks, then you should read my latest photography column published today in the National Parks Traveler. It brings together the techniques I use the most for my photography using images I captured during my recent Yellowstone trip for examples.

To read the article, click on the image above.

 

 

 

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Filed under autumn, Canon, Canon Lens, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Seasons, Travel, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park

Soon, Soon ….

Just Before Sunrise

Usually, I don’t travel to any national park with high expectations. I even wrote an article in the National Parks Traveler about the rewards of lowered expectations.  I know it’s going to be rainy, overcast, snowing, probably the roads will be slick, and there might even be another f***ing government shutdown while I am there. Nonetheless, I am stoked to be returning to Yellowstone National Park in a few days for 8-1/2 days of  fall photography. For a portion of that time, I’ll be staying at the historic Old Faithful Inn, and will definitely get some interior architecture images of that beautiful lodge. I so wanted to do this during my short summer stay (2-1/2 days) during my road trip move from Texas to central Washington, but the inn was full, the crowds were YUGE, and I ultimately needed to get back on the road again to my sister’s home.

I’ll be taking 3 cameras with me and an assortment of lenses: my Canon 5DSR, Canon 1DX Mk II, and Pentax 645z. I’ll take the Canon 16-35mm, 14mm, 24-70mm, 24-105mm, 100-400mm with a 1.4x extender, Pentax 28-45mm, and Pentax 55mm lenses. No need to tell me it’s going to be a heavy backpack I take onto the plane with me. I already know that. I had to pack one of my lenses into my laptop bag, which will also be carried onto the plane.  Hey, I don’t know when I will be able to return to Yellowstone, so might as well bring as much as I can carry and that’s allowable on the plane, because I’d rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. Plus, I’ve broken lenses before while traveling (Hawaii comes to mind), so I’m being a little redundant with one of the lenses. I decided on this instead of trying to work around taking my Canon 500mm lens. As it is, I’ll probably forget something, even though I’ve written a list of things to pack.

Soon, soon, I will be back inside America’s first national park. Can’t wait!

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

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Filed under 1DX Mk II, 24-105mm, 24-70mm f2.8L II, 5DSR, autumn, Canon, Canon 14mm f/2.8L II, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, Canon Lens, HD PENTAX-DA645 28-45mm f/4.5 ED AW SR Lens, National Parks, Pentax 645z, Pentax Lens, Pentax-D FA 645 55mm f/2.8 AL[IF] SDM AW Lens, Photography, Seasons, Travel, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park

Your Armchair Photography Guide To Olympic National Park, Part 1 – The Beaches

A Kalaloch Beach Sunset

The National Parks Traveler has published my latest photography article: Your Armchair Guide to Olympic National Park, Part 1 – The Beaches. I had to break this guide into 3 different parts because this park has it all: beaches, forests and beaches. If you are planning a trip to Olympic anytime soon, or are just interested in seeing the photography of this national park, then click on the image above.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Armchair Photography Guide, Canon, Canon Lens, Equipment, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Olympic National Park, Photography, Seasons, summer, sunset, Travel, Washington State, winter

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

Biscuit Basin Landscape

Biscuit Basin

During my road trip move from TX to central WA, I made Yellowstone National Park one of my stops along the way. Of course, it was summertime, probably the worst time in the world to visit that particular park. I couldn’t find a parking space at Upper Geyser Basin (and those of you who have gone there know how big that parking lot is) so, disgruntled, I drove on toward Gardiner, my hotel stay for the night. On the way, I saw the turnoff to Biscuit Basin and decided to try my luck there. A car was backing out of a small parking space so I quickly squeezed my own little car in. The landscape in this show was one of the first sights that greeted my eyes as I headed toward the boardwalk. The geology of Yellowstone never fails to amaze me.

I’m heading back there this fall and can’t wait!

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

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Filed under 1DX Mk II, Canon, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, Canon Lens, Geology, National Parks, Photography, Seasons, summer, telephoto lens, Travel, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park

Different Times Of Day At Diablo Lake

High Noon At Diablo LakeSunrise And Mountain Shadows

I think, in a past post – maybe even more than one past post – I’ve mentioned how different a scene can look at different times of the day, under different weather conditions and/or different seasons. These images above were captured in late July, during different times of day, at the Diablo Lake Overlook, in the Ross Lake National Recreation Area, a part of the North Cascades Complex.

The first image was photographed upon my arrival that first day. It was around 12:30 p.m. The water was a bright, brilliant turquoise shade due to the overhead sun’s position. The mountains were blue and there was a slight haze in the atmosphere, which is normal for summer at high noon-ish.

The second image was captured the next morning during sunrise a little before 6:30 a.m. The sun had cleared the horizon behind me and began gilding the mountain tops while the rest of the area was shaded by the shadows of the mountains behind me.

If you have the time and inclination, where ever you travel, why not visit your favorite landscape more than once to see how different it may look during those particular times.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under National Parks, North Cascades, North Cascades Complex, Photography, Ross Lake National Recreation Area, Seasons, summer, sunrise, Travel, Washington State

Sunrise Over Desert And Mountains

Sunrise Over Desert And Mountains

Big Bend National Park is out in a remote portion of southwest Texas. But if you can get there, then you won’t be disappointed with what you see. This national park is full of interesting volcanic geology and gorgeous landscapes of the Chihuahuan Desert and the Chisos Mountains. Sunrises are lovely here. This shot was taken right off the side of the road, not looking toward the rising sun, but instead, toward the mountains and desert which the winter sun gilded.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under 24-70mm f2.8L II, 5DSR, Big Bend, Big Bend National Park, Canon, Canon Lens, Geology, Landscape, National Parks, Photography, Seasons, sunrise, Texas, Travel, winter