Tag Archives: leading lines

Nevada Basin And Range Landscape

A Long Ribbon Of Road From Ely To Great Basin National Park
A Hazy Summer Morning Over Wind Turbines And Nevada Valley And Mountain Landscape

I’d left Ely (pronounced Eee-lee), Nevada, around 6:30 a.m. for an hour’s drive to Great Basin National Park. I was about 30-ish miles south of Ely when I rounded a corner and started heading down into this wide, flat valley. The wind turbines, ribbon of road that looks like it goes way up into the mountains on the other side of the valley, and the sunlight highlighting the veil of haze captured my photographer’s eye and I just had to pull over and get a few photos.

In reality, that long road going up into the mountains is actually a dirt road on someone’s private property (lucky them). This paved road takes an almost sharp turn to the left and parallels the mountains before rounding the corner to the right.

And those wind turbines made a great geographic marker for me on the way from the park back toward Ely on the day I headed back home to Washington state. I’d left the Baker area at 2 a.m. so it was dark heading toward Ely. Distances are difficult to discern in the dark because you can’t see the landscape. However, when I saw the synchronous blinking red lights, I knew I was driving toward and past that small wind turbine farm and that Ely was closer than I thought.

Nevada has some amazing landscape and geology, and the roads are very good, but the stretches of road through the state are long and out in the middle of nowhere, seemingly far away from civilization (and gas stations).

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under leading lines, Nevada, Photography

The Lure Of The Leading Line

Or maybe I should have titled this post “The Lure Of The Trail.” Both are appropriate and actually meld into one another. I love leading lines – they are my favorite theme – and my favorite type of leading line is a trail. That trail leads the viewer’s eye deeper into the composition and onward to whatever adventure awaits. And trails within forests are my favorite, if for no other reason than the forest’s interior glow surrounded by green and brown shadows.

All of the images above were captured with my Sony Alpha 7riv and a 16-35mm lens during my 2020 October visit to Redwood National and State Parks. And all of these images were captured along one of the many trails in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park in northern California. The tops of the trees are veiled a little bit in mist, as this trip was during the height of all the wildfires in California. Smoke drifted in from everywhere.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under California, forest, leading lines, National Parks, Photography, Redwood National and State Parks, Travel

It’s Take A Trail Thursday

The View Along The Story In Stone TrailThe Leaf Hill TrailThe View UptrailThe Path To The PalisadesWhere Will That Boardwalk Take You

Ok, so how about instead of Throwback Thursday, let’s make it “Take A Trail Thursday.”

Can you guess which trails these are? Hint: they are all from a national monument in Oregon.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Landscape, National Parks, Oregon, Photography, Travel

Where Ever The Road Takes You Today

The Road Through The Rain Forest

Good morning! Where is the road going to take you, today? To work? To home? To a national park? To adventure and places unknown? Where ever the road takes you, please drive safely.

The road, in two weeks, will take me to the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Oregon. I’m looking forward to that as it will be my first long trip of the year. I don’t know if any part of the road will be as misty and mysterious as this road leading through the Quinault Rain Forest in Olympic National Park, but I do believe there will be some interesting scenery along the way.

I haven’t been to Oregon in probably 30 years, give or take, so it will be nice to see that beautiful state again. My father’s mother lived for many years along the Oregon coast. It was her favorite place – her happy place, just like living near the mountains is for me. When she died, my parents poured her ashes on a beach along the Oregon coast, then put moss agates around the ashes in a circle, since Granny was an avid “rockhound.”

As for this image, well, you know I like photographing leading lines. And leading lines don’t have to be straight. They can be curvy, too. A leading line is whatever takes your eye from one part of the photo to another, like a fence, a treeline, a line of buildings, a trail, or a boardwalk.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Canon, leading lines, Life, National Parks, Olympic National Park, Photography, Travel

Where Will That Trail Take You?

The Trail Back Up To The Top

The trail back up from Kalaloch Beach 4 in Olympic National Park, Washington

I’ve been a little more prolific than usual, with my writing, and the National Parks Traveler has published another Photography In The National Parks article for this month. This article deals with creating a theme from your national park photos. As you can see from the image above, a favorite theme of mine deals with leading lines made from trails I’ve hiked. To read the article, click on the image above.


Filed under National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Photography In The National Parks, Travel

Leading Line

Leading Line At Biscuit Basin

A bacterial vein leading from a geothermal pool at Biscuit Basin, Yellowstone National Park

During my road trip move from Texas to central Washington, I stopped off for a couple of days at Yellowstone National Park … in August …

While summer in this national park is filled with great weather, it’s also filled with crowds, crowds, crowds. To the point where parking is slim-to-none. Luckily for me, I did manage to snag a parking spot at Biscuit Basin, and began to explore and enjoy the first day of my first visit to America’s first national park.

Bacterial mats and veins trailing from hot springs made bright, colorful leading lines, like the one in this photo here.

I’m heading back to Yellowstone in the fall, when – I hope – crowds will be fewer and I’ll find more parking spaces at places I never got to see during my first visit.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under 5DS, Canon, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III, National Parks, Photography, Seasons, summer, Travel, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park

Where Will The Trail Take You?

Where Will The Trail Take You CROP

Hiking the trail up in Paradise, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Everytime I go to sleep, I dream. There has never been a time (that I can remember), when I have not dreamed something, good or scary. I don’t know if that means I am sleeping well or not. Sometimes, I wake up from those dreams and can’t get back to sleep, no matter how much I try. This morning is one of those times. When that happens, I get up and come to the laptop to work on photos and ideas for my next National Parks Traveler article. As I was working on this image, an idea popped into my head and I decided to run with it. I’ve been trying to write enough articles for the Traveler to have two, rather than one, photo article a month. I’ll see how long I can continue with that. I remember, once, some years ago, having writer’s block so badly that I considered parting ways with the Traveler. Thankfully, that writer’s block didn’t last for long, because I know I would have regretted a move like that.

In the meantime, this image below was taken in the autumn of 2016 in the Paradise area of the park. Fall is one of those hit-or-miss seasons for Mount Rainier, especially in Paradise. It’s either going to be a clear, blue-sky day with The Mountain out and the huckleberry bushes showing off brilliant shades of orange and red, or it’s going to be a misty, foggy day where a photographer must concentrate on what she can see immediately around her, which in this case, was the trail and the different shades of greens along that trail.

Where will the trail take you?

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Life, Mt. Rainier National Park, Mt. Rainier National Park, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography

Leading Lines, Tight Shots and One’s Point of View: Photography In The National Parks


My latest photographic article has been published on the National Parks Traveler site.  This time, it deals with leading lines, getting tight shots and your own “point of view”.  Click on the photo if you are interested in checking out the article.




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Filed under National Parks, Photography, Travel, Travel and Photography

The Road To Somewhere

The Road To The Mountains

Road To The Sunrise

Park Loop Road

Road To The Talkeetna Mts

C2C5747_The Road To Cliff Palace

Road To The Sunrise

I like road shots.  They make for great leading lines to lead the eye toward the main subject:  freedom and what awaits beyond.

On The Road To Castolon

Do you have some of your own road shots?  Where have those roads led you?


Filed under National Parks, Photography, Travel

5 Rules of Photography In No Particular Order

I was wracking my brains for a new post since I have had absolutely ZERO opportunities to actually go out and find something to photograph, and I happened to read a post from The Incredible Lightness of Seeing who read a post from yet another photographer’s blog, which gave me an idea for a post of my own.  This whole photography-rules-thing goes on and on, with the same set of rules written differently depending upon the photographer’s writing style.  Below are five rules I consider important, not in any particular order, and in my own writing style….well, ok, actually, there are more rules than that  – depends on what a photographer considers to be a rule.  These five rules I use for my own photography work, and I’ll save the other rules (that I use) for future posts (so I won’t have to wrack my brain as much).

Leading Lines

The idea with any image is to capture the viewer’s attention and interest (in addition to capturing a memory of the scene ).  One way to do this is to choose a scene (or arrange the scene) in such a way that lines within the image lead the viewer’s eye from one thing to another – be it from the foreground to the infinite horizon, or from one end of a maze to another, or from a pointer to the thing at which the pointer is pointing.  The lines may be roads, fences, a pointing arm, or just something leading the eye from Point A to Points Onward.

Rule of Thirds

This is one of my favorite rules.

The Rule of Thirds goes something like this:  If you divide your camera’s viewfinder into thirds – be it thirds horizontally or vertically – then place the subject of your image in one of those compartments (just so long as it’s not in the middle), it creates more interest, sometimes more drama, and it also focuses the viewer’s eye more on the subject.  That’s not to say that sticking something smack dab in the middle of your photo isn’t interesting – it can be, depending on the subject or the story told, and it’s also nice sometimes just to screw with other photographers’ mindsets.


Patterns add interest, symmetry, and focus to an image.  The patterns can occur naturally (snowflakes, frost on a limb, cracks on a frozen river), or they can be man-made (as in the following photos).


Framing a scene focuses the viewer’s eye on a particular point or subject within the image; it adds emphasis to the image.  A “frame” can be anything from a window or door, to tree limbs, to something as goofy as your own hands or fingers.  And it doesn’t have to be a complete frame.  As you see in my photos below, I added parts of tree limbs and such to just one portion of my image, and yet it helps to frame that entire image and focus your eye even moreso upon the subject.

Horizons (keep ’em straight – unless you deliberately don’t want to)

Something that elicits quite a bit of (oftentimes derogatory) commentary is a tilted horizon; did the photographer simply slap that photo onto Flickr without any QC, or did they actually mean for the horizon line to be skewed like that??  Sometimes, the tilt is intentional and actually adds more interest to the image.  Other times, though, it’s an annoyance, as when a land/mountain or water/land horizon is tilted even just a little bit, thus causing a distraction.  One way to remedy this is to use your tripod’s built-in level, or to purchase one of those levels that snap into the camera’s hot shoe (that thing on top of the camera where you place your flash unit).  I use a combination of my tripod’s level and – believe it or not – just “eyeballing it”.  I have a pretty good eye for these things.  If the horizon is just a teeeeensy bit tilted, it’s easy to correct during the post processing.  Adobe Lightroom has a cropping/rotating tool that I really like, and Adobe Photoshop CS5 has a straighten-and-crop tool that allows you to draw a line from Point A to Point B, then will straighten and crop the extraneous portions of the photo for you.  Pretty cool, actually.

Ok.  That’s it for now, folks.  Next post will deal with other photographic rules, so stay tuned!


Filed under Photography, Rules