Here’s your Monday morning sunrise, courtesy of the Green River Overlook in the Island-In-The-Sky District of Canyonlands National Park in Utah. The National Parks Traveler has both a Feature Story and a podcast centered around the impacts that could be made to Utah parks (including Canyonlands) and national monuments due to the sale by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) of oil and gas leases in these areas.
To read the Feature Story, click on the image above. To listen to the podcast, click on the link below.
As for this image, it was captured the day after New Year’s, back in 2018. I was trying to divide my time between Arches and Canyonlands national parks. I did not want to hike to Mesa Arch and be greeted by a gazillion other photographers and tourists who were waiting to see sunrise beneath the arch, so I drove on to the Green River Overlook to capture the saturated golden and orange hues bestowed upon the red rocks by the rising sun. I was the only one there and it was great!
How about a nice, peaceful, beach scene colored by the blush of “rosy-fingered dawn” to start your weekend? I have a feeling dawn won’t be as pretty where I live – it’s been overcast with a low cloud ceiling for the past few days.
Padre Island National Seashore in Texas is a great place to watch the sun rise. I got there at dark-thirty a.m. and just watched the play of colors over the sky and Gulf of Mexico, as the shore birds pattered along the water’s edge looking for breakfast.
The Difference Between A Summer Morning And A Summer Sunset Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington
I’ve hammered this in to my National Parks Traveler readers as well as you, I know, but visiting a place more than once, during different times of the day, during different seasons, and/or under different weather conditions can really make a difference in what you see through your camera’s viewfinder.
The first shot was taken around 8:30 a.m. PST. I was just too tired to get up to get a sunrise and I already knew that coastal sunrises along the Olympic Peninsula – at least when staring out in the direction of the sea – are lovely, but not dramatic (at least, not during the time I was there). Sunsets, on the other hand, are spectacular and I’d already gotten sunset shots on two different days at Kalaloch Beach, so I wanted to get a sunset image or two (or a bunch) at a beach with some interesting topography to it. I’d captured images of the actual sunset, and the tide was coming in, so I decided to hike back up the trail to the parking lot. I’d gotten up two-thirds of the way, turned around, and saw the sky an incredible pink-orange color, so I dropped everything and handheld the camera for this shot, taken almost exactly 12 hours later, at 8:32 P.M. PST. That tall piece of rock you see is called Abbey Island.
Sunrise in this national park is sublime, no matter whether it’s a sunny day, an overcast day, or an in-between kind of day.
And now, in addition to sunrises being sublime, so are night skies, since this national park has been certified an International Dark Sky Park.
The park’s 20th Annual Astronomy Festival will be June 17-20, 2020. I’ve made my reservations for a room during that time. Maybe then, I’ll actually stay awake late enough to get some cool night shots, since I didn’t do that during my previous two visits (sigh). I readily admit that Bryce Canyon is one of my favorite national parks.
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.
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.
Morning Views of Nugget Pond, The Alaska Range, and Denali Mountain
I write a monthly “Photography In The National Parks” column for the National Parks Traveler. I try to gear the column for any type of photography, from smartphone to point-and-shoot to SLR. I will own up that quite a few of my tips involve things for SLRs, like Neutral Density and Polarizing filters, but for the most part, the tips and techniques I include are for any sort of photographer. One of the tips I emphasize in many of my articles for this column is to visit (re-visit) a favorite spot during different seasons, weather conditions, and times of the day. The images above, taken during an August stay at Camp Denali in Denali National Park & Preserve, were captured during the morning hours, but on different days and under different weather conditions. As you can see, they all look a little different, don’t they?
I cannot drive past Tipsoo Lake in Mount Rainier National Park without stopping. No matter what. And, in the morning, it can be difficult to photograph, unless you are right there for those all-too-short moments of sunrise. After sunrise, the colors on the mountain vanish and the snow on the mountain becomes blown out. Sunsets are better times to photograph this place, but I’m never around during that time and during the summer, sunset occurs quite late at night, when I have usually driven back home. Someday, I’ll stay to capture the sunset, as I’ve seen beautiful images captured during that time.
Snow still lingers around Tipsoo Lake, and I was glad I took along my snowshoes when I visited the park a week ago. I got my morning exercise snowshoeing around the lake.
What are your plans for this Memorial Day weekend? My plans are to stay at home and work on another article for the National Parks Traveler. My nice little 3-day trip was last week, before the hordes ascended upon Mount Rainier National Park. This past Thursday, while grocery shopping at the local Fred Meyer, I drove past the Fred Meyer gas station and saw all sorts of RVs lined up for gasoline. Some of them even towed boats behind them. All were getting ready for their trips out into Nature. I will admit, the nice thing about living in central Washington is that I’m so close to so many beautiful places for R&R.
This shot was taken after the sun had risen a bit above the horizon. Mount Rainier behind me was still hidden by the clouds, so I concentrated my camera lens on the Tatoosh Mountains in front of me, in the Paradise area. At the time I captured this shot, there was only one other person out there some distance away – another photographer using his telephoto lens. Getting out in the early morning is a great way to start a day of photography, because most people are not yet up, so it feels like you have the entire place to yourself.
For those of you who celebrate Memorial Day (mainly the U.S., I guess), have a safe and enjoyable 3-day weekend.
Upper Inspiration Point, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
No, I’m not in Bryce Canyon. I’m instead going through a few archived shots and using them to create HDR images.
For those of you who have never been to Bryce Canyon National Park, sunrises at Upper Inspiration Point are amazing. Actually, sunrises anywhere in this park are amazing. There’s Inspiration Point, and there’s *Upper* Inspiration Point, accessed via a very steep, but short hike on a very well-maintained trail a little further up along the Rim Trail from the regular Inspiration Point view area.
I used a single image and then copied it a couple of times, using different exposure settings. I then combined all those images into HDR. The reason for this is because I did not bracket my original shots (which I should probably do more often, for when I want to use HDR), and because I handheld the camera. The fence at Upper Inspiration Point is just a little too tall for me to stand on tiptoe with my tripod, trying to look through the viewfinder. There was a tall guy standing next to me with his tall tripod, and he didn’t have any problems. I did. So, instead, I handheld the camera and used the “burst method” of holding down on the shutter button for several clicks. I knew out of all those shots, at least one of them would be nice and sharp. The caveat with the burst method is that it takes up space on the memory cards, so I always bring lots of extras with me, in varying sizes of 16GB to 128GB.
All images on these posts are the exclusive property of Rebecca L. Latson and Where The Trails Take You Photography. Please respect my copyright and do not use these images on Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat or any other business, personal or social website, blog site, or other media without my written permission. Thank you.
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