It’s Trivia Tuesday, so here’s a little bit of trivia about “The Mountain.” Mount Rainier is an “episodically active” volcano and the most-glaciated peak in the Lower 48. The indigenous people named this mountain Tahoma or Tacoma, but it’s present-day moniker was bestowed upon it by one Captain George Vancouver, after sailing into Puget Sound in 1792. He named it after his buddy Peter Rainier. Mount Rainier National Park is America’s fifth national park.
Looking at this image might cause you to think I’ve deliberately oversaturated it. Nope. I can honestly tell you that for 20+ seconds, the sunrise colors are indeed this saturated. You have to work quickly to catch the scene, because as quickly as the colors appear, they disappear and are replaced by regular sunlight which turns the snow on the peak blindingly white and risks overexposure of a photo.
See that tiny person standing at the edge of Tipsoo Lake, in the lower center-ish portion of the shot next to the tree? That gives you an idea of the majesty of the landscape: One Big Mountain, One Teeny Person.
This sunrise shot was captured one fine autumn morning, a few months after I’d moved from Texas to Washington state. It’s early summer as I post this photo, and if you were to go there now, the lake would be mostly covered still in ice and snow.
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.
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Ok, I know it’s Tuesday, but the Labor Day holiday makes today feel like a Monday. Anyway, here’s a video for your Tuesday morning. I call it “Waiting For Sunrise At Sunrise.”
I’m trying to capture more videos when I visit the national parks. I tend to keep them relatively short because most readers’ attention spans aren’t that long, and most of the videos (99/9%) are captured with my iPhone 11 (it’s just easier and the iPhone does a nice job).
So, here’s a video I took while waiting for sunrise in the Sunrise area of Mount Rainier National Park. I was at my favorite spot on Sourdough Ridge Trail. I’d like to capture sunrise looking the other way, instead of looking straight at The Mountain, someday, but the parking lot for that particular “other way” spot is always jam-packed and I don’t want to be standing cheek-by-jowl with others at this point in time.
Anyway, enjoy the almost-sunrise at the Sunrise area of the park.
Yahoo! The Great American Outdoors Act has been passed! So, now what? How will that $1.3 billion a year over the next 5 years be spent, and who gets the money? Remember, there are 419 units in the National Park System.
The National Parks Traveler has an interesting article asking that very question. Go check it out.
To read the article, click on the image above.
As for that image, I had arrived at the Crater Lake Lodge area around 4:00 a.m. and realized it was too cloudy to get any pre-dawn star shots. So, I sat in the car for awhile before finally venturing out to find the steps leading to the overlook, then setting up my tripod and camera for Blue Hour, sunrise, and after-sunrise shots.
I used my Sony Alpha 7R IV camera and 16-35mm lens for this shot.
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?
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.
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