Monday, October 31, 2011

Ed's Barn........

"We're running out of time. Can you imagine an America without a barn on the landscape? Is that the America we want?"------Rod Scott

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Hunt..........

"All the sounds of this valley run together into one great echo, a song that is sung by all the spirits of this valley. Only a hunter hears it." --Chaim Potok

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.  
-- Frank Lloyd Wright

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A few more Black Hills shots.....

I hope you aren't tired of pictures from the Black Hills area. I threw in a few more for you to enjoy.

This little guy was illuminated by the sunlight and surrounded by pine trees.
This was on the way back down from Cement Ridge.

We might have just missed peak on this group of trees, but still it was amazing color! This was also taken on the way back down from Cement Ridge. 

For some unknown reason, I have always liked this waterfall. I have no idea what it is called, but it is kind of hidden along the road between Deadwood and Lead. When I was shooting film, I did take a lot of pictures of this waterfall and of course, that bug still followed me into the digital era also!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Devil's Tower

Kris and I took a side excursion to Wyoming to see Devil's Tower. Neither of us had been there before. Heck, I didn't even know the story about Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Devil's Tower. I kept asking Kris what the deal was with all the alien stuff and Devil's Tower. Nope, I never saw the movie, but was told that the aliens come to pick up their kind at Devil's Tower at the end of the movie. Oops, I should have given a spoiler alert about the ending.  I guess I might have to watch it sometime, even though I know how it ends!  I think I like the Native American version of how Devil's Tower became what it is better than a pick up spot for little green men or women.

There is something about this prairie land around this old farm site or town. I love the contrast between the prairie grass and the weathered buildings.

 This poor fella was roving around the prairie just outside the Devil's Tower grounds. His horns are a  bit lopsided.

 The colors were amazing around the base of Devil's Tower.

 The squirrels were busy  hiding there treasures in the rocks and stumps.  They seemed oblivious, to us as we walked down the paths, darting out in front of us to do their fall business.

 We had to be careful and cautious around the "killer tree" haha. No kidding aside, I am guessing the tree was tagged because it is infested with pine beetles.   The beetles are slowly killing a lot of the pine trees in the area. The park services are doing what they can to stop the spread and save the trees, but it is a hard job at this point.

We have climbers! From what I understand Devil's Tower is fun to climb, if you like that sort of stuff. This, of course, is not for me!  The climbers I talked with said it would take 5-6 hours to climb the south side of the tower and only about 45 min to come back down.  

Through out the area around the base of Devil's Tower, viewed as a sacred place by Native Americans, you might see what they call prayer bundles. The bundles might have tobacco, sage or feathers offered by the Native Americans in prayer and renewal. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011


We stayed a few extra days after the Black Hills Photo Workshop was over. I took my friend over to a couple areas where we had shot during the shoot out and in doing so, I decided to re-shoot a couple pictures since no one was around and I could get to the exact spot I wanted to be to snap a picture. I think they might have turned out a little better than my original shots. What do you think?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I don't like people........

So, I was sitting with fellow photographers this past weekend. We were shooting the breeze, so to speak, and talking about which sessions we were taking at the Black Hills Photo Shoot Out.  I was asked by a friend if I was taking the "cowboy" session, of course I said, "No!" and she replied, "That is right, you don't like people!"  We, of course, got a HUGE laugh out of it and I am sure this will be a joke for some time, but it is so very true! 

Last fall I got talked into taking senior pictures for a co-worker's son. I figured it would be ok and I needed to broaden my horizons, so I agreed to take the pictures.  We had a great time and the pictures turned out fine, but there sure is something about taking people pictures that I just am not a fan of. Is it the stress of making sure the victim, oops sorry, the subject is posed the correct way? Is it telling people how they should stand? I am just not sure. All I know is that I just do not have the patience to do portraiture photography.   I can sit for HOURS watching prairie dogs, bird, clouds or whatever else, but to pose someone or take wedding pictures....heaven forbid! 

My hats off to you folks that do that sort of photography, I just can't do it.  Apparently, my friend was right, I just don't like people!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Black Hills Photo Shoot Out 2011

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to attend the second annual Black Hills Photo Shoot Out. It is a great event with local and national sponsors that showcase our great state of South Dakota. This year it pulled in photographers from all over the United States and I think there was even some photographers from up north in Canada!  I didn't hear the final numbers but had heard someplace around 150 photographers were "picturizing" the beautiful fall colors that the Black Hills had to offer.  I have never been in Spearfish Canyon area during PEAK fall colors. I always seem to miss it on one side or the other of peak, but if you hit the date right it is an amazing array of colors from all the turning aspen, birch, oak and the ever steady color green of the pine trees.

The Shoot Out session leaders worked with photographers that ranged in experience from beginners to professionals.  The sessions I attended didn't disappoint. Even though, I live in South Dakota and have been to the Black Hills several times, I always seem to see something I have never seen before! How many times have you driven down Spearfish Canyon and stopped to see Roughlock Falls?  I know a lot of you have, but did you know just behind the Latchstring Restaurant at the turn to go to Roughlock Falls, there is a path that takes you down to the floor of the canyon and Spearfish Falls?  It is a great waterfall and neat nature area loaded with all sorts of geological and botanical information.  There are a couple other places I had never been before this past weekend in the Hills and that was Tinton Ghost Town and Cement Ridge. Tinton Ghost Town, you are only able to access with permission from the land owners, which our session leaders had, and of course, a 4 wheel drive vehicle is a MUST! I am amazed at ghost towns just to see what people leave behind. Cars, stoves, bed springs and old chairs just to name a few of the items left at Tinton.  Cement Ridge can be found by taking the road that leads to Roughlock Falls, but instead of stopping there you keep following this road. Eventually you will pass an old barn that has been roofed with cyanide can lids, used in the mining process, and after a few more turns you will come to the US Forest Service Look Out Tower called Cement Ridge.  Amazing views can be had from this vantage point. Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota are all visible and the Big Horn Mountains can also be seen on a clear day from what I have been told. The journey up to Cement Ridge should only be attempted in a four wheel drive vehicle also!

Sounds like a few changes will be in store for the shoot out next year, but I am sure this event will continue to grow and grow!

Here are a few of my shots from the Shoot Out sessions, enjoy.