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.


  1. Great work! Love the waterfalls and the aspens.

  2. Thanks, that means a lot coming from you!