From the moment I saw them I was in awe! Don’t let the name fool you…the Badlands are far from bad. The peaks and gullies, ancient rock formations and bands of color are mesmerizing and beautiful. Particularly in the golden hour of early morning and late afternoon, when soft low light throws shadows and brings the landscape to life. During those hours the true beauty of the Park reveals itself.
Our trip was in early September and surprisingly the number of tourists and traffic was pretty low. One morning I was up well before sunrise and in the park and to my delight barely saw any other people. I felt like I had the Badlands all to myself, but for the distant howls of a pack of coyotes.
On the first day I felt a bit overwhelmed by what seemed like an endless expanse of ridges, spires, buttes and otherworldly terrain but slowly, as time passed, I began to focus on smaller areas and take in the more subtle aspects of the area and appreciate its detail. We had 3 days…we needed three times that.
In addition to the fascinating landscapes, there is a variety of wildlife in the Badlands. We saw Bison, Bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, jack rabbits and deer, but there are also rattlesnakes, black-footed ferrets and coyotes to name a few, not to mention, many species of birds.
It was a short trip, just 3 days. A good start to many more treks to South Dakota and into the Badlands.
Just when I thought there was nothing left of the sunrise to photograph the other morning….after the colors had all but faded away, and I was back in the car and down the road a way, the sun popped up right behind a row of tall thin trees. I made this abstract image from one of the several shots I took out the car window with my 300 mm telephoto with a 2x teleconverter on it. I hope you like it!
Another beautiful sunrise this morning. I never considered myself an early riser but as I get older I’m finding it’s the best part of the day. As I was out driving this morning waiting for the light and the great colors that come with it, I found this old rather unique looking old corn-crib not too far from my house. Hope you like it. Leave me a comment and tell me what you think. Click to view larger.
Beautiful sunrise over an Iowa field. This is a composite of 2 images combined in Photomatix Pro. The foreground is partially lit by the headlights of my car. I’ve been experimenting a lot with HDR (High Dynamic Range) imaging lately, mostly with Photomatix Pro which I think does a much better job than Photoshop. I am using the trial version as you can see by the Photomatix watermark on the photo but will be purchasing a license soon.
To find out more about Photomatix Pro By HDRsoft click here.
This mornings sunrise….Saturday November 10th. What a gorgeous one it was! Maybe Illinois does have some redeeming qualities after all. I plan for this to be the beginning of many sunrises to enjoy and photograph. Click on each image to view them larger. Hope you enjoy!