Photographing the South Dakota Badlands
The first time I experienced South Dakota was on a photo tour with Nikonians in 2005. I had just gotten the new Nikon D2x DSLR, and that was my first serious photo trip shooting digital. I’ll never forget the awe I experienced seeing the otherworldly rock formations there for the first time.
I returned to the Badlands in 2011 to lead a photo safari there, and I’ve been fortunate to go back with clients every year since then. The Badlands is a magical place for landscape photography, because you never know what you’ll experience when you’re there. The towering rock formations, amazing overlooks, and incredible skies are just some of what makes South Dakota an incredible landscape photo destination.
When to visit the Badlands?
In early summer, the Badlands is lush and green (and often wet). In fall, the greens make way to browns and gold as the late afternoon light paints the rock formations there. In winter, you’ll need to brave cold, windy conditions but you can get images of snow-covered rock formations that are incredible.
A landscape photographer’s dream environment
In the Badlands, you can explore a tremendous range of landscape photography styles, including:
Unless you visit the badlands in winter, the days are long. Despite having to wake up pretty early in order to be set up for sunrise, the long days offer me the opportunity to really sit down with my clients to work through the three major components of digital workflow:
- Exposure (Camera settings )
- Post-processing and image output
Join me in the Badlands!
2019 marks my 9th consecutive year of teaching photography in South Dakota. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced enthusiast, this outdoor classroom has something to offer everyone who is interested in capturing dramatic landscape images. Every day we’ll be treated to something new and exciting!
My 2019 Badlands Safari is limited to 8 photographers. Early registration closes May 31st.