September 27, 2010

Black Hills Photo Shoot Out -recap

From the previous blog, you can tell I have been out shooting a few picks. The pictures were from the Black Hills Photo Shoot Out last weekend in the Black Hills of SD. What a vast array of subjects to photograph in the Hills.

This was the first year of the shoot out and from what I understand, it will not be the one and only! It was a lot of fun. Friday evening was sort of a social gathering of sorts and meeting some of the "celebrity" local photographers. I picked up Paul Horsted's books and of course he was kind enough to autograph it for me.

Saturday morning was a long drive for me. We decided to stay in Custer for our vacation and also to be closer to the EARLY morning session on Sunday. So, I hit the road and traveled to Spearfish. It is just under a two hour drive. My first session was "Black Hills Up Close". We did a little mile hike into the Roughlock Falls area in Spearfish Canyon. Even though the sky was overcast it was a nice little trek. We were able to photograph Roughlock Falls and then do some macro shooting along the trail on the way back. Macro shooting is all up close stuff. There is so much you can do with macro it can be overwhelming as to what to focus on and shoot. I was just doing some random shots of leaves, foliage and such.

The Saturday afternoon session was the Jeep Tour. Let me just say, that this was well worth the money for the workshop! Jerry Rawlings lead the tour with a bunch of his friends and their trusty steeds (Jeeps) and one town car (Ford Explorer) as they call it. It was great that Jerry's friends chipped in to help out their buddy and show us an area of Spearfish Canyon that not many get to see. We drove through the Wharf Gold Mine, the only active gold mine in the hills. We made a stop at Preston which is now a ghost town. There are only two buildings standing and one caved in log cabin. There is also an old cemetery there with only one stone carved headstone dating 1905. The others are made out of wood and are no longer legible. The next stop was the rim of Spearfish Canyon. It was AMAZING from up there! I can only imagine what the colors would be like this weekend when the aspens have turned. We were almost above the Roughlock Falls / Spearfish Falls area. After taking a vote, we drove over to another place on the rim for another view. All I can say is WOW! We headed back to Spearfish but not until we made one more stop to take pics. It was just before we got back to the Wharf Mine. All of a sudden the jeeps were pulling over and it was like a Chinese fire drill....people grabbing camera equipment and running across the road to capture the event. There it was, Spearfish Mountain, just the top peaking through the clouds. The clouds made it look like an island! AMAZING! We made it back down a little later than we were expected, but it was our choice to seek out the other view from the rim. Saturday night was our keynote speaker, George Lepp. He is an awesome photographer that lives in Colorado Springs. Check out his web page here. Of course I had to buy his wildlife photography book. His wife also had a hand in writing the book so they both signed it and then George personalized it for me. He is a nice guy. He had never been in the Black Hills to shoot before and was enjoying it. After the session it was the long drive back to Custer. This time I had two fellow photographers following me to the cabin,Cycling Cathy and Sandy Brady. We all stayed at the same resort on Saturday and Sunday evening.

Sunday morning we (me, Cycling Cathy and Sandy) got up EARLY and left the cabin by 5am to make it to our meeting place by 5:45am at the buffalo coral area in the wildlife loop area of Custer State Park. The morning was very foggy so not a great amount to shoot but we did find, spiders, and foliage. Then it was off to find the BIG guys, buffalo. After taking a bit of a break, Cycling Cathy and I headed to the bathroom and when we came out of the house, everyone was gone! We tried to find them but no luck so we did our own adventure through Custer State Park. We saw prairie dogs, buffalo, bull elk just harvested by a hunter, pronghorn antelope and of course the scenery and company was awesome! We headed back to Custer and hooked up with Kris for some sandwiches, soup and of course any cyclist favorite desert, pie!

The Sunday afternoon session was Spokane Ghost Town. What a place! There are quite a few buildings standing there yet, but some are far apart from each other. Lots of old cars around also and one grave at the top of the hill which stated the fella had been murdered because of a mine claim dispute. I have to say that I was getting very tired at that point and my pictures sure showed it. I wasn't really setting up my shots like I should as that session progressed but that is was still fun to hike around an take it all in. We, me and Cycling Cathy, headed back to town and hooked up with Sandy and Kris and after getting cleaned up, we headed to downtown Custer to the Bugling Bull. Kind of a sports bar on one side and a nice restaurant on the other side. GOOD FOOD and I got to try out some Crow Peak beer! YUMMY!

Monday, Kris and I headed home but not until we drove the Needles Hwy and by Mt Rushmore. I was SO TIRED and starting to come down with a cold but of course couldn't sleep in the car for whatever reason. Abe on the other hand had no problem at all sleeping!

The Shoot Out was AWESOME! If you get a chance to go to this event in the future, you will not be disappointed! Check out the pool pictures from the event here.

September 25, 2010

what have I been doing?.........

Mt Rushmore


Needles Highway-Black Hills, SD

"The Beast"-Spokane Ghost Town-Black Hills, SD

Spokane Ghost Town-Black Hills, SD

Spokane Ghost Town-Black Hills, SD Black Hills Photo Shoot Out - Jeep Tour Crew!
Rim of Spearfish Canyon

Preston, SD- Ghost Town

Roughlock Falls, Spearfish, SD

Roughlock Falls, Spearfish, SD

Preston Ghost Town

"The Loner"-Custer State Park