Thursday, March 26, 2015

Badlands afternoon....

I was lucky enough to see the sun rise and spent the morning making images of the spectacular badlands. Along with beautiful morning light, gorgeous clouds accented the intricate and eroded landscape.

After exploring various rock formations and waiting for the sun to come out from behind the clouds, eventually I lost the good light. I drove to the visitor center and transferred the morning's photos from my camera onto my computer, and backed them up to an external hard drive.
By the time I was done it was the middle of the day and it would be a couple of hours before I'd have more pleasing afternoon light. So I drove to a Subway sandwich shop in Wall South Dakota and got a veggie sub for lunch.
Then I drove back into the park and took the Sage Creek Rim road about five miles to a prairie dog town.
I watched the prairie dogs as I ate my lunch and drank some water. I noticed the clouds and made a few images of the road and sky.
Then it was time to head back through the park and make the best of the afternoon light.
A couple of bighorn sheep ewes were grazing near the road.
I stopped to photograph the road cutting through the badlands.
There wasn't much traffic on Sunday afternoon so standing and lying on the road was no problem.
The light just kept getting better as you can see in this picture of the yellow mounds.
The shadows were getting long and the rocks seemed to glow with color.
As the sun moved towards the horizon I had to work fast in order to capture the shadows and shapes on the golden rock.
Everywhere I looked were views more beautiful than the last and I was rich with choices.
Just smile and shoot.
It wasn't long before clouds obscured the sun and I lost the light. I knew where some bighorn sheep had been earlier and drove there hoping I would be able to silhouette them against a colorful sky.
The sheep were pretty far away and the color in the sky was muted but I made a few images anyway.
I held out a little hope that the sun would break through and light some clouds. Just after the sun set I came around a corner and was able to capture this last image.

The weather was 55 degrees and sunny, the wind was blowing all day and there were male meadowlarks singing everyplace I went. I couldn't think of a better place or way to spend a March afternoon.

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