Badlands National Park in Western South Dakota is an amazing place. Then again, I suspect you could say that about any national park. They are all awesome for their own unique reasons. As far as the Badlands are concerned, I’ve found myself there more often in the winter than in any other season, and frankly I don’t mind that at all. First, there are hardly any people around…a few to be sure, but compared to the numbers in the summer, it’s virtually vacated. Then if you’re shooting landscapes and have a little snow on the ground, you’ll enjoy a completely different look and feel to the park compared the summer months. The snow accentuates the features, crevices, and such, and provides a wonderful opportunity for photography.
In this photograph, which is facing southeast, the colors are really interesting, because I’m shooting somewhat into the morning light. The sunrise and clouds were unbelievable about 45 minutes before this, but the light remained diffused and colorful for quite awhile so it seemed like a good idea to pull out my Olympus EM1 and the Olympus 40-150 2.8 Pro and shoot this formation. It’s very symbolic of the Badlands, incorporating natural grasses (there are expansive grasslands nearby) and the jagged, seemingly inhospitable, terrain…nearly all of it highlighted with horizontal lines, each one signifying an ancient time period in the past.