Today's field trip photo shoot will require walking and standing boardwalks, sidewalks, wood deck viewing area and hard-packed dirt walking trail and tall grassy areas. Elevation ranges from 5,250 to 6,400 feet.
Breakfast is at the hotel hospitality room. Self-serve style: pre-packaged oatmeal, fruit, yogurt, breakfast cereals, eggs, toast, pastries, waffles (make your own), juice, hot tea, and coffee. Additional beverages for purchase are not available.
The focus of this program is on the quality of the experience and is designed for amateur photographers as well as advanced photographers interested in improving their overall imaging skills. Experience extensive individual instruction relating to composition, exposure, and lighting techniques every day while in the field. Your instructors will tell you what equipment to bring, camera settings for optimal images, and the focus of each photo shoot. Personal image critiquing sessions available. When it is deemed safe to stop or pull over, unscheduled photo opportunities (different types of animals, seasonal flowers and foliage) will be incorporated. Learn about the local culture and history of the area while on the road between photo sites. This morning's departure is at 6:30 a.m. for your photo shoot at Mount Rushmore. You may want to use your tripod, polarizer and a 24-105mm lens to capture the patriotic essence of Mount Rushmore as the morning light defines the character of each face. Take images of these magnificent 60-foot heads from several locations including the terrace, the Presidential Trail or discover your own hidden spot. Be on the lookout for the elusive Mountain Goats that hang out at Mount Rushmore year round. Continue to Crazy Horse Memorial: For images of Crazy Horse, it is recommend you bring your tripod and have a short zoom lens on your camera. Crazy Horse is the largest sculptural undertaking ever – on a scale with the Egyptian pyramids. When completed, it will tower 563 feet high, 641 feet long and be carved in the round. Feel the "spirituality of the mountain" as you focus your lens on Chief Crazy Horse.
Enjoy a homemade soup, salad, and make your own sandwich lunch in Hot Springs.
Capture one-of-a-kind photos at the world-class Mammoth Site. For your images here, you will want a short lens and a tripod. Low lighting may be challenge and hand held images will be difficult to take. This is a unique opportunity to get some great shots of this dig site. This is the only facility of its kind in North America and is designated as a National Natural Landmark. It is the world’s largest mammoth research facility. The animals found at the site are exactly where they died. Once gigantic mammoths roamed freely on the High Plains of North America and their remains, along with those of other animals now extinct, lay undisturbed, entombed within the earth. The majority of fossils found at the Mammoth Site are from the North American Columbian Mammoth (over 50+). Evidence of three woolly mammoths have also been discovered, making it an “east meets west mammoth gathering” the first time both species have been found together. Other fossils discovered include the camel, llama, giant short-faced bear, wolf, coyote and prairie dog to name a few. The fossils, not petrified, are dry and fragile. Late afternoon: We will wind our way to Custer State Park's Wildlife Loop Road in search for animals to photograph. Your instructors will help you with camera settings depending on which critters are close by. Animals close enough to take images could include the majestic bison, pronghorn, coyotes, bighorn sheep, deer, burros or prairie dogs.
Dinner at local restaurant in Rapid City. Entrée, salad, starch, dessert, coffee, iced tea and soda; other beverages not available for purchase.
This is a good time for you to download, edit and put your two images on a memory stick, flash drive or jump drive to give to the photo instructor tomorrow morning. Or just relax after a busy day in the Black Hills. Swim in the indoor pool, use the sauna or soothe your tired feet in the hot tub.