I love watching waterfowl make their way across the prairies of South Dakota each spring and fall.
Photographing it in the spring is a bit easier than fall; the ducks and geese aren’t quite as skittish from hunting pressure and they seem to be in larger groups in the spring too. Plus, it’s just nice to be out photographing again as the warm weather starts to wash over the land. By mid to late March, migration is usually in full swing.
Above are snow geese, while below are ringbill ducks.
It doesn’t take much to entertain us in the dead of winter; a young great horned owl sitting in our tree can keep our attention for many minutes. But when a curious squirrel showed up to get a closer look, I was ready for whatever action ensued with the 500 f4. Sadly, nothing got more intimate or violent than what you see here. Maybe next time.
Jack started duck hunting this fall. He got a couple on his first outing during the youth weekend, and then we headed back to the farm to hunt over opening weekend. We had a great time, bagging about 20 over the two days, including seven different duck species.
And he makes a great retriever, too!
I love modern digital cameras. This is a 15-second exposure just after dusk, with my pickup’s headlights providing the illumination on the ground. Mother Nature did her part for the brilliance in the sky…this small image doesn’t do the scene justice. I need to spend more time doing night photography and timelapse.
South Dakota is a great place to photograph cowboys.
They are tucked throughout the state, even a few in farm country in the eastern half. But west of the Missouri, they are commonplace and very visual.
I first photographed Kyle Norman when he was just a boy. I visited his family’s ranch to photograph their annual branding, and he was just starting to help out by roping calves and pulling them to the fire.
Nowadays, Kyle works on the ranch and breaks his own colts. I caught up with him at the outset of calving season with the intent to get some fresh images for an upcoming book. Kyle dresses the part every single day, whether there’s a photographer there or not.Flare alert!
Drovers has been a fun publication to work with; it’s a great outlet for some of my ranch stock photography. I love to shoot anything having to do with the range, and getting it utilized as cover stock comes with great satisfaction.
Tracie, my good friend and art director for Tractor Supply Company, made the chilly trek up to South Dakota this week for a quick one-day shoot. We visited a farm family near Garretson and shot various work and play scenes. We were lucky to get a nice dusting of snow during the shoot as a bonus!
It’s rare that I get to shoot lifestyle work outdoors in South Dakota in the dead of winter, so this adventure was a fun treat.
Well, I finally got a photo in Outdoor Life, one of my longtime favorite magazines.
It wasn’t exactly how I’d planned it…I was hoping to follow some elk hunters on horseback into some remote Colorado wilderness and document their weeklong hunt.
Instead, I have a photo in one of the magazine’s advertisements. That’s my friend Mark Smither and his dog photographed on a shoot for Kubota, via Paulsen.
I’ve had several of these Kubota ads in both Outdoor Life and Field and Stream, so I guess this will have to suffice until the call for that elk hunt comes in…
Another frosty morning and nothing but office work to distract me…I’ll take the outdoors over the office any day! This shot is from Palisades State park near Garretson.
No shortage of farms around. It helps to add something like a red barn when everything else in the photo is some shade of white, grey or black.