Spring Migration

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.

Squirrel vs Owl

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.

Back to the Lake

lakelightningAh, we love May at the lake. Winter is finally over (yes, we get blizzards in April often), the dock and boat are in, and the weekends hold the promise of getaway time at Shangri-Latza.

We get some vicious storms in May too; the shot above preceded a big thunderstorm that produced a tornado that passed just a couple of miles north of the lake. lakesunsetThe fishing has been great at Lake Poinsett too. Sunset brings all the boats to our cove, and we take part as well. This is the view from our dock as we fished.annafishWalleye for Anna!discgolfGoing to the lake isn’t completely about the water. The boys and I disc golf every weekend at one of the area courses and it’s a great way to get some male bonding under our belts.

Starry Night

starsI 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.


norman1South 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. norman2Kyle dresses the part every single day, whether there’s a photographer there or not.norman3Flare alert!

Shooting in Winter

tsc1Tracie, 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.


Advertisements in Major Magazines

20161229_clips_002Well, 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…