Thursday, April 17, 2014

South Dakota's own National Geographic photographer

If you weren't aware of South Dakota's own National Geographic photographer, take a few minutes to meet Joe Riis in this video -

At one point in time Joe was set to intern under me at South Dakota Tourism but he quickly moved on to bigger and better things.

Joe's website is

Monday, April 7, 2014

Still time to register for South Dakota Camera Club Roundup

There is still time to register for the May 3 South Dakota Camera Club Roundup in Aberdeen. You won't want to miss out on all the fun.

The Through the Lens Camera Club has put together a great list of options for you to shoot while you are in town. Included are:

- Centennial Village at the Brown County Fairgrounds with costumed re-enactors
- a blooming orchard
- Easton's Castle and other historic homes
- the Northern State University campus (I've shot this before and it has a great classic college feel)
- Granary Art Gallery
- Dakota Prairie Museum
- Evening at the Riverside Cemetery

Register for free at Visit Aberdeen.

Hotel discounts for the weekend can be found at this link.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Testing an Olympus 70-300mm

I recently picked up an Olympus 70-300mm f/4-5.6 lens, which on my OM-D E-M1 is exactly doubled in power to a 140-600mm. Curious to see if I could handhold this at the full zoom range, I headed out to the hiking trails on Farm Island State Recreation Area near Pierre.

Every one of these photos was taken without the assistance of a tripod, just to see how well the E-M1's anti-vibration system works. I'm very happy with the results. Of course every frame was not perfectly sharp, but this test gave me plenty of confidence in shooting with this lens. I purposely selected several subjects to see the fine detail sharpness and out-of-focus bokeh.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Made in South Dakota

A lesser-known aspect of my job is to take photos for the Governor's Office of Economic Development. I've been having fun this week shooting manufacturing facilities, medical laboratories, technical schools, and office settings.

Sometimes it is just amazing what goes on in your hometown that you know nothing about.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday auto racing

Here is a "Throwback Thursday" contribution from my big-time auto racing days.

First a couple funny cars with the parachutes out at the 1986 Mile High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Denver, Colorado.

A.J. Foyt's crew pushes the famous 14 car into place on pit road at the 1992 Indianapolis 500.

This is the infamous front row for the 1992 Indy 500 - Roberto Guerrerro on the pole in the #36, Eddie Cheever in the middle and Mario Andretti outside. I took this picture on the parade lap in Turn One. As they rounded Turn Two, Guerrerro stepped on the gas just a little too hard and the car spun into the inside wall knocking him out of the race before it even started.

The 1992 Hooters 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is still known as one of the most important races in Nascar history. It was "The King" Richard Petty's last race ever, some young punk named Jeff Gordon's first race ever, and Alan Kulwicki won the championship that day. Here Kulwicki's crew performs a pit stop midway through the race. As I was editing this photo I noticed famous racing broadcaster Dr. Jerry Punch watching the crew at work (under the green arrow).

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Locations falling into place for South Dakota Camera Club Roundup

The latest news from the Through The Lens Camera Club is that the Easton's Castle home is included in a growing list of locations photographers can enjoy during the South Dakota Camera Club Roundup in Aberdeen on May 3.

This photo and description of the Castle are borrowed from the official Facebook page for preservation efforts of the historic home.

Built in 1888 by C.A. Bliss, pioneer, merchant, farmer and Shorthorn Breeder, the Victorian estate was lost to C.F Easton, Savings and Loan President, in 1893. It was bricked over in 1904 by Russell Easton and saved from demolition in 1967 by Dr. Sam and Jacintha Holman. The yellow brick mansion remains the Holman family home. Extensive renovations of the balloon-framed, board and batten, fish scale barn were destroyed by an arsonist in the 1990's.

More locations are being added to the Roundup as well. Here's what is planned so far -

- historic homes
- Korean War Sculptures at the airport
- The Northern State University campus
Granary Art Gallery This is a self-guided tour and an organized caravan drive to the site will be offered.
- A blooming orchard
- Dakota Prairie Museum
- Evening at the Riverside Cemetery - Self guided tour with interesting old headstones
- Centennial Village at the Brown County Fairgrounds with re-enactors

Registering ahead of time for this free event will help organizers know how many to expect.

You can also find hotel discounts for the weekend by following this link.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Unseasonal reenactment in Deadwood

You never know what you will find in the historic Old West town of Deadwood, such as a snowy winter-time gunfight on Main Street staged recently for a television commercial.

Though you won't find gunfight reenactments often in the winter, they are a staple of entertainment in Deadwood throughout the summer.

Careful with those guns. You could shoot your eye out!