Thanks to everyone who participated in "Photography Month in South Dakota" in any way. September 2010 was one to remember, whether you were part of the Black Hills Photo Shootout, the Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup, the South Dakota State Parks month-long photography contest on Facebook or just shot some photos in your own backyard.
As the last night of Photography Month darkens, I thought I would end it with a couple recent night shots. Star trails streak over Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Pactola Lake in the center of the Black Hills.
The Mount Rushmore exposure was three minutes long under an almost-full moon. From experience I knew that the night lighting at Rushmore does not give a pleasing effect on the faces. The sculptures were designed to be lit from above, so the moonlight coming from roughly the same direction as sunlight works much better.
At Pactola I went for 25 minutes to make longer streaks. Kind of looks like some kind of alien attack, doesn't it? The light on the trees to the left and the rock to the right is coming from the visitor's center area atop the dam that creates the lake.