Thursday, October 7, 2010

Barns of the Black Hills

With so much natural beauty and wildlife around, photographers in the Black Hills can be forgiven if they don't turn their lenses toward man made subjects other than Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial. There are plenty of things to shoot though, including several barns seemingly placed in strategically scenic spots.

Near the town of Custer and two miles east of the Sylvan Lake Road intersection on Highway 16A, this barn features the granite outcropping known as Calamity Peak as a backdrop. Morning light seems to work best here and if you get lucky, one of the resident horses will pose in front for you.

Also in the Custer area are the ghostly buildings of Meeker Ranch, including a very picturesque barn. Check out my earlier posts about Meeker Ranch for more details and directions.

Farther north, the tiny town of Nemo features this red barn and corrals at the intersection of Nemo Road and Forest Service Road 26. It is roughly in the center point of a triangle formed by Rapid City, Sturgis and Deadwood.

I've posted this shot before, but without directions on how to find this barn. To me this one is the most iconic of the photographer-friendly barns in the Black Hills area. To find it, head east of Sturgis on Highway 34 passing to the south of Bear Butte. As the highway makes a sharp bend to the north and then back to the east, continue north on a gravel road for just a few miles and you'll spot this barn on your left.

Sunrise and early morning light work great here to light the barn with Bear Butte rising behind it and the majestic Black Hills in the distance.

There are undoubtedly more barns in the area that I haven't found or recalled. Please chime in if you've got a favorite you are willing to share. On a recent trip I noticed several east of Custer State Park on Highway 16A between the park boundary and Hermosa.

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