Every autumn in the Black Hills has spectacular photography opportunities, but this year's "Photo Fall" has some extra special features.
A brand new event is the South Dakota Railroad Museum's "Photo Express" featuring the 1880 Train in Hill City on Saturday, October 3.
Photographers will not only ride the historic steam train, but also have special opportunities to get off and take pictures of it chugging through Black Hills scenery. Food is included on the special "Photo Express" run as are presentations by Erica Harvey of Tripod Tours, Rick Mills of the South Dakota Railroad Museum and yours truly, Chad Coppess of South Dakota Tourism.
Seats are still available for the Photo Express, but are limited to 50, so you will want to get yours before the Sept. 21 deadline! Full details are at the SD Railroad Museum's website.
Custer State Park's annual Buffalo Roundup is Friday, September 25, with around 1,500 bison herded by cowboys and cowgirls on horseback and in trucks. It has become one of the Black Hill's biggest autumn events over its 50 year history.
Full information about the Roundup is at the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks website, and you can view more photos of past Roundups here at Dakotagraph. My best advice for photographers is arrive very early and bring a long lens.
Kicking off the evening of Friday, September 25, the Black Hills Photo Shootout will offer another full weekend of instruction, workshops and camaraderie for photographers. Most events will take place in Rapid City and the southern Black Hills, including workshops on landscapes, painting with light, Native American portraits, wildlife, pinups and more. Space is getting limited for the Shootout, so sign up now!
The Black Hills will also host a group of Nikon-camera users from across the world at the Roundup and through the week of Sept. 25-Oct. 2. The Nikonians are visiting the area for their second time and if you are a Nikon shooter, I highly recommend joining their online community for learning and travel opportunities.
South Dakota Public Broadcasting's "Picture South Dakota" contest is coming up October 1-7. Check out the chance to win with photos from statewide locations at my recent Dakotagraph post.
Along with the Black Hills area's great autumn colors, the wildlife roaming throughout Custer State Park, Wind Cave National Park and Badlands National Park, iconic monuments at Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial, the region typically has beautiful weather this time of year. You can see why I'm calling it Black Hills "Photo Fall."