Badlands National Park Photography Workshop
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Badlands National Park
Photography Workshop
Part 1 - August 13 - 18, 2023

Part 2 - August 19 - 21, 2023: 3 day hiking extension available

Instructor: Andy Cook

Badlands NP Photo Workshop
Badlands National Park is an amazing gift to the landscape photographer. It contains panoramic vistas that challenge one to find intriguing compositions with both wide angle and telephoto lenses. Spend a little time walking amongst the rocks and discover how the eroded landscape can move a viewer's eye through a well composed scene.

This workshop is geared for the beginner to advanced photographer. Each participant is assisted at their level. We focus on helping participants create the most appealing compositions of each location we visit. We also delve into extensive discussions on equipment, exposure, metering, filters and personal tips. This is a workshop environment, Andy is present to aid in the field and teach his techniques for landscape photography. If you're an advanced photographer he is happy to help or stay out of the way. Additionally, Andy will provide Photoshop instruction/assistance during some of the midday time. Badlands NP Photography Workshop

Badlands Workshop

South Dakota Photo Workshop


Itinerary Outline:

Participants should check in with Andy, Sunday (August 13th, 2023) in the Instructor's Hotel Lobby at 7:00 P.M. for a meeting and introduction.

Instructor Lodging Location: Best Western Plains Motel, 712 Glenn Street, Wall, SD 57790. 605-279-2145.

Check-in: Sunday, August 13th, 2023
Check-out: Part 1 - Saturday August 19th, 2023
Check-out: Part 2 - Tuesday, August 22nd, 2023

Part 1 ends after shooting sunset on Friday, August 18th.
Part 2 ends after shooting sunset on Monday, August 21st.

LODGING: We think it is convenient for participants to stay anywhere in Wall, South Dakota. Participants need to contact the hotel of their choice and reserve their room upon registering for the workshop. This is a busy season, participants should make hotel reservations as soon as possible.

Generally, participants can expect to be at a shooting location at the beginning of blue hour, about 5:20 AM, sunrise is about 5:53 AM and we'll stay in the field until it's time for breakfast. We will provide breakfast bars, and snacks for the early mornings. We are not providing water bottles during this workshop; reducing 1 use plastic bottle waste. Please bring a reusable water bottle from home. Typically, we will have a midday break that varies up to several hours, allowing time to download, nap... For those who want to learn more about post processing, Andy will provide Photoshop help during some midday breaks. To receive post processing assistance please bring your laptop with Photoshop installed. In the afternoon we will eat an early dinner and return to the field where we photograph past sunset into blue light hour.
Badlands Photography Workshop

COST:  Part 1 - $1,690.00 per participant. Target number of participants is 8.
Part 2 - $500.00 per participant. Target number of participants is 4, no discount.
Contact us to register for part 2.

Deposit Amount: $300.00 due at time of registration. This deposit becomes non refundable 90 days in advance of the workshop.

Full Payment of the workshop is due 60 days prior to the start of the workshop. If final payment is not received when due, we reserve the right to treat the reservation as canceled, please review the cancellation policy on the registration page.

National Park Photo Workshop

Workshop Details

Part 1 of this workshop does not involve much trail hiking, however, it does involve walking through tall grass, along roads, on rocky terrain and small hills. Walking surfaces are generally uneven. One doesn't have to be in tip-top shape, but one's enjoyment will be enhanced by good health and preparation. There are cactus hidden in the terrain, ankle high, solid leather, hiking boots are highly recommended. Sometimes it's hard to see where one's placing one's feet, prairie rattlesnakes inhabit the park, Andy will use snake gaiters and highly recommends participants bring their own. We require an acknowledgment of risks (for injuries) be signed before going into the field. We will send a copy upon registration, please return it at the start of the workshop.

Proper hydration is a must, without it one will lose strength, energy and may develop a headache. To avoid dehydration one MUST drink beyond their thirst. We are not providing water bottles during this workshop; reducing 1 use plastic bottle waste. Please bring a reusable water bottle from home. Note: Some do not like the water in Wall, consider options.

Be prepared for possible sudden changes in weather.

Part 2: Join Andy and members of the scouting party as we hike and explore some interesting back country areas in search of compelling foregrounds. Part 2 of this workshop is only offered to those also attending part 1. Part 2 involves extensive hiking, we expect to hike 8 to 12 miles each day, often several miles from the road. The Milky Way will be visible shortly after sunset, if clear, on some nights we intend to photograph it. One should be able to carry one's camera gear, food and plenty of water. We expect to return to the cars after dark. However, we are mortal, we are keeping our first morning open to sleep and recover from the previous day(s), we will decide about the remaining mornings during to trip. Snake gaiters are required. Contact us directly to apply for part 2.

Badlands National Park

More Information

TRANSPORTATION: Most people flying to this workshop will find flying into Rapid City, SD to be most desirable, about 1 hour from Wall, SD.

Driving Conditions: During the workshop driving conditions will usually be paved highways and non 4 wheel drive, dirt roads, if it has been a wet season the dirt roads may become muddy. When possible we prefer that participants car pool with each other to help limit our impact and get to know the other participants. Andy will provide hand held radios to communicate while driving.

Badland Photo Workshop Equipment Recommendations: Bring all camera equipment including the camera's manual. We recommend using a polarizing filter with many photographs on this workshop. Andy combines images of various exposures in post processing. Andy will be happy to teach participants his field and post processing techniques for doing so (requires a cable release with some cameras). To receive post processing assistance please bring your laptop with Photoshop installed.

A lens range from 16 mm to 400 mm after the lens multiplication factor is recommended. However, we think participants should bring their entire range of lenses.

It can be windy in the Badlands, this is not a place for a small, travel tripod. We recommend shooting with a sturdy outdoor tripod that can adjust from standing height without cranking up a center post, to very close to the ground. This type of tripod does not have attachments from the legs to the center post; i.e. the legs can move independently. Please use a cable release or know how to work the camera's timer delay to avoid camera shake.

To be as prepared as possible for this workshop, please review the 2 videos, 7 lessons and 10 workshop handouts found at the link below:

Below please find the PDF handouts recommended for this workshop. One needs to print or download to a digital device these documents before the workshop from the link above.

For this workshop we recommend that participants:

*Print: Blank Workshop Locations Visited.

*Print or download to field digital device: CFDER Field Reminder (This is useful to those new to our workshops and/or trying to develop a useful field workflow.)

*Print or download to field digital device: Steps to Capture Panorama Photographs

*Print or download to field digital device: Hyperfocal chart for camera’s LMF. (Unless you already have a depth-of-field app on a smart phone.)

*Print or download to digital device: Andy’s Camera Settings (Only if unsure about what the camera’s settings should be.)

*Print or download to digital device: Tripod Tips and Techniques (Only if one is new to tripod use or are considering a tripod purchase.)


Series of video lessons teaching post processing for Landscape and Nature Photographers. Excellent for beginners and intermediate users of Adobe Photoshop.

The Fine Print

We do not guarantee the weather or that every location we visit will be productive during our visit.  Photo locations visited may vary year to year. In order to keep workshop fees as low as possible we may overbook any given workshop by 1 space. Usually this results in 8 participants, but from time to time we may have 9 participants attending. Workshop fee does not include transportation, lodging or meals. Participants are responsible for arranging their own transportation, lodging and meals. In the event Rocky Mountain Reflections Photography, Inc. (RMRPI) cancels a workshop due to unforeseen circumstances such as inability to obtain permits, instructor injury, death... Then, RMRPI will refund fees collected by RMRPI for the affected workshop. In the event of a natural disaster, government closure or other happening of this nature that causes a workshop to be canceled, RMRPI may be unable to refund workshop fees. If this happens then funds collected by RMRPI will be applied as credit toward a future workshop of the participant's choosing. RMRPI will not be held responsible for other expenses (airline tickets, hotel deposits, rental car...) that may be associated with any canceled workshop.

Badlands Photo Workshop

Photo Workshop

Flashlight - For use before sunrise and after sunset.
Spare Camera Batteries
Camera Manual
Lots of Memory
Extra Shoes and Socks
Hiking Boots
Warmish Clothes
Oh Yes! Don't Forget the Camera

Photography Workshop


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Click Here for Complete Workshop Schedule
Workshop Photograph

Rocky Mountain Reflections Photography, Inc. is authorized by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, to conduct services in Badlands National Park.

Images on this website are property.
Please do not use them without the photographer's Permission.
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