Cellpic Sunday – 27 December 2020

Badlands National Park, South Dakota.

On our first trip to the park in western South Dakota, I was impressed at how much different this badlands looks from the badlands I have seen many times just a few miles across the North Dakota border. The Lakota Sioux named this area Mako Sica. Literally translated, “Bad Lands”.

Early settlers found the terrain challenging. In wet weather, the clay becomes slick in some places, sticky in others. The canyons and buttes makes any trips through the area circuitous, and the hot, dry summers leave whatever remaining water sources unsafe to drink.

About the photo: Captured with my Samsung S20U, the 12,000×9000 pixel original image was a much larger area of a section of jagged rocks. The advantage of so many pixels is that I easily cropped the image to focus on the two highest points with a remaining image of over 7100×4100 pixels. As usual, basic edits were accomplished in Adobe Lightroom with finishing touches applied in Luminar 4. The resolution was reduced further for publication here, but you can still get a closer look by clicking on the image to check out details, if your browser supports the function.

John Steiner

Dronie Sunday – 6 December 2020

Custer State Park, South Dakota.

The largest of the four lakes in Custer State Park is Stockade Lake. The park is about a 40-minute drive from Mount Rushmore in the South Dakota Black Hills.  This artificial lake was created by the Stockade Lake Dam, construction completed on April 1, 1934. The dam created a haven for camping, fishing, hiking, and other outdoor recreation.

Named for the Gordon Stockade, a hastily built fort during the 1874 Black Hills gold rush, the lake is on French Creek. In a future post, I’ll feature a few more images of the lake and creek.

About the photo: On the southwest end of the lake, the road crosses a wooden bridge over French Creek. There is a small parking area with views of the lake, dam, and bridge. I launched the Mavic Air drone and captured some images. This image is a panorama of two images that allowed me to show more of the lake. The stitching of images and basic tweaking were done in Adobe Lightroom, with final touches completed in Luminar 4.

The two images are in RAW (DNG) format, and after processing the final image was converted to JPG for sharing here. I have mentioned before that I could let the drone create a panoramic image automatically. I don’t do that because that image is a JPG file, and I would have less control over final editing. As always, a better view of the image can be had by selecting it (if your browser supports that function.)

John Steiner

Dignity – A Tribute to the Native American Woman

Chamberlain, South Dakota.

“Her name is Dignity. The Native American woman stands some 50-feet (15 m) tall. Sculpted of stainless steel, ‘Dignity represents the courage, perseverance and wisdom of the Lakota and Dakota culture in South Dakota,’ according to artist Dale Lamphere who used three models of Lakota Native Americans to create the face.”

That’s how I started the Cellpic Sunday post on 15 July, 2018. On the day of that visit, I only had my cell phone available and the single image capture along with a more detailed description can be found here. Continue reading

Pioneer Auto Show – 65 Years in Murdo SD

Murdo, South Dakota.

On our trips to Arizona, our usual route takes us via I-90 from Sioux Falls, South Dakota to Murdo where we pick up U.S. Highway 83 and from there we head south to North Platte, Nebraska for our end of the first day stop. Being the classic car nut that I am, you’d think before this year we’d have stopped at the Pioneer Auto Museum by now. At our travel pace, it’s a 10-hour drive and we simply aren’t feeling a stop along the way. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 15 July 2018

Chamberlain, South Dakota.

Her name is Dignity. The Native American woman stands some 50-feet (15 m) tall. Sculpted of stainless steel, “Dignity represents the courage, perseverance and wisdom of the Lakota and Dakota culture in South Dakota,” according to artist Dale Lamphere who used three models of Lakota Native Americans to create the face. If you travel via I-90 through South Dakota, you’ll see Dignity high on a bluff between exits 263 and 265. At her back is the mighty Missouri River, the longest river in North America. Continue reading

Saint Joseph’s Cathedral – A Beacon of Hope

Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

A chance view through my telephoto lens at a couple of spires in the distance introduced me to the Cathedral of Saint Joseph. Last week, I featured a photo story of Falls Park. At the top of the observation tower, there is a view of downtown Sioux Falls. Though the spires I saw looked to be a long distance from the observation tower where I first saw them, a volunteer at the Falls Park Information Center provided a map and pointed out that the drive would last but a few minutes through downtown. The history of missions and churches is truly the history of mankind. Continue reading

Falls Park – Sioux Falls Namesake

Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

In late September, a family wedding brought us to a small town in South Dakota for the celebration. We arrived a day early and had some time to explore. Just a short drive from the wedding site, the largest city in South Dakota invited us to spend a morning. The city of around 175,000 population has a history with me. Many years ago, while attending college in a nearby Minnesota town, Sioux Falls became a destination for weekend activities. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 8 October 2017

Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Last weekend found us in Brandon, South Dakota for a family wedding. The wedding was held late Saturday afternoon so we spent some free time in the morning exploring Sioux Falls. Our first stop that morning was only a 12 minute drive from our hotel in Brandon. Falls Park is a short walk from downtown, covers 123 acres and features the city’s namesake the falls on the Big Sioux River. The falls drop some 100 feet (30 m) over several cascades. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 17 September 2017

Somewhere over South Dakota.

Last week, two air crews from North Dakota Wing Civil Air Patrol spent some time in Houston working on an assignment from FEMA. I was the pilot for one of those air crews. We were doing aerial survey work tracking the aftermath of the Hurricane Harvey disaster. In a future Journeys With Johnbo, I will share some of my experiences on that journey. Continue reading

Iron Mountain Road – It’s the Journey not the Destination

Keystone, South Dakota.

What’s so special about that tunnel in the opening photo that would cause a perfectly normal person to stand in the roadway to take a photo (and for someone to stand behind her to take another photo?) Look closely inside the tunnel. Here, I’ll help you. Check the photo below using my zoom lens. Continue reading