Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Badlands National Park

with 25 comments

A year ago today we spent some scenic hours at Badlands National Park in South Dakota. After returning to Austin last year, I showed you maybe half a dozen of the more than 600 pictures I took. Here are five more.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 31, 2018 at 4:49 AM

25 Responses

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  1. Awesome….amazing geology!!


    May 31, 2018 at 7:48 AM

  2. Cool shots! The texture and striations in the 3rd shot kind of capture your attention.
    That yellow in the 4th shot is beautiful, and I’m not even going to mention lemon sorbet, or sherbet. Or gelato. It’s too early in the day. Can you smell sulfur when you’re close up?

    Robert Parker

    May 31, 2018 at 7:49 AM

    • Even though the yellow in the rocks may be caused by sulfur, it’s not the kind of sulfur that we could smell. It’s a good thing you didn’t mention lemon sorbet or sherbet or gelato.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 31, 2018 at 7:57 AM

  3. It is so interesting to see history laid out in layers like this. For some reason, though, I find I’m craving lemon sorbet.


    May 31, 2018 at 8:30 AM

    • Then you can go to Rapid City, buy some lemon sorbet, and take it over to Badlands National Park.

      Yes, layers are just the right thing to make a geologist a king.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 31, 2018 at 2:55 PM

  4. It is a fascinating world, Steve. Our trip to the Badlands lies many years back, before digital cameras. I would love to return there to revisit and capture some of this fascinating landscape.


    May 31, 2018 at 1:20 PM

    • Yes, you should go back. You could get there in a day’s drive from Colorado Springs. Your sensibilities may be more attuned now than they were way back then, and of course this time you’d have a digital camera.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 31, 2018 at 3:00 PM

  5. Beautiful photos! That’s fascinating scenery.


    May 31, 2018 at 3:23 PM

    • And not all that far from your neck of the woods, relatively speaking (given the size of the country). If you’ve never been, I hope you’ll get to go.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 31, 2018 at 3:32 PM

  6. I had always wanted to see the Painted Desert, although I do not know of as many people who would recommend it as would recommend Badlands. Yet, the two times I went through it on the way to and from Oklahoma, were at night! I really want to see it again, during the day.


    May 31, 2018 at 9:44 PM

    • Yes, day definitely sounds preferable. I’ve driven near the Painted Desert a few times but haven’t yet made it a destination. Maybe someday soon…

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 1, 2018 at 5:17 AM

      • It was my first trip that far east. I had never gone past Bakersfield. It was awesome, even without seeing it!


        June 2, 2018 at 5:20 PM

  7. I’ve seen some images of Badlands NP before – from Len Saltiel, I think. I thought it looked bizarre, and alien then and these great images of yours – especially the last two – reinforce those feelings. A remarkable place.


    June 1, 2018 at 12:33 PM

    • A remarkable place indeed. I was thrilled to have visited it and I’d gladly go back for a second round.

      I looked up images by Len Saltiel to see what you meant.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 1, 2018 at 6:59 PM

  8. I enjoyed your images from that visit the first time around, and was most taken with the color. This time, I noticed the mix of colors. It seems curious to me that yellow would be tucked next to red tucked next to gray. The layers are understandable, but that third photo’s just plain curious. I suspect a good book about the area would be a fascinating read.


    June 2, 2018 at 6:27 AM

    • If I’d spent more time there, I imagine I’d have found many more mixes of colors—and of course many pleasing shapes and textures. Now you’ve made me wonder whether there’s a guide to the Badlands that explains all the geology in terms fit for laymen. If not, some qualified person should jump on the idea.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 2, 2018 at 7:08 AM

  9. Great shots Steve .. love all those colours!


    June 3, 2018 at 1:05 AM

  10. I’ve been there many times in my life, and it’s an ever-changing area. I think I notice the variances in texture – more smooth these days. These images are so beautiful, Steve. You’ve captured the essence well.


    June 4, 2018 at 9:28 AM

    • Having grown up in Nebraska, you were fortunate to visit the Badlands a bunch of times. I’d visit repeatedly, too, if I lived that close to the area. I’m glad to hear you feel I’ve captured the essence of the place. Even so, I’d love to go back for a second look, preferably in a different month.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 4, 2018 at 7:38 PM

  11. Your photos are beautiful, Steve, and capture the colors of feel of the place. I’ve been there once. Rick and I camped in the park, and were caught in a tornado that landed halfway between us and the KOA campground to the south. That was a humdinger of a storm.

    Lavinia Ross

    June 4, 2018 at 8:13 PM

    • A tornado’s a high (and unusual) price to pay to see the Badlands, Lavinia. I hope you’ll be able to go back when all the drama comes from the formations and not the weather.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 5, 2018 at 5:57 AM

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