Meeker Ranch was originally built in 1887 in a valley near Custer, SD in the Black Hills. It was acquired by the Forest Service in 2004 who maintains it to this day.
This ranch offers a look into the past with its' buildings and unique setting. My friend Chad Coppess was nice enough to take me there for my first visit where I enjoyed seeing and photographing this historic place.
In the summer of 2008, we took a family vacation to Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota. In the park is a large herd of buffalo. These animals are quite impressive. We managed to find the main herd one evening and I took several photos of them, including one massive buffalo among them. A guide that worked there said they let 4-5 buffalo's live out their life instead of selling them during the round up and I was fortunate that one walked right by me considering the herd is about 1,500 buffalo in size. Ever since then, I told myself I would get more photos of buffalo and I have. I was able to photograph the 2010 Buffalo Roundup in the Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota and I have been back to Custer State Park and also Wind Cave National Park to get more buffalo photos. Also in this gallery are some photos from a private buffalo herd along Mission Ridge Road, northwest of Pierre, SD.
I realize these are not technically 'buffalo' and are actually bison, but everyone knows these animals by the name of buffalo. I found out quickly that the buffalo can be a hard animal to photograph with the dark hide and dark eyes, but when you can capture them, they truly are a majestic animal! But beware, they can be very unpredictable and dangerous, so keep your distance.
Wind Cave National Park is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. My first visit to the park was one where I was looking for wildlife and landscape photos. There was a heavy fog though, which created a heavy frost and both conditions made for some nice photographs. I hope to visit this park again as there is so much to see, including the wonderful caves it has!
Located out on the open prairie of Hoven, South Dakota, you will find an architectural gem. It is the St. Anthony's Catholic Church, also known to many as the "Cathedral of the Prairie". This grand cathedral can be seen for miles while driving to Hoven. It was designed after the large cathedrals in Europe and took several years to build, with it being completed in 1921.
As part of the Central South Dakota Photography Club's photo walk on April 4, 2013, several club members, including myself traveled to Hoven to photograph this church. It is a beautiful place with so much to see, that it would take more than a few hours to photography everything. This gallery includes the photographs I took during my visit. I hope you enjoy viewing them. Because of the lighting, I found I took several exposures of scenes and used them to create HDR images, which can give a bit of a surreal look at times, but you can get a good feel for the beauty of this place.