Ruminating ( Including The Badlands)

I am sure there are some of you out there that would suggest that this article should have been labeled pontificating rather than ruminating.

I write a lot of articles on this blog that evolve simply from what’s been on my mind lately. Whenever I begin a post where I share my thoughts and only my thoughts, it tends to look egotistical or self-centered. It seems as though it is all about me. Who am I to expect that anybody else cares about what I think? I do try to put myself in other people’s position, but ultimately my thoughts are my thoughts. Everyone, needs an outlet where we can speak our mind. I’ve chosen this blog instead of (usually) social media, because this way I don’t come into your space, with my often controversial and heavy opinions. You came to me. Aren’t you lucky lol!

If I could have looked forward to today fifteen years ago, I wonder what I would have done. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t drink coffee ( rarely did), and I don’t even drink soda. I have a healthy “shot” of orange juice every morning and otherwise drink only water. That’s just the short list of what I don’t do. I don’t do more things than I do. What’s that old adage, “my back goes out more than I do”.

I’ve always found a phrase used by Bob Seger in his song Against The Wind profound. He says, “ I wish I didn’t know now, what I didn’t know then”. Conventional phraseology would state, I wish I knew then what I know now. I am a very strong believer in knowledge and education, although I put even more importance on self-education or self-discovery ( the school of hard knocks), than directly putting education in the hands of others. Just the same, if only I only had some of that innocence of my youth. Some might suggest that I’ve never been innocent, but comparatively speaking, my life (and yours?) was simpler yet more adventurous when I just didn’t know. Wish I didn’t know now, what I didn’t know then…….sometimes.

When I was about 17 years old the mother of a friend of mine suggested that I would never live to see 40. I fooled her. In reality, I am not, and have only on rare occasions ever been foolhardy. I have always believed in taking risks that are calculated to sway the odds in my favor. Mamma didn’t born no fools. All risks are not physical. Just entering into a relationship is taking a risk and I did that so many times it became common place. Of course I made sure that most of them were short enough to not cause great damage……or bring great outcomes.

I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.

Now for some photography.

I have shown some of the images you see below previously, but many I have never shared. They were all made on one day in a favorite location of mine called the Badlands ( to me the Good-lands). They are of course in South Dakota. It was a special day. A great mix of clouds and blue sky, with those clouds eventually turning into scary looking storm clouds. At times it was the land and the clouds, and then there were moments when the sun peaked through the storm clouds. As the day begin to seek the night, the light that peaked through was magnificent. Eventually I wound up with silhouettes and storm clouds where some were lit by the setting sun, and others stayed in the darkness.

One observation is that these images were made with my old (2006) Nikon D70, and at Iimes I increased my ISO to the point of creating noise. I can only imagine that I made those up and down decisions in order to increase/decrease, shutter speed and aperture combinations. At times the clouds were moving across the picture frame very fast. I caught some of that action with fast shutter speeds, and some with slow. I am a bit embarrassed to find only one vertical composition in this particular batch. Also take notice, that at times succeeding photos are merely minor compositional changes of the same land forms.DSC_3250














There is really nothing to compare with a day like this in a powerful western landscape, with constantly changing (and threatening) weather. The Badlands and The Black Hills are (for me) the gateway to the wild west, and I wish I was there right now.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you moms.  Mom’s Day from 5/12/13

Previously shown work from the Badlands.

I have decided to add a few BLs images to those above. Some of these images were made the same day as those above, and others were made on different years, and some even have their beginnings on film. While plenty of people and photographers visit the Badlands, most of landscape photography’s biggest names avoid this location like it had the plague. They prefer the sexier red rock parks of the southwest. I have done those parks and they are indeed wonderful, but the Badlands deserves better. Although, the more they ignore this gem, the more the rest of us have to enjoy (and share).eCopy2 of  Slides 018And2more


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May God Bless,                                                                                                                                               Wayne


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3 Responses to Ruminating ( Including The Badlands)

  1. Darlene Jansen says:

    Wayne, I’ve really enjoyed viewing your photography above and it’s always a treat to see the work you haven’t shared before. Have a great week ahead friend!

  2. Pingback: Every Picture Has a Story | Wayne Nelson's Earth Images Blog

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