Wind Cave National Park

Life Thru the Lens 20/52.... Custer State Park, S.D. and Wind Cave National Park

The Random....

Did you know that the buffalo is now the national mammal of the United States? This statues is not to be confused with the national emblem, and national animal, of the U.S. the bald eagle. Oh course, it comes with no additional species protection, but.... stop me now before I digress into a conversation about how it is NEVER a good idea to try to pet a bison. Or, take a selfie with one.

The Good....

I captured these beauties in Custer State Park, one of our favorite places to visit in The Black Hills. 

Do you want to learn about travel photography? Try CreativeLive's   Travel Photography Toolkit . (Affiliate Link... see police page from more information.)

Do you want to learn about travel photography? Try CreativeLive's  Travel Photography Toolkit. (Affiliate Link... see police page from more information.)

Tips for taking photos of wildlife....

  • A zoom lens is a must so that you can keep a safe distance from the animals, both for your protection and theirs.
  • A camera bean bag is a terrific aid in keeping your camera steady when you are capturing wildlife through an open window of a car. (You can see the one I use in the sidebar.)
  • Always use common sense, if the animals seem agitated move on from your location.
  • Never, never, never approach wildlife!!! With all the events taking place in Yellowstone and in our local area, what seems like common sense must be reiterated... these are wild animals they will defend themselves if they feel threatened. No shot is ever worth the loss of your life.
  • Wait for it. Take your time and just simple watch the animals for a while. A good shot never happens right away. We waited for this big guy to gradually make his way towards us before I got the shot I wanted. 
Want to learn new techniques for outdoor photography? Try CreativeLive's  Unique Outdoor Photography Techniques . (Affiliate Link... see police page from more information.)

Want to learn new techniques for outdoor photography? Try CreativeLive's Unique Outdoor Photography Techniques. (Affiliate Link... see police page from more information.)

The Fun....

We head down to the southern Black Hills quite often, and on rainy day in the early spring we went buffalo baby hunting. Unfortunately, we were a bit early, which was a bummer, but we did happen to come upon these fluffy bison in Wind Cave National Park. We might, or might not have, sat there for about 30 minutes watching these guys. We were quite amused, we have never seen buffalo with such shaggy hair on their heads. 

Winde Cave National Park | Life Thur the Lens | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography

Since we did not find the treasure I was hunting for, I thought I might as well try my hand at taking photos specifically for a panorama. This shot is made up of 13 shots total and then stitched together in Photoshop. I am pretty happy since it was my first try at a stitched panorama. But, there is always room to improve...

1. I should have taken my shots in portrait view so that the short side of my photo would have been bigger pixel wise. My overall shot ended up being 13047 by 3165. Not bad, but I would have to upsize on the short side to print this, because (very basically speaking) I could print a 43 by 12 picture. I'd want it to be bigger than 12 inches on the short side. 

2. I forgot my tripod, or I should say I just didn't bring it. I was not planning on shooting a pano on this particular day.

3. It was sprinkling which made for a really pretty sky, but I needed an umbrella to protect the lens from water. My camera is waterproof, but keeping sprinkles off the lens is always a challenge without an umbrella. 



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Home on the Range; Wind Cave National Park

Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam,
Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the skies are not cloudy all day.

Chorus Home, home on the range,
Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the skies are not cloudy all day.

~Brewster M. Higley

I thought I'd share this guy for Song-ology. We are lucky enough to live in a area where you can visit Wind Cave National Park, or a Custer State Park and you will see buffalo quite often. Although, in all the years we have been "buffalo hunting" we have never been this close to one. We happen upon him as he was licking the salt off the road. Matter of fact, he was a bit perturbed that we interrupted his treat. But not enough to do much about it, other than to walk to the snowbank to for a drink out of the puddle. 

Tips & Tricks-

~If you are visiting a park, specifically to see wildlife, dusk and dawn are the best time to catch them. They tend to be on the move to grazing and settle in for the night, or the day, during that time of day. 

~It's important to remember that while you are in a "park" these animals are still wild. Do not step out of your car and try to capture a selfie with them. This guy was so close I did not even open my window. 

~A camera bean bag is a terrific accessory to have on hand if you are into nature photography. I used mine to give my camera stability when I took this photo....

~I tend to shoot all my nature photos with my white balance set to cloudy. It gives my photos that nice golden light regardless if I am shooting in cloudy weather, or sunny weather. 

I'll be visiting these lovely communities... join along...  Song-ography, Wordless Wednesday, and Little Things Thursday

Life thru the Lens 4/52... counting my blessings: a month in review

The Good...

As I sit here typing away, while the aroma of banana granola wafts though the air, I am amazed at how fast January has slipped by. We are three months into our adventure of being jobless and homeless. We are not totally destitute, we will be receiving a small retirement check, and oh how blessed we are to be living with my mother-in-law. So, technically we are not homeless. Insert long sigh, and gentle smile.

Life Thru the Lens| Month in Review| Counting My Blessings| Lisa Kerner| Simply Living Photography

The Random...

It feels a bit weird to literally be suspended in limbo. We have big dreams, and huge ideas, of where we want our life to be, but that all hangs on several unknowns in our lives right now. Although I have been a vagabond my entire life, I have never been in this position where my life had no real direction. Where I was simply standing on a path waiting for some clue as to which direction I must head. Forward, for sure, but exactly where? Hmmmm. 

There are days when that unknown really bothers me; have I mentioned I am a type A personality? But then, other days it really doesn't bother me at all. I have this uncanny feeling that it will all work out. It's the not knowing when or how it will work out that drives me nuts . 

The Fun...

So, here's the thing. In our situation it would be really easy to wallow in the unknown, the what if(s) and the fear that tags along. And, somedays I do, but mostly, I count. 

~Reading our notes out of our 2015 memory jar

~Water droplets on lilies

~The creative juices that a photography series produces

~2 packs of Holiday Blend coffee hidden away in the freezer

~A date-night with The Thinker where we dream and hope

~Officially retired and no longer Uncle Sam's Man.

~The smell of fresh baked pumpkin and banana bread

~Whispy snowflakes and a roaring fire

~One more National Park checked off our bucket list

~Meeting a buffalo in the middle of the road

~A hike in the woods

~Reading animal tracks in the snow

~A great book snuggled under a warm quilt

~Sunset silhouette of The Hills

I'll be visiting these lovely communities this week... join along... Trough My Lens MondayImage-in-ing, Our World Tuesday, Random-osity and Friday Photo Journal.


Life Thru the Lens | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography

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