Although this region of the Great Plains receives less than 15 inches of rain per year, rainfall still shapes the landscape. Most precipitation here falls in the form of fairly intense thunderstorms. These rains continually reshape the soft sediments which make up the badlands. I awoke this particular morning hoping to get sunrise light on the clay formations. It had been clear the previous evening but the sun disappointingly rose behind a layer of clouds. I was thinking about giving up when a break in the clouds finally opened. Low, angled light highlighted the grasses and peaks while dark clouds loomed above. I had about a five-minute window of opportunity and managed to expose three sheets of film before the clouds again blocked the sun. This is one of my favorite lighting situations: warm, low angle light on the land with storm clouds overhead.
BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK, SOUTH DAKOTA
Toyo 45 AII camera with Nikon 150/5.6 lens on Fuji Velvia 50 film - 1 sec at f/40