New Image: "Layer Cake"
My first visit to the Badlands was somewhat surreal. In the midst of COVID and the polarizing 2020 election, there was a slight unease that was hard to shake, even in the midst of wonderful grand landscapes. Still, it was a necessary escape for us. Highlights included an unexpected (at least for us) windstorm that threatened to collapse the tent on us during our first night, and a heat wave that turned one of our days there into an air-conditioned 'road trip' day. On this afternoon, we drove a clockwise loop around Highway 44, Sage Creek Road, and the Badlands Loop Road. This brought us back to the Yellow Mounds area in the late afternoon, and I waited around for sunset to capture the beautiful pastel colors in softer light (we had blue skies and harsh sun for all of our trip).
I composed "Layer Cake" in advance (above), and waited for the light to bring the softness of the landscape to life. Compositions were hard to find here, as the odd and uneven formations spread endlessly, refusing to offer clear distinct subjects or orderly, repetitive patterns. Here, I saw an opportunity to ground a composition in this colorful round formation in the foreground, still showcasing the distinct layers and colors all the way to the sky.
This image was captured at 55mm from my tripod-mounted 5D Mark IV and the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II lens, at 1/80 sec, f/8 and ISO 100.
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