Sunday, May 31, 2009

Walleye Fishing at Belle Fourche Reservoir

Saturday morning we hooked up the boat and headed to Belle Fourche Reservoir (AKA Orman Dam) to do some walleye fishing. My day started out with a 3:00 AM migraine headache and an injection of Imitrex, so I didn't know how productive I would be for fishing, but I did know I wasn't going to be left behind!

I have lived in this area for 10 years now, and that is definitely long enough to know not to listen to the weather forecast when preparing for a day on the water, but I think Saturday I can blame it on my "brain fog", because that is the first time ever that I went out and wasn't prepared. I was expecting upper 70s - low 80s, and it was FREEZING! Overcast with no sun and the wind blowing, and me in shorts! But I stuck it out for several hours, and had fun taking pictures of the seagulls and some families of geese. I did get outfished though, as my pole spent most of the time in the rod holder while I was busy taking pictures or sleeping!

There isn't much left of Rabbit Island ~ I hate to think of how many nests were flooded out as the water has been rising. We were out two weeks ago and there were birds nesting on both ends of the island, which have since collapsed and are now submerged.

This gull was flying so fast he left a jet stream!

A pair of killdeer were nesting nearby and were doing everything they could to try to lure me away from the area. This guy was hopping away in front me with a broken wing ~ poor thing! He recovered quickly enough to fly away and land 30 or 40 yards away with another broken wing though! I hung around long enough to get some pictures of the geese and then left them alone...walking very carefully through the tall grass because the killdeer nests are so hard to spot!

Not much room left at Gull Island!

According the Bureau of Reclamation data, Belle Fourche Reservoir is currently 99% full. This is definitely the fullest I have seen it since moving here a little over 10 years ago. Water was still coming into the channel on Saturday, with fishermen lined up all along the channel trying their luck. Even with the irrigation season coming up, the prospect is looking good so far for maintaining a lake with some water in it through the summer! That would be great news after the 30% and 40% we have been seeing in the past summers!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Shandra & Emily's Graduation!

On Sunday afternoon, at 4:00 PM, Buffalo High School, in Buffalo, Wyoming, held their 102nd Annual Commencement exercises for the Class of 2009. I was proud to watch my niece, Shandra, and her best friend, Emily, as they left their high school years behind and ventured into their new and promising future!

As usual on Memorial Day weekend in Story, Wyoming, it rained for the graduation party, but that didn't stop the town of Story from coming out to celebrate the graduation of their two favorite girls! Gone are the days of these cute little girls coming around at the lake selling their Wal-Mart candy bars trying to make enough money to buy a new skateboard, or snowboard (or whatever the cause of the week was)!!! :)

CONGRATULATIONS SHANDRA AND EMILY! God bless and good luck!!!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Jackpine Gypsies SDMA Sanctioned Motocross

Finally...the season I have been waiting for! I absolutely love the speed and the excitement of motocross, having ridden dirtbikes and ATVs in the Big Horn Mountains all my life, and having to keep up with three older brothers and their friends!

The Jackpine Gypsies held a two-day SDMA-sanctioned event at their club grounds in Sturgis on Saturday and Sunday. I wasn't able to attend Sunday's event (a lakeful of fish, a boat, and my husband, were calling!), but I spent most of Saturday having an absolute blast photographing one of my favorite events!

All photographers are aware of the "golden hour" or "magic hour", a short period of time just before sunrise or just after sunset when the sunlight is optimal for taking photographs and all of the colors in the spectrum seem to be enhanced. This effect is also noticed after a rain shower when there is moisture in the air, as the moisture causes the colors to appear more saturated. However, I don't think many photographers would expect to find an effect such as this at a motocross track at two o'clock in the afternoon! After battling with tough exposure conditions ranging from bright sunlight to dark shade all morning, the afternoon brought this absolutely fantastic lighting! The combination of the increased humidity from watering the track at the lunch break and backlighting filtered from the trees and the dust, and I had my "magic hour" for an afternoon of optimal shooting! Unfortunately, my "magic hour" lasted only about that long, as my phone rang and my teenage son needed a ride home from work...the magic ended and back to reality!

More images from Saturday's motocross action can be seen at Thompson Photography !

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Chapel of the Hills Wedding

Spring is here,and the wedding season is upon us! Saturday was the start of my venture into wedding photography, with a wedding at the Chapel of the Hills in Rapid City. Yucky weather, a tiny, dark chapel, and no flash allowed...I figured that is a good way to test my technique! However, everything went wonderfully, and my "first wedding jitters" were unfounded! Below is just a small sample of the images from the day.

Composites are available in a variety of sizes and there is no extra charge for up to three images (not including the background). All images are available in glossy, matte, luster, or metallic archival-quality prints, as well as canvas and fine art gallery wraps. A large variety of other gift items and photo books are also available.

Anyone who would like more information regarding my introductory wedding package can contact me at or 605-641-2335 for further details.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Portrait Session at Dalby Memorial Park

Sunday morning I packed up the truck and headed to Wyoming for a portrait session with a wonderful couple and their absolutely adorable little boy! When I left Spearfish, it was totally calm, about 55 degrees, and the weather forcast was calling for a nice day. As I drove west, the temperature dropped, and the wind speed picked up! When I reached Gillette, it was about 45 degrees with 20 - 30 mph wind gusts ~ making for a wind chill of...COOOLD!!!! But in true Wyoming style (they are new to the area and trying to fit in!!), they were tough, and we proceeded to have very fast photo shoot. With the baby's teeth chattering, and him deciding he had enough, we wrapped it up in about 15 minutes, but luckily with a terrific family like this, great images come naturally!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Greater Dakota Conference ~ Spearfish Canyon Country Club

Although it seems like the season is just beginning for the Spearfish Girls' Golf Team, the Greater Dakota Conference held today at the Spearfish Canyon Country Club marks the winding down of the golf season. It was rather cold and windy, but these girls are tough, and they were happy to be able to head out onto the course with no rain or snow to dampen their high spirits!

Although I am from a family of avid golfers, I was always too busy with my horses to pay much attention to golf, so I was looking forward to the chance to photograph a sport that has always been so much a part of my family, but I was never involved in! It almost made me want to dust off my golf clubs (unfortunately, I don't think they would know what to do)!!!

More images from the GDC golf meet can be seen at Thompson Photography !