The Badlands 2020

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Location: Badlands National Park in South Dakota

Dates: May 27-31, 2020, Wednesday at 7 pm – Sunday morning at 10

Cost: $1099

Details: Badlands National Park is a mesmerizing land of multi-hued rock formations and abundant wildlife. The expansive views in the park give way to roaming herds of bison and big horn sheep. In early June, the prairie grass is green and provides a vibrant contrast to roaming mammals.  Thunderstorms frequently rip through the park and create spectacular cloudscapes and lightning. Sunrise and sunset will be spent in the park capturing dramatic landscapes. During the midday hours we will visit a ghost town and focus on wildlife photography. Our trip will be based out of Wall, South Dakota, a town filled with colorful cowboy boots and local characters.

Included this year: Aerial Photography! On the last morning of the trip, participants can choose to take an optional helicopter ride to shoot aerial photographs of the Badlands. We will team up with Black Hills Aerial Tours to provide 12-17 minute flights for $119-$149 (paid by participants).

Wall, South Dakota. Badlands NP
June is thunderstorm season in the Badlands

On this course you will learn about:

  • Exposure
  • Composition
  • Using filters (what you cannot find in PhotoShop)
  • Lightroom workflow; the ten steps you need to do to every image
  • Wildlife Photography
  • Macro Photography
  • Photograph lightning in passing storms
  • Aerial Photography

We will be photographing mornings and evenings with midday classes and image critiques.

Hotel: Best Western in Wall, South Dakota. Group Rate  approx. $133.00 per night. Call Debbie at (605) 279-2145 and ask for the Tom Bol group rate. The hotel closes from November -March. To book a room during this time you can call Best Western Reservations at 1-800 528-1234.

Closest Airport: Rapid City Regional Airport in South Dakota. Approx. drive time: one hour

Recommended camera gear:

  • Camera body
  • Lenses ranging from wide angle to telephoto (24 mm or wider)
  • Wildlife telephoto lens – 300mm or more
  • Tripod
  • Cable release
  • Polarizing filter
  • 10 stop ND filter (optional)
  • Speed light (optional)
  • Lightning trigger (optional)
  • Laptop for editing and critique


Included in the fee:

  • All instruction
  • Copy of Tom’s ebook Create Better Photographs

Students will provide their own:

  • Hotel accommodation
  • Transportation, airfare, rental car
  • All meals
  • National Park entrance fee
  • Optional helicopter ride

Tom Bol Photo Workshops is a permittee of the National Park Service for this workshop and under a Commercial Use Authorization

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See images and trip repost from Badlands 2018