The alarm clock on my cell phone went off at 5am and I popped up out of bed so I wouldn’t wake up the family. Actually I was super excited to get going to my first Shootout session. Our original plan was that Carrie would wake up with me and drive me to the meeting spot so that she and the kids would have the car for the morning. Shortly after Carrie got up, also at 5am…she came to the realization that I could just drive myself there because I’ll be back by the time they wake up and get going. I thought about that for a second and agreed. I’d be done by 9am and I could just come back, pick them up and we’d be off on an adventure.
I drove through the empty streets of Spearfish and made my way to the campus of Black Hills State University. I took it as a good sign that as I pulled into the lot, there were three deer grazing nearby in the grass, this was going to be a great day. Two different groups of people were waiting in the lot for two different sessions. It was pitch black out there, except for the parking lot lights that were kind of dimly lighting the area. It was interesting though that the lights turned off right at 6am. Our group went over a game plan and then we were on our way.
t times I felt like a fifth wheel as they reminisced about certain specific locations….but I didn’t mind at all, it was fun to listen to them remember the good times…photography had brought them and their group of friends together many times and it was happening again this weekend at the Black Hills Shootout.
Our first stop was at Bridal Veil Falls in the Spearfish Canyon. It was really a pretty waterfall. It was kind of tricky finding the best angle. The seemingly obvious spot was straight on since the trees obscured it if you moved to far left or right, that and the fact that there were 15 other people trying to get into position as well. I started out by getting closer to the falls, that worked for a while, but I really wanted to to try to get a different angle than what a lot of the people were shooting. I ended up finding one about 40 steps to the East that I liked.
It was a chilly morning in the Canyon and I quickly realized that I was the only one wearing shorts…I wonder if others thought..”oh that’s that guy from Minnesota” . It was soon time to be making our way to the next waterfall. As we were walking back to the vehicle, I met up with the two guys that I was riding with and one of them, the driver, looked at me and said, “If I had known that you shot Canon, I would have never let you in the car” They were both, of course Nikon shooters! He was just kidding of course, and we loaded up the gear and headed on to Roughlock Falls.