Badlands National Park Yellow Mounds Overlook, Big Badlands Overlook

These images are from a trip to Badlands National Park in September of 2017.

We went to the Yellow Mounds Overlook area on two occasions. After Pinnacles, it is my next favorite overlook. There are opportunities on both sides of the road if you wander around a bit.

Feature Image Details

This image and two that follow are stacked images. That means I took multiple images, each focused on a different spot. I used Lightroom to adjust the exposures and color, the same for each image in the stack. Then I manually blended them in Photoshop using layer masks.

With four images, I blend two images. Then blend the next. Then the next. I find starting with the foreground the easiest.

Here are more Yellow Mounds images.

The final image above was not focus stacked. It was taken at 28mm with a Canon 24-105MM F4 L Lens

There was little need to stack. Everything was in focus because this was a distant shot. When you are very close to the subject and want every part of the image, you need to focus stack.

Big Badlands Overlook

Big Badlands Overlook is an excellent location at sunrise. At sunrise, it’s my favorite overlook.

I went to this overlook five times at sunrise and had good clouds only once. The best light was before sunrise. Compare the above two images. I prefer the first. It was 10 minutes or so before sunrise.

Big Badlands Panorama Stitch

That’s a crop from an even wider sequence of five images stitched together. I took that sequence one morning when there was decent light but no clouds.

Lightroom usually does a good job of stitching automatically as was the case here. I use Photoshop merge on occasion, but Lightroom is easier to work with.


Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

Additional Badlands Articles

  1. Badlands National Park Pinnacles Overlook: Sunset, Panorama, and Milky Way Images
  2. Badlands National Park – Double Rainbow at Pinnacles Overlook
  3. Badlands National Park – Castle Trail and Notch Trail Images

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I will wrap up the Badlands in my next article. It has an image of me reflected in a Meadowlark’s eye.  Stay tuned!

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Iceland in 16 Days: Day 7, North Iceland, North Iceland, Hverir Geothermal Area

After photographing Goðafoss at sunset and sunrise (see Iceland in 16 Days: Day 7, North Iceland, Goðafoss Waterfall) we drove back to Reykjahlid.

I dropped off my wife Liz at the hotel and went on to the Hverir Geothermal Area. If I had to do this again in two nights, I would have spent sunrise and sunset at Selfoss/Dettifoss, then sunset at Goðafoss, then scramble to get back to Hverir for sunrise.

These images were taken an hour or so after sunrise. The light was still beautiful, but I have visions of pink steam rising from these vents at dawn. I do not know if that happened or not.

Feature Image: Canon 14MM F2.8 L Lens, F/16 1/10 of a second at ISO 100.

I now use a Canon 11-24 F4.0 L lens: This lens is a new replacement for the 14MM lens. It is the best wide angle zoom lens in the world. Period. Yes, it is very expensive. It is sharp in the corners, little or no astigmatism, or other common zoom lens flaws. At 11-24 MM it is the widest zoom lens around and it is sharp.

If you shoot Canon and can at all afford it, get it.  As a second, much lighter, and easier to carry choice is the Canon 16-35MM F4 L Lens

Super wide angle lenses like this require a different approach.

  1. You have to be right on top of your subject
  2. You need something interesting in the foreground
  3. You need something interesting in the background (typically the sky or mountains)
  4. It is critical to pick a spot where everything is in focus. Alternatively, use a focus stacking technique and blend images taken at different docus spots.

Hverir Geothermal Area 

The feature image and the last two images above were shots with a Canon 14MM lens. I am inches away from that steam vent in the final image. The other images were taken with a Canon 16-35MM F4 L Lens at varying focal lengths.

I used manual focus (as I normally do with landscape photography) to ensure focus is where I want.

As I pointed out in my Iceland Guide, it would have been better to spend a minimum of three days in the Reykjahlid/Lake Myvaten area. There is much to do and lots of things we did not see.

However, we had prearranged plans in Husavik.

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

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Up Next: Whale watching in Husavik

Mike “Mish” Shedlock