Happy Easter!

It’s a gorgeous Easter morning here in Armstrong County!


Enjoy this beautiful day! I’m off shortly to look through the cows, then I’ll tag a few calves that our heifers has last night and ride my pretty colt, Fridge. And it’s going to be one of those rare, windless, stunningly beautiful days outside so I may have to saddle another horse or three!

How are you spending your Easter?

Happy trails!

A Blue, Blue Sky – a Photography Tutorial

The other day I was asked, “how do you get the sky to be so blue in you photos?”

Truth be told, Mother Nature is doing the work for me – I’m simply capturing what she has to offer.

In a previous tutorial, I discussed a few basic shooting principles the first being: shoot in the direction of your shadow.

Now, there’s generally a lot more to be done than that if you’re shooting with a DSLR. You can use neutral density filters and polarizers to help darken up the sky or you can experiment “in camera”. But, if you’re shooting with an iPhone and the sky is blue and gorgeous in front of you, that’s usually what you’ll get.

If you are shooting with a DSLR, a simple theory from our horsemanship philosophy will suffice: observe, remember, compare, adjust (stolen straight from Buck Brannaman).

By this I mean, it’s not about putting your camera on auto-mode: it’s about learning how ISO, aperture (how wide your lens opens), and shutter speed work together to create exposure. Observing the result of your first attempt, remembering what it looked like and what you liked/didn’t like about it, adjusting the settings or yourself to get a better photograph, and then comparing results.

I rarely shoot in daylight, or even outside at more than 320 ISO. In fact my cameras are usually set to go no higher than 200 ISO. I’m quite certain there are other photographers out there that might disagree with my philosophy but I’m sure we could still be friends.

Before I get into the details of all of the above, I figured I’d start by showing you some iPhone 5 photos I took the other day, on a cloudy morning to illustrate my point.



Both of these were taken at about 9:45 am-ish, on a cloudy morning. While it’s true that I can adjust my iPhone’s exposure setting by touching the screen, in order to see the foreground (or cow/calf pair), I had to allow the sky to be a touch blown out.

Now, look at when I shoot away from the sun and it’s “in theory” right over my shoulder, painting a prettier picture:


You can see the cloudy, gray-blue of the sky. This photo is actually identical to what my eye saw.

In future lessons, we will get in to how you’d set your DSLR if you absolutely had to capture something in broad daylight and were unable to move the subject or yourself, as often happens when we try to capture life around us.

In the meantime, go out and practice: observe, remember, compare and adjust.

Happy trails!

The view from here

south dakota cowgirl photography, south dakota, south dakota cattle ranches, brangus cattle

Monday evening had to be one of the prettiest evenings we’ve had in a while! It’s the time of year when you check cows a couple times a day and heifers every three to four hours! Including all night. It’s great fun! We’ve got three heifers calved out and about a dozen cows. I’ll let […]

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Wordless Wednesday

south dakota cowgirl photography, south dakota, cloudy day, ranch lands, ranching, ranch photography, south dakota landscapes

Happy Trails! To purchase photographs, please email, or visit my site.

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Tuesday’s Tales – A Mad Mama Cow!

This week, we go back to last year’s calving season: I’ve heard it said that you don’t know what true fear is until you’ve been chased down by a mad mama cow. Now, as someone who’s only been on a ranch the past five six years or so, I don’t have a lot of experience […]

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Hey, baby!


While I was gone to Colorado this past week we had our first calf born. And then two more on Saturday. Sunday afternoon, a heifer calved and she wasn’t sure what this little creature was or where it had come from or that it even needed her! So the cowboy put her in her barn […]

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Lynn Reardon from Lope Texas on Buck Brannaman

Lynn Reardon, Lope Texas, Santo, Buck Brannaman Clinic

Man am I excited! I’ve been Facebook friends with Lynn for years, and have followed her on Twitter as well. When I was in Kiowa last year, I got to meet her and visit for a while. Ambitious, kind, smart and of course, a horse lover, she runs LOPE – Lonestar Outreach to place Ex-Racehorses. […]

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Wordless Wednesday

south dakota cowgirl photography, ranch lands, ranching photography, equine photography, south dakota equine photographers, the south dakota cowgirl

And, I got to give a shout-out to my mama who has a birthday today! Happy birthday, mom! I hope your day is super! To purchase photographs, please email, or visit my site.

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I left the ranch on Saturday to head to Sheridan, Wyoming to pick a horse up for my friend in Colorado. I spent the night in Sheridan and grabbed a pretty, mouse-colored, buckskin horse on Sunday morning and was headed South to Colorado by 8:30am. Along the way, both days, I did stop to take […]

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Farmland – the documentary about farmers and ranchers

This morning, as I was going through my inbox, I got notified that there was a new post from Debbie at her blog, Life on a Kansas Cattle Ranch. And what I saw there made me instantly run to YouTube and grab this little snippet of video to share with you. I’m kind of excited […]

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