Badlands Photography Workshop Itinerary
This Theodore Roosevelt National Park photography workshop is a field workshop with the majority of the long weekend spent in the field. You’ll learn exposure techniques, compositional techniques and image interpretation. I’ll have plenty of time for one-on-one instruction with the small group size. This is the tentative itinerary. We’ll shoot landscapes and wildlife during this workshop, so it’s important to bring a wide range of lenses.
In May, the sun rises early and sets late. It rises at 5:12am local time and sets at 8:30pm local time. We’ll shoot most of the sunrises and sunset, and spend most of the day in the field. We will keep the schedule flexible to take advantage of these types of situations as they arise. We’ll try to be back in Medora for a late dinner, but our other meals will be in the park. The Badlands is a huge park and remote park, so be prepared to spend the entire day in the field and bring food.
While we’ll explore the park, there are plenty of other areas to explore. I suggest spending an extra day or two to do some of the historic drives in the area. I enjoyed traveling the Custer Trail.
Most people will drive on Thursday and check in on Thursday. It’s a 8 hour drive from the Twin Cities, so if you leave at 8am, you should get to Medora in time for dinner. For those people flying. I recommend flying into Dickinson and renting a car. It’s about a 30 minute drive from Dickinson to Medora. Dickinson has the best grocery store in the area, so if you didn’t bring food you should buy it there. Medora has a “grocery” store, but don’t expect much. We’ll eat out on the town on Thursday night at 6:30pm most likely at Boots Bar and Grill. It depends on what is open.
We’ll shoot the sunrise and golden hours of light before lunch. For anyone arriving on Friday, we’ll meet up at noon. I’ll have a field presentation on composition on Friday afternoon. We’ll also cover filter usage before sunrise. We’ll photography until sunset.
The day starts early with a morning session photographing the sunrise and then head back out into the field for a full-day adventure. This is likely the day that we’ll spend in the North Unit. Expect a long day. We may travel to Watford City to eat dinner.
We assemble before sunrise in the lobby to head out for sunrise photography session and stay in the field until noon. The workshop ends at 1pm for those people trying to leave on Sunday. If you’re staying until Monday, we’ll stay out until sunset. You receive access to a private Facebook group to share your photos and receive review.
While not the most difficult of hikes on my workshops, the hike to the petrified forest is one of the longer hikes. Expect a 3-mile hike on moderate terrain. It’s amazing to see 60 million-year-old cypress trees so wide that you can’t reach completely around.
The weather is perfect in the North Dakota Badlands in May. Highs average 68°F and lows average 48°F. Rain storms can and do happen in May.
The lodging partner for the Theodore Roosevelt National Park Photography Workshop is the Rough Rider Hotel, 800-633-6721. It’s downtown, fancy and has a history old west feel. This is the one you probably want.
- There is a campground in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It runs about $14 per night. You self-register at the entrance. I didn’t have any problems finding a campsite in May. It’s inside the park and about a 30 minute drive from Medora.
- Medora Campground, 800-633-6721: Ranges from $20 to $40 per night. Near downtown. This is a best choice of campgrounds if you plan on eating out at night.