Badlands of South Dakota Wall, SD

5/16/2019 - 5/21/2019

Badlands National Park in southwestern South Dakota is a dramatic and expansive destination that seems tailor-made for landscape photographers. The 244,000-acre park boasts a rugged beauty of towering spires, deep canyons and a vast expanse of undisturbed prairie grassland. Sedimentary rock that has eroded over time forms a layered, otherworldly terrain of colorfully painted buttes, pinnacles and spires extending as far as the eye can see.

Gorgeous sunrise and sunset light, dark night skies, and spectacular land formations await us. Wildlife abounds. Bison, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, prairie dogs, hawks, eagles, falcons and rare black-footed ferrets are some of the species we may encounter.

When it comes to one-on-one attention, Doug's teaching skills are unmatched, and we are certain you’ll walk away from this experience a better photographer because of it. Doug will take you to the best places at the best times. He’ll help you create the best possible pictures of this area, and he will look at your camera with you while you’re trying to create them.

This is a new location for an RMSP workshop and we're sure it's going to become a favorite! Doug will help you take your landscape photography skills to a whole new level. You'll enjoy the camaderie of fellow photo enthusiasts in this vast and unique landscape.

Instructor Doug Johnson will cover:

  • A review of exposure
  • Landscape photography
  • Hyperfocal focusing
  • Zone System
  • Lightroom
  • Composition
  • Shooting panoramas and HDR’s


This workshop begins on Thursday, May 16, at 7 p.m. and ends on Tuesday, May 21, at 5 p.m.

Tentative schedule for this workshop:

Thursday, May 16
Evening: Introductions and Workshop Orientation
Friday, May 17
Morning: Cedar Pass Field Shoot
Afternoon: Lecture and Critique
Evening: Sage Creek Rim Field Shoot
Saturday, May 18
Morning: REd Shirt Table Overlook Field Shoot
Afternoon: Lecture and Critique
Evening: Yellow Mounds Field Shoot
Sunday, May 19
Morning: Panoramic Point Field Shoot
Afternoon: Lecture and Critique
Evening: Pinnacles Overlook Field Shoot
Monday, May 20
Morning: Balanced Rock Field Shoot
Afternoon: Lecture and Critique
Evening: Sheep Table Mountain Field Shoot/Scenic Ghost Town Night Shoot
Tuesday, May 21
Morning: Morning Off
Afternoon: Critique and Final Slideshow. Workshop ends at 5 p.m.


Meeting Space

The workshop will be held at the Best Western Plains Motel. Your class will meet regularly in the breakfast room at the hotel. This workshop starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 16 and ends at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21.


There is a room block for this workshop set up at the Best Western Plains Motel for the nights of May 15 through May 21 (6 nights, departing May 22). 

Best Western Plains Motel
712 Glenn Street
Wall, SD 57790
(707) 482-1777
Best Western Plains Motel

Rates: Guest rooms have been blocked at the rate of $119.66 per night + tax (2 double beds).

Cutoff date: Be sure to make your reservation by April 15, 2019. After this date, reservations will be based on availability.

Cancellation Policy: Please check with the hotel for their cancellation policy.

Reservations can be made by calling the hotel directly at 605-279-2145. Please be sure to indicate that you are a student of Rocky Mountain School of Photography.

Air Transportation

RMSP is not responsible for cancellations due to medical or other emergencies or reimbursement of non-refundable airline tickets/hotel rooms in the event of a course cancellation. Please consider the purchase of trip/travel insurance.

The closest major airport for this workshop is Rapid City Regional Airport in Rapid City, SD. It is located approximately 55 miles from the Best Western Plains Motel. Visit the airport website for information on carriers and flight schedules.

Rapid City Regional Airport
4550 Terminal Road
Rapid City, SD 57703
Rapid City Regional Aiport

Transportation during the Workshop

You are responsible for your own transportation during the workshop. For transportation to and from field shoots, we suggest that you carpool to get to know fellow students.

Major car rental companies are available at the airport website.

Any additional fees and/or supplies will be the responsibility of the participant. There is a $20 per vehicle entrance fee (valid for 7 days) for Badlands National Park.


We want your experience at an RMSP workshop to be full of learning and fun. We recognize that preparation is one important key to success. The following is meant to be a packing aid, not a shopping list. If you have questions about what’s needed, please call Bob McGowan, our Student Services Associate, at 800-394-7677.

Don't forget to check the weather in the area.


  • Digital SLR camera or interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera
  • Sturdy and reliable tripod
  • You’ll need at least one lens. The “kit lens” that came with your camera (most likely an 18-55mm) will be fine
  • Bring any other lenses that you own (a variety of focal lengths is always helpful: Wide angle zoom (17-35mm), Normal zoom (35-70mm), Telephoto zoom (70-200mm). Macro is not a focus on this workshop, however avid macro shooters may want to bring a macro lens
  • Laptop
  • Memory Card Reader
  • Flash drive
  • Spare batteries for equipment (especially for your camera) 
  • Extra memory card
  • Camera manual
  • Camera bag or backpack 


  • Cable release/wireless remote
  • Filters (polarizer, split neutral density, neutral density)
  • Lens shades for all lenses
  • Gray card
  • Professional air blower for sensor cleaning (eg. rocket blower)
  • Camera & lens cleaning supplies
  • Note taking materials
  • Ground cloth, cushion or knee pads 
  • Camera rain cover if your camera and lens are not water resistant 

Personal Items

  • Weatherproof clothing that can be layered underneath for warmth 
  • Sturdy footwear for walking on uneven ground or trails 
  • Light to medium jacket
  • Umbrella
  • Sun protection – hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, lip balm
  • Insect repellent
  • Water bottle 
  • Snacks for between meals in the field
  • Travel alarm clock and wristwatch – or smartphone with an alarm
  • Pocket sized flashlight 
Tuition: $1,695
Deposit: $300
Possible Discounts:
Friend of RMSP:$50
Early Registration:$50
if registered before 2/15/2019
This course is past its starting date.


Doug Johnson

Doug Johnson is a Colorado native now living in Missoula, Montana. Before a life-changing pursuit of photographic art, he was an outdoor educator for more than 20 years, passionately teaching people backcountry skills in navigation, mountaineering, avalanche awareness and wilderness first aid. Since graduating from RMSP’s Summer Intensive program in 1996, Doug’s work has covered many diverse projects in the documentary, commercial, fine art and educational fields. Assignments have taken him from coyote shooting in Wyoming to the last stages of a woman’s life to the graffiti-covered alleys and abandoned buildings of Denver. He is currently involved in an ongoing project called Art Music, which fuses the art of photography with live musical performance. His educational philosophy is fun, intuitive and full of creative persistence. No matter where you are in your photographic journey, Doug’s balance of the aesthetic with the technical can help you further express your unique vision.



Perks of Registering For A Workshop

EDU Advantage Program

By registering and completing any course with us, you will automatically be eligible for EDU status with B&H Photo. EDU members can save money on select items sold by B&H.

Creative Cloud Subscription

The software you use in your workflow is almost as crucial as your camera. Register for any RMSP course and you will receive a code to save 15% on a Adobe Creative Cloud subscription for the first year.

What Gear Do You Need?

Want a specific lens for a workshop? Need some extra gear for your next shoot? Renting gear from Lens Pro To Go allows you to try before you buy! Upon registering for a course, you will receive a discount code for 10% off your next rental.