I consider myself fortunate to have discovered photography in the strangest of places: Sitting in a truck in Custer State Park (South Dakota) looking at a herd of Bison (many call them “Buffalo”) rolling in the dirt and making the most incredible groaning sounds. My wife and I were on vacation, taking our youngest son to the Black Hills as a graduation gift. I discovered I loved the “view of the world” looking through the lens of the camera, even though at the time, it was just a simple point & shoot Kodak digital. But here my love of photography was born.

Although my cameras have changed over the years, and I now have more invested in lens than in cameras, it still feels the same. I have taken photos of landscapes, various critters, and portraits (headshots) of young theatre arts students at the local university and junior college in Northern California. I also shot dress rehearsal photos for the lobby for a non-profit theatre group in the area.

What now?

And now, on to the next phase of the photography journey! My wife and I have recently moved to Rapid City, South Dakota. We live less than five (5) minutes from the Black Hills National Forest, approximately 30 minutes from Mt. Rushmore, and less than an hour from Custer State Park. I am amazed at the beauty all around us, even in the snow and cold. In fact, some of the scenery is enhanced with the blanket of white snow covering the earth.

My photographic focus is going to be on the gorgeous landscape images to be found in this area, as well as “critter images” … Bison, Bighorn Sheep, Pronghorn Antelope, Bald Eagles, Osprey, Owls, White Tail Deer, Mountain Lion, and who knows? Bear? Of course, we are also “theatre people”, so if the need or opportunity arises, we may also be doing some headshots and rehearsal shooting. No, I won’t be doing weddings!

Oh, and by the way … I also have a Travel Photo-Blog that will be starting soon, specifically to cover travel and sight-seeing in this beautiful part of the country we live in. It’s called “Traveling Buddies”, and you can find it at Please drop by and take a look from time to time. Feedback is most welcome.

I hope you’ll join along and view the photos from time to time.

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Al Christenson

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