At the Edge of the Wall - Badlands National Park, South Dakota

A 100-mile wall. That is what separates the plains of South Dakota from the dramatic rock formations of Badlands National Park. Interstate 90 runs parallel to the wall just north of it, and, if you didn't know it was there, you might miss some of the most impressive landscapes in the US. Approach it from the south on the backroads and you can't help but see what appears to be a massive stone skyline in the distance. The closer you get, the more impressive it is.

When I started on the road well before dawn, I was targeting one of the park's trailheads. I really wasn't thinking of shooting southward from the edge of the wall. But as I turned a curve in the park road, I saw this scene, and trailhead be damned. The light and the shadows coupled with the contrast between the jagged formations and the flat prairie screamed at me to stop, take it in, and hopefully capture the scene in a photo. Obviously, I listened.